Open Evening for Parents, Pupils and Teachers - Instrumentalists only

Tuesday October 1st, 6pm to 7.30pm 

Open Day - for Parents, Pupils and Teachers - Instrumentalists and Choristers 

Saturday 26th October, 2pm to 4.20pm 

Booking essential

 
 
 

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Former Choristers

 

Rupert Jeffcoat

Rupert Jeffcoat hails from Scotland, and was for 8 years Director of Music at the iconic Coventry Cathedral, where he led their choirs on a dozen foreign tours, making broadcasts and recordings. He subsequently spent 5 years serving as an Anglican minister in Australia, where he was able to fit in being Director of Music at St John’s Cathedral, Brisbane! 

After a choristership in Edinburgh, he studied at St Catharine’s College, Cambridge, where he was a Scholar, under Peter Hurford, Alexander Goehr, Hugh Wood, Robin Holloway and Peter le Huray. He gained his Fellowship of the Royal College of Organists with a prize aged only 20, and was privileged to play regularly for the world-famous choirs of both King’s and St John’s colleges.

Described as ‘truly virtuosic’ by the Gramophone magazine (Sep 2005), and ‘masterly’ by the Melbourne Age (Oct 2006), Rupert’s luminous musicianship is remarked upon wherever he plays. Blessed with a phenomenally wide repertoire, his recitals are pitched precisely to the venue, audience, instrument and occasion.

But Rupert is not merely an entertaining or enlightening organist: he is a published composer and theologian, as well as being a distinguished accompanist, an accomplished choir-trainer and an illuminating speaker.

 

Rory McCleery

Rory McCleery began his musical career as a chorister at St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral, Edinburgh under Timothy Byram-Wigfield and Matthew Owens. He gained a double first in music at Oxford University as both Organ and Domus Academic scholar of St Peter’s College, subsequently completing an MSt in Musicology with Distinction in 2009.

In addition to directing and performing with The Marian Consort, Rory greatly enjoys working as a soloist and consort singer with specialist early music ensembles including The Monteverdi Choir, The Sixteen, The Gabrieli Consort, Contrapunctus, the Academy of Ancient Music, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, The Dunedin Consort, The Tallis Scholars and The Cardinall’s Musick, under conductors including Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Harry Christophers, Paul McCreesh, John Butt, and Andrew Carwood.

Recent solo performances have included Bach St John and St Matthew Passions; Handel Messiah and Ode for the Birthday of Queen Anne, Croft Odes for the Peace of Utrecht, Pärt Passio, Purcell Come ye Sons of Art, Ode to St Cecilia, and Welcome to All the Pleasures; Monteverdi Vespers of 1610; Rameau Grands Motets; and Britten Abraham and Isaac in venues across the UK and Europe. Rory has appeared as a soloist for broadcasts on ARTE, Radio France, BBC Radio 3 and German and Italian radio, and collaborates regularly with the Rose Consort of Viols. He studies singing with Giles Underwood.

Rory is currently completing his doctoral research in the French Renaissance composer Jean Mouton, and is a freelance academic and programming consultant for festivals and for many of the ensembles with whom he performs.

Rory is also a firm believer in the importance of vocal and music pedagogy, and is the assistant director of the Oxford Youth Choirs.

 

Malcolm Munro

Malcolm is a Lay Vicar at Chichester Cathedral. Born in Scotland in 1982, he was a chorister at St Mary's Cathedral, Edinburgh before moving to Stewart's Melville College as a Music Scholar. While there he studied piano with Stuart Montgomery and composition with Jennifer Martin.

After a gap year singing as a Lay Clerk in Edinburgh, he moved to London to study Music at Goldsmith College, University of London, and to take up a Choral Scholarship at St Martin-in-the-Fields. Subsequent choral appointments have included The Chapel Royal, Hampton Court Palace, and Holy Trinity Church, Sloane Street, London. He took up his current post in Chichester in January 2006.

Malcolm's music has been performed in various churches and cathedrals around the UK. In addition to choral music, recent compositions have included works for string quartet, percussion and solo piano. 'O Wither hast thou led me', a Shakespeare setting for soprano, actor and piano was performed by Kim Brown and Joseph Marcell at the Harare International Performing Arts Festival.

 

Jacqueline (Jack) Irvine

Starting out at 8, Jacqueline (Jack) became a chorister at St Mary’s Music School having had a classical training in piano, viola and voice. She’s also played in Cathedrals via symphonic works in Concert Halls as well as providing backing vocals.

Through electro pop and arrangements for strings, Jack discovered a passion for writing as well and her songwriting alter ego, “Brave Little Note" was born out of her inherent need for musical expression, which she believes is reflected in the honesty of her songs.

Writing music for film and TV now gives Jack the opportunity to write in a diverse range of musical styles which she loves – highlights last year include writing for the series 'One Day In' for BBC World News, and 'Town' with Nicholas Crane for BBC2.

You can also find her in the band, “The Birthday Suit”.

I write music from the heart. I also write it to brief (but try to sneak as much heart in as possible)”.

 

Katy Thomson

https://katythomson.co.uk

Katy began singing as a chorister at St Mary’s Cathedral, Edinburgh, at the age of eight. She currently lives in London, studying singing with Janis Kelly at The Royal College of Music (Masters in Vocal Performance).

Operatic experience includes: Chorus for Nevill Holt Opera’s production of Puccini’s Tosca (June 2017); Phrygian Woman and Chorus in English Touring Opera’s production of Dardanus (Rameau, October – November 2017); Chief Hen, Inkeepers Wife and Chorus for the Royal College of Music International Opera Studio’s production of Janáček’s The Cunning Little Vixen (December 2017); La Virtù (L’incoronazione di Poppea, Monteverdi), Angelica (Orlando, Handel) and Fiordiligi (Così fan Tutte, Mozart) in RCM Opera Scenes. Passionate about English Song, Katy was thrilled to win second prize in The Patricia Routledge National English Song Competition 2017. For future engagements, please see the Performances page.

Other recent performance highlights include: soprano soloist for the Welsh National Opera and NEW Sinfonia A Magnificat Journey concert in the North Wales International Music Festival (September 2017); soprano soloist for the Oxford Spezzati and Soloists performance of Mendelssohn’s Second Symphony Hymn of Praise (October 2016); soprano soloist and member of the Klosters Festival Singers in the Klosters Music Festival (Switzerland, December 2016 and December 2017). In May 2015, Katy was the Soprano soloist for the recording of Oliver Tarney’s Magnificat with Convivium Records. In March 2014 Katy was the soprano soloist for the World Premiere of George Dyson’s Choral Symphony with the New London Orchestra and the London Chorus in St John’s Smith Square, conducted by Ronald Corp. Katy has participated in the St. Endellion Easter Festival since 2009, highlights of her performances there include: Second Witch in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, conducted by Jamie Burton (2011); semi-chorus of Janáček’s Diary Of One Who Disappeared, (2012); soloist for Vaughan-Williams Serenade to Music, conducted by Eamonn Dougan (2015).

Katy graduated from Durham University with a First Class Honours Degree in June 2012. Whilst at Durham, she performed in various Durham Opera Ensemble productions, as well as  singing regularly with The Miranda Wright Singers. With Professor Jeremy Dibble she gave a recital for the Stanford Society and featured as a soloist on the Durham University CD of Sir John Stainer’s Sacred Music. She was awarded a place on the first ever Samling Academy course in October 2012 and has sung in masterclasses with David Jones, Ann Lampard, Claire Booth, Claire Weston, Sir Thomas Allen and Malcolm Martineau.

She is generously supported in her studies by The Caird Trust; The Cross Trust; The Josephine Baker Trust; The Kathleen Trust; The Robertson Trust; The Scottish International Education Trust; David Greenhough and is an RCM Award Holder, as a Ruth West Scholar.

 

Seumas Begg

Born in Perth, Seumas began his musical training as a chorister at St Mary’s Cathedral, Edinburgh. After this time, he went on to sing with the National Youth Choir of Scotland for several years, making appearances at the BBC Proms and Edinburgh International Festival. A graduate of the RNCM, Seumas was involved in productions of Bizet’s Carmen, Barber’s Vanessa, Handel’s Xerxes and Shostakovich’s Paradise Moscow. Opera scenes included Albert Herring, L’elisir d’amore, Die Fledermaus, and Dialogues des Carmelites. Recent roles include Mathurin in L’ivrogne Corrige and Monostatos in Die Zauberflöte. Seumas appeared in Grange Park Opera’s 2015 festival, in the productions of Eugene Onegin and Fiddler on the Roof. Now based in Cardiff, Seumas has recently joined the BBC Chorus of Wales. He is a Lay Clerk at St John’s Metropolitan Cathedral, Cardiff and also sings regularly with Llandaff Cathedral Choir.

 

Judy Brown

Born and raised in Edinburgh, Judy Brown received her early musical training as a chorister at St Mary's Music School, where she had lessons with Margaret Aronson. She read music at the University of Edinburgh, where she was a finalist in the Donald Tovey Memorial Prize and became the first female alto lay clerk to be appointed to the choir of St Mary's Episcopal Cathedral.

While in Scotland Judy studied with Patricia MacMahon and sang in concert with the Tallis Scholars in the East Neuk Festival, with the Dunedin Consort in the Festival Internacional de Músiques de Torroella de Montgrí, and participated in the Taipei International Choral Festival, Taiwan. As a soloist she sang Handel's Messiah for Sospiro Baroque, Rossini's Petite Messe Solenelle for the Scottish Chamber Choir and Bach's Christmas Oratorio for the St Magnus Festival Chorus under Martyn Brabbins.

In 2012 Judy participated in the Crear Mastercourse and is one of Malcolm Martineau’s Crear Scholars. She was awarded the Bucher Fraser Scholarship for postgraduate study by the University of Edinburgh, was generously supported by the Trufflehunter fund and the Sir Richard Stapley Trust, and was the inaugural recipient of the Von Ibler - Innes Schola Cantorum of Edinburgh award to help her pursue postgraduate study in London. She has recently graduated with a Masters in vocal performance from The Guildhall School of Music and Drama, where she studied with Susan Waters.

Her repertoire ranges from the contemporary - Spirit Harbour, Lliam Paterson, Tête-à-Tête opera festival; 5 Acts of Harry Patch, Peter Maxwell-Davies, Grosvenor Chapel; Six Celan Songs, Michael Nyman, Barbican, James MacMillan's Seven Last Words from the Cross - to early music - Charpentier’s Les Plaisirs de Versailles, London Handel Festival; Buxtehude's Jesu Membra Nostri, Ross-on-Wye Festival, the SSAA version of Vivaldi's Gloria in St John's Smith Square for International Women's Day – and she works with a variety of ensembles in London, Scotland and further afield.

Solo recital projects have included Wagner, Strauss and Mahler in the Edinburgh International Festival as part of Songlines, music by composers and poets of WW1 in St Martin-in-the-Fields, contemporary settings of Shakespeare sonnets for Song in the City and a selection of lieder by Hans Gál at the request of the Hans Gál Society. Work with larger ensembles includes Britten’s Phaedra with William Conway and Edinburgh University String Orchestra, new organ-transcription performances of Mahler's 3rd Symphony and Elgar’s Sea Pictures with David Briggs and Simon Nieminski, and Michael Nyman’s Six Celan Songs with the Masque Collective as part of Barbican’s Contemporary Music season.

On stage she has sung the role of Juno in both Handel’s Semele and Charpentier’s Actéon changé en biche, performed in a new music and theatre piece Why does the Queen die? by Iain Burnside (revived after a successful premiere at the Oxford Lieder Festival) and played a fox and a Japanese warrior in the 2014  Tête-à-Tête opera festival. She has sung in masterclasses with Sarah Walker, Eugene Asti, Amanda Roocroft and most recently with Estonian voice improvisation expert Anne-Liis Poll, and receives coaching from contralto Hilary Summers.

Recent performances include Songlines in the Edinburgh International Festival, solo Bach Cantatas with the Kellie Consort in St Andrews, Proms with both the Academy of Ancient Music and the Dunedin Consort, Mozart requiem in Oslo with Dunedin Consort, Monteverdi Vespers in Barbican and Gloucester Cathedral with the Academy of Ancient Music, and the roles of Äbtissin in Hans Gál's opera Das Lied der Nacht in the Queens Hall, Edinburgh and Mrs Noye in Noye's Fludde.

 

Daisy Chute

Daisy Chute is from Edinburgh. She studied at St Mary's Music School Edinburgh,where she was a chorister at St. Mary's Episcopal Cathedral and Loretto School and began her performing career at the age of nine as the young Cosette in the touring production of Les Misérables. At the age of thirteen she appeared as a young Judy Garland in Stars In Their Eyes Kids, and made her first appearance on the Edinburgh Fringe. At fifteen she recorded her debut album, Simply Jazz after she performed with a trio at a jazz cabaret show at the Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival and Edinburgh Fringe. A track from her Simply Jazz album was played by Humphrey Lyttelton on his BBC Radio 2 Best of Jazz show making Chute the youngest performer to ever be showcased on his show. Chute finished her secondary schooling at the Purcell School of Music in Bushey, Hertfordshireon full scholarship, where she studied voice, piano and composition and gained 3 A's at A level examinations.In 2005 she was a joint winner, of a Scottish songwriting competition for the music festival Burnsong, with her song, Promises to Keep. All the winning songs were performed professionally and broadcast live on BBC Radio Scotland.

After meeting composer, Howard Goodall at the Royal Albert Hall's School Proms where she was fronting Loretto School ensemble, she was asked to sing on his television show, How Music Works where she performed the Shaker song 'Tis A Gift To Be Simple with Anastacia Nosobin on guitar on the first programme of the series.Howard Goodall recommended Daisy for inclusion in ALL ANGELS. She also recorded the theme tune for the BBC Radio series What is Melody written by Dr Richard Niles.

In June 2006 she was a "Highly Commended" finalist in the joint BBC Proms and The Guardian newspaper Young Composer Competition.

On 24 September 2006 she performed at Wigmore Hall in London, giving a solo recital of Alec Wilder songs. She was signed to Universal Classics and Jazz (UCJ) on the day she turned seventeen, as part of All Angels. Chute has also had a brief stint presenting the CBBC news programme, Newsround at the Pop Poll Awards and interviewed Ronan Keating, Billie Piper and Westlife. In summer 2008, she was featured in Highland Heartbeat, a Scottish music special filmed by American broadcaster PBS and broadcast throughout the USA in the Spring of 2009.She performed last year touring the music societies as guest vocalist with classical guitarist, Simon Thacker and Camerata Ritmata.

In 2008 Chute won the Scottish Music Centre's Young Composer's competition.

She has now received a Bachelor of Music degree at King's College, University of London.

 

Graham Kirk

Graham was born in Glasgow and began his musical education as a chorister at St Mary's Episcopal Cathedral, Edinburgh. After holding choral scholarships at Jesus College, Cambridge and York Minster, he moved to London in 2002. Since then he has sung with a number of leading choral groups and is currently a member of the choir of St Mary's Bourne Street. He continues his singing studies in London with Robert Rice.

Equally in demand as a soloist, Graham has performed many of the major oratorios and many other large-scale works with choral societies in the UK, France and Japan. Upcoming solo engagements include Handel's Messiah with the London based chamber-choir, Pegasus, and Strauss' Deutsche Motette with the choirs of King's College London and Gonville & Caius College Cambridge.

Graham combines a busy singing diary with a career as a corporate lawyer at leading international law firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, specialising in mergers and acquisitions.

 

Catherine Backhouse

Catherine Backhouse began singing as a chorister at St Mary's Episcopal Cathedral in Edinburgh. She then graduated from Durham University with an honours degree in music, before continuing to train in London, at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. She gained a distinction in the Opera Studies and Artist Diploma programmes. As a member of the Britten-Pears Young Artists programme from Aldeburgh, she made her first appearance at the Edinburgh International Festival in 2014, as Kate Julian in the Scottish premiere of Owen Wingrave. In the autumn of 2017 she joined Scottish Opera as the Robertson Trust Emerging Artist for that season, making her debut as Annina in La traviata, before joining the Opera Highlights tour.

 

Donald Thomson

From  September 2017 Donald is a member of the prestigious Zurich IOS with the roles including 2. Geharnischter Die Zauberfloete, Schliesser Tosca, Billy Jackrabbit Fanciulla. He also joined Tiroler Festspiele Erl as an apprentice working under the tutelage of Maestro Gustav Kuhn, he will also perform Titurel Parsifal in their 2018 season.

Operatic Engagements

Landgraf in Tannhäuser for Longborough Festival Opera, Colline in La bohème at Edinburgh Grand Opera, and Fafner in Das Rheingold with Saffron Opera Group, Gurnemanz in Parsifal at Henry Wood Hall with David Syrus, Keeper of the Madhouse in The Rake’s Progress for Saffron Opera Group, Hunding in Die Walküre for Secret Opera Cardiff, Commendatore in Don Giovanni for Westminster Opera London in La Rochelle, Serviteur in Thais for Edinburgh International Festival  with Sir Andrew Davis, Count Rostov in War and Peace for the RSAMD Opera School, Scottish Opera Glasgow and Rostov Conservatoire of Music Rostov, Russia, Peter in Hansel and Gretel for Escales Lyriques Paris, The Parson in Cunning Little Vixen for RSAMD / Scottish Opera, Truffaldino in Ariadne auf Naxos for RSAMD Opera School Glasgow, La Cuisiniere, The Herald in L’amour des Trois Oranges for Scottish Opera Glasgow, Polyphemus in Acis and Galatea for Edinburgh Studio Opera.

Concert Engagements

Beethoven - 9th Symphony - Bass Soloist, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, London, Barbican Centre

Awards

Solo Song Prize at the 2006 Ohio State Vocal Concourse, the Winifred Crawford Smith  Prize  and the Open Oratorio Class at the 2005 Edinburgh Competition Festival, Carol Rees Award for Advanced Musical Studies in Wagnerian Repertoire.

 

Instrumental Learning

Choir School

Saturday Music Classes

 

St Mary’s Music School is one of the nine specialist Music and Dance Schools the UK (and the only one in Scotland)  funded by the UK Government and providing the finest training in Britain. It is a co-educational, non-denominational specialist music school, offering a world class standard of music and academic education to musically gifted children aged 9-19 years. It is also the Choir School of St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral in Edinburgh. It attracts day and boarding pupils from across Scotland, England, Wales, Northern Ireland, Europe and internationally. 

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St Mary's Music School Trust Limited is a charity No. SC014611
Registered Office: Coates Hall, 25 Grosvenor Crescent, Edinburgh EH12 5EL.