Last year, AOTOS began a new initiative run by Nicola-Jane Kemp, to introduce the eight young singers selected to join the Fellowship programme of the National Youth Choir of Great Britain to the world of singing teaching. The programme was designed to provide awareness and informal training to these singers, many of whom are on the brink of a professional career in music. The scheme encouraged the singers to see the music profession in all its diversity, with vocal pedagogy being one of the very significant elements of the career that most singers will enjoy. They were partnered with generous teachers from AOTOS, who were able to observe them teach, or invite them in to observe their own teaching and allow them to ask questions and chat about teaching singing. Anita Morrison, Alison Ponsford-Hill, Sarah Stroh, Andrew Ashwin, Chris Goldsack and Brian Gordon all gave up valuable time to make this possible. The fellows also received student membership of AOTOS and could attend events free of charge or appear as ‘guinea pigs’ in masterclasses and workshops.
Ben Parry, the Artistic Director of the National Youth Choirs of Great Britain has this to say about the mentoring programme:
‘The partnership between AOTOS and the NYCGB Fellowship Programme has been inspirational to our young singers, who are on the cusp of professional singing careers in all its shape and forms. An essential part of this for some of them has been information, training and mentoring in singing teaching, and I am delighted that AOTOS has taken such an enthusiastic and proactive approach in engaging with the Fellowship.'
We are delighted to be continuing the partnership in the 2019-20 season.
AOTOS partnership coordinator
2019-20 fellowship programme
The eight young musicians selected to join the 2019-20 fellowship programme (pictured above) are:
- James Botcher
- Eleanor Bray
- Freddie Crowley
- Loren Kell
- Laurence Padfield
- Ella Rainbird-Earley
- Milette Riis
- David Woods
Feedback from 2018 Fellows
George Cook: 'I have really enjoyed the partnership with AOTOS this year. I learnt a lot from the public workshop in Derby. It was fascinating to learn about the similar or different approaches one must take, as a singing teacher, when teaching musical theatre.'
Sam Gilliatt: 'I learnt a lot from watching other participants' sessions, both from a performer's and teacher's perspective.'
Gabriella Noble: 'It was great to know I had people to talk to about teaching and a website and resource to explore, not to mention an accreditation through membership which was helpful with my new pupils.