Summer 2023 Conference: Member presentations

Member presentations at the conference

Earlier in the year we announced a call for the submission of abstracts for presentation at our Summer Conference 2023: Global Connections – The Wisdom Among Us. We were delighted with the response; the abstracts were submitted, anonymously, to our panel and the following six were selected to be presented on Saturday 3 June.

  • Miriam Allan, Spectrum Singing
  • Richard Edgar-Wilson, The Optimistic Student
  • Julia Hollander, Why We Sing
  • Janet Munro, A Hidden Disability
  • Anupa Paul, Flex and Flow
  • Jessie Thompson, Folk-al Teaching
Miriam Allan

Spectrum Singing – Miriam Allan

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The sublime singing of soprano MIRIAM ALLAN has been enjoyed across the world, notably during the funeral of HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

She has recently performed with Collegium Vocale Gent and Philippe Herreweghe; London Philharmonic Orchestra and Sir Roger Norrington; La Nuova Musica; English Concert; Early Opera Company. Miriam continues her long association with Les Arts Florissants in concerts and recording in France and around Europe and the USA. On the opera stage she is a regular principle with Pinchgut Opera, alongside appearances at the Innsbruck Festival, Glyndebourne Festival Opera, Opera Comique, Paris, and Brooklyn Academy of Music, New York as well as appearances in Mozart Opera Galas at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and Salle Pleyel, Paris.

Her discography includes the Gramophone award winning series of Monteverdi Madrigals, Gesualdo Madrigals with Les Arts Florissants, as well as Mozart Requiem with Leipzig Kammerorchester, a recital of Handel & Purcell on ABC Classics and Pinchgut Opera’s series of live recordings. Having previously taught the choristers at Westminster Abbey and held the position of Head of Singing at Bloxham School, Miriam now teaches students from Cambridge and Oxford universities; St George’s School, Windsor Castle and from her private studio.

Richard Edgar-Wilson

The optimistic student: building resilience and facilitating growth – Richard Edgar-Wilson

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RICHARD EDGAR-WILSON is a classical singer and singing teacher. He has sung around the world as a tenor soloist, collaborating with many of our best orchestras and conductors. On the opera stage he has appeared at ENO, Garsington, Norwegian Opera, Scottish Opera and at La Scala, Milan.

He has made over fifty solo recordings including Messiah, Mozart Requiem, Stradella San Giovanni Battista (winner of a Gramophone Award), Die Schöne Müllerin, Winter Words, On Wenlock Edge, and works by Monteverdi, Purcell and Bernard Herrmann amongst many others.

Richard’s was the first voice to be heard at Grange Park Opera House, and he appeared in the Scandinavian feature film Suffløsen. In recent years he has sung on numerous Hollywood movies including the Harry Potter and Hobbit films, James Bond Spectre, Mission Impossible and The Grand Budapest Hotel.

Much in demand as a singing teacher, vocal coach and adjudicator, Richard teaches at Cambridge University and with the National Youth Choir. He has given masterclasses in Austria, America and Singapore, and at the Britten-Pears School, Dartington and Benslow. For four years he was Treasurer of the British Voice Association and in 2017 was presented with an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Suffolk.


Why We Sing – Julia Hollander

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JULIA HOLLANDER is a writer and singer based in Oxford. A love of music and words inspired her first career as an opera director: in the 1990s she was the youngest ever staff director at English National Opera, and the first woman to direct an opera at the London Coliseum, going on to stage many more productions around the world. During this period she regularly collaborated with performers in India, and this culminated in her first book - Indian Folk Theatres (part of Routledge’s Theatres of the World series). Subsequent books were Journey through Campsfield (a collaboration with detainees at Campsfield Immigration Centre), When the Bough Breaks (a memoir about her severely disabled daughter, Imogen), and Chicken Coops for the Soul (an inspirational memoir about the joys of keeping hens). She has written two plays for BBC Radio 4, When the Bough Breaks and The Kingsnorth Six, and a radio documentary about her family’s escape from Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia, The Letter.

Singing has always been part of Julia’s life: from Indian folk songs to Jazz to Renaissance polyphony. Over the past decade, she has focused these skills into her work as a song therapist and teacher, with a particular emphasis on singing with dementia sufferers. This has led to her latest book, ‘Why We Sing’, where she investigates the importance of song to our wellbeing, charting its extraordinary influence on all aspects of our spiritual, emotional and physical lives.

Janet Munro

A Hidden Disability: A singing teacher's guide to working with hypermobile students – Janet Munro

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JANET MUNRO is a lecturer and singing teacher at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance. She is also the vocal lead for European String Teachers’ PG Cert and was a member of the working party that devised the Essentials online course for the Association of Teachers of Singing. An experienced and inspirational teacher and performer, she holds degrees in Music Education from Middlesex University and the University of London. She also studied classical singing at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama (RCS) and the Royal Academy of Music. Following a career as a performer working for several opera companies, she now devotes her time to teaching including mentoring fellow teachers for several organisations.
Her role at Trinity Laban includes leading modules on instrumental and vocal pedagogy as well as teaching singing to individual students in both Junior Trinity and the senior department. Many of her singing students have received scholarships to study singing in higher education and are beginning to make their mark as professional singers. Janet has given research presentations both collaboratively with her colleague Dr Patricia Holmes and on her own. These include papers at the Reflective Conservatoire, PEVOC and ISPS.

Anupa Paul

Flex and Flow: A two-pronged approach to encourage Peak Performance in Developing Singers in the teaching studio – Anupa Paul

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ANUPA PAUL is a voice coach, singing performance coach and choral trainer currently based in Chennai, India. She completed her M.A. Voice Pedagogy with a distinction from the University of Wales Trinity St David and Voice Study Center in 2022. She has performed with choirs and sung solos in India, United Kingdom, Europe, Middle East and Singapore. Her fields of interest include Music Performance Anxiety in singers, using Acceptance and Commitment Coaching for adolescent singers and enhancing flow and peak performance in singers of all levels. She serves as a board member of the NATS India Chapter and is a member of the NATS International Advisory Committee.

Jessie Thompson

Folk-al Teaching: Practical applications of research into vocal habits and techniques found in English folk singing – Jessie Thompson

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JESSIE THOMPSON is an AOTOS member and is currently completing her final research project for an MA in Traditional and World Music at The University of Sheffield. Jessie is a Swindon based singing teacher and accompanist, working in a variety of genres and styles.

Jessie first ventured into folk after arranging the Beggars Opera with an accordion accompaniment… which meant she had to learn to play one. This has led to a love of folk music and a passion for folk singing. Jessie is currently part of the English folk trio, ‘The Bellflowers’ and is on the organising committee for the Swindon Folk Club, one of the oldest folk clubs in the country.

As part of an ambition to see a deeper study into vocal habits and practices in world music, Jessies current research explores the differences between audience expectation, and the realities of professional English folk singing.

Jessie is thrilled to be able to bring her passions of ethnomusicology and vocal pedagogy together at this year’s conference. She hopes to share what she has learnt from her MA research about folk singers’ vocal needs and their attitudes to vocal training.