Inspirational leadership is one of the most important things we can offer our young singers. Led by Artistic Director, Rachel Staunton, our Senior Music Team are all choral conductors with many years experience of drawing the very best from young people. Our conductors encourage, nurture and challenge the members of their choirs, giving them a fantastically engaging and enlightening musical experience.

ANDY KING

Conductor

Andy is a conductor and music teacher based in London. Having studied music and a PGCE at Newcastle and Durham Universities, Andy has forged a successful teaching career in the arts working at schools in Durham and North Yorkshire before moving to London.

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Since September he has been Head of Music at Samuel Ryder Academy in St Albans. Whilst based in the North-East Andy founded the award-winning Northern Spirit Singers (National Choir of the Year Adult winners, 2014) and Tees Valley Youth Choir, whom he conducted in the national “God Only Knows” BBC Music campaign (2014). Andy has also had a long association with the National Youth Choirs of Great Britain.

BEN VONBERG-CLARK

Conductor

Ben has been teaching primary aged children since his year abroad in a children’s theatre in Vienna in 2008. He set up the three children’s choirs of St. John the Divine, Kennington, in 2013, where 80 children aged 5-18 now attend weekly rehearsals and perform in concerts around the country; they have also broadcast live on BBC Radio 2 and have a partnership with St. John’s College, Cambridge.

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Ben is increasingly in demand to lead one-off singing days and courses, working for the Red House, Aldeburgh, the Roman River Music Festival, the National Youth Choir of Great Britain, the Rodolfus Foundation and YK Pao School, Shanghai. He also conducts two choral societies in South London and is the conductor elect of the University of Essex Choir from October 2020. He ran the Singing Outreach Programme for Westminster Cathedral, working with 12 primary schools over London, from 2014-19.

Ben studied music and German at Durham University, University of Vienna, King’s College London and as a postgraduate in vocal studies at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance. Alongside his conducting, he is seen regularly on the oratorio and recital circuit and has sung with the BBC Singers, the Sixteen, Stile Antico, Tenebrae and the Eric Whitacre Singers among others. In 2019 he performed a solo recital as part of the Aldeburgh festival.

RACHEL STAUNTON

Artistic Director

Rachel is a conductor, music educator and co-founder of the London Youth Choirs. Having studied music at Royal Holloway, University of London, Rachel continued her studies at the Royal Academy of Music, graduating with numerous awards and an LRAM postgraduate diploma in choral conducting teaching.

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She held the post of vocal director for In Harmony Opera North (Classic FM’s Music Education Project of the Year 2014) and spent several years establishing the Opera North Children’s Chorus. Rachel has also worked as a conductor with the National Youth Choirs of Great Britain for over a decade. Something of a choral entrepreneur, Rachel has founded a number of choirs in and around London, including LYC in 2012 with Suzi Digby OBE. In 2014 Rachel was made Associate of the Royal Academy of Music, in recognition of her contribution to choral music and work with young people. Rachel is passionate about using choral music to inspire young people from all backgrounds and dedicates her career to this mission.

Greg Beardsell

Conductor / Musicianship Tutor

Greg is a leading light in music education and performance. His ability to inspire people of all ages to explore new musical horizons whilst sharing his diverse range of musical skills has created new and exciting music-making opportunities, particularly for young people.

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As well as being conductor of the London Youth Chamber Choir, he is Music Director of the Cross Border Orchestra of Ireland, the Peace Proms and Principal Conductor of the National Youth Training Choir. He is a guest presenter for BBC Radio 3’s “Live in Concert” and “Choir and Organ” programmes and features as a choral music expert for the BBC Proms TV broadcasts.

He has held conducting positions with the Bournemouth Symphony Chorus, the Irish Youth Choir, the Ulster Youth Choir and the Royal College of Music Chamber Choir and has presented seminars on conducting and teaching strategies for organisations such as Cambridge University, the Association of Swedish Choral Conductors, Cornell University New York, and music education hubs across England.

JAMIE WRIGHT

Conductor

Jamie is a singer and conductor, trained at the Royal Academy of Music. Alongside conducting the Cambiata Boys with London Youth Choir, Jamie regularly works with The Sixteen, Britten Sinfonia, National Youth Choirs and Pimlico Musical Foundation, delivering a wide range of workshops from opera to beatboxing.

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He is a Junior Artist in Residence for ARK schools, Musical Director of Billericay Choral Society and in 2019 was the vocal animator for Garsington Opera’s Youth Opera. In 2020 he will be working with Welsh National Opera as Youth Opera Musical Director in Southampton.

Jamie is a selected artist with Making Music and as a soloist has performed at The Barbican, Snape Maltings, and Shakespeare's Globe, and is a chorister and regular soloist in the Choir of the Chapels Royal, HM Tower of London. He regularly tours Europe as an ensemble singer including as baritone and vocal percussionist deputy with The Swingle Singers. His work for television includes vocal coaching and arranging for the BBC, and numerous film soundtracks.

UNLOCKING YOUNG PEOPLE’S POTENTIAL THROUGH THE POWER OF CHORAL SINGING

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