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The Choirs

Robins & Kangas of King’s Junior Voices: Director of Music, Lynette Alcantara

King's Junior Voices (KJV) is a free, non-auditioned, mixed choir for children aged 7 to 13 based in Cambridge. It is conducted by its founder Lyn Alcántara, an alto with the BBC Singers, Director of Music at Wolfson College and singing teacher to the choristers of King's College Cambridge.

King's Junior Voices was born in 2008 as part of the national Sing Up initiative promoted by the Choir of King's College, Cambridge with the aim of encouraging children in state schools to sing to a high standard. Lyn Alcántara was then working as Outreach Choral Animateur for the project and visited 23 state primary schools helping to inspire and develop children's singing. KJV members were drawn from those schools.

By arranging concerts in high-prestige venues, such as King's College Chapel, KJV aim to give children confidence that they can work to achieve something exciting and of value, while improving their overall musical education.

KJV have shared the stage with a number of guest groups including The Young Voices of Melbourne, Prime Brass, Cantate, St Catharine's Girls' Choir, Junior Prime Brass and a number of Cambridge primary school choirs. They participated in the worldwide live streaming of Benjamin Britten's Friday Afternoons, broadcast on Classic FM radio and been guest performers for Cambridge Rotary. In 2013, KJV shared the stage with world class ensemble, The King’s Singers, conducted by Stephen Cleobury in King’s College Chapel for the inaugural Carol for Christmas event.

Children in KJV are currently from 16 primary schools and 6 state secondary schools. When government funding for Sing Up choirs was cut in 2010, KJV became an independent charity (No: 1138969), but is still greatly assisted by King's College and King's College School. In spring 2012 KJV was awarded a John Lewis Cambridgeshire Music Award to help fund an Olympics inspired performance of Bob Chilcott's 'A Sporting Chance' with accompaniment from Prime Brass on July 10th at 7.30pm.


Inner Voices: Music Directors, Ralph Allwood & Ed Watkins

Inner Voices was set up in 2011 as a collaboration between Ralph Allwood, ex-Director of Music at Eton College, and Ed Watkins, Director of Music at the West London Free School. The aim of the choir is to bring together great singers from a group of state schools in London with the best choral direction from the private sector to create a choir that tackles challenging music to a first class standard.

Since our launch in 2011 we have sung all across the city: in Trafalgar Square for St George’s Day, at the Royal Albert Hall, Natural History Museum, Park Lane Hilton, Greater London Assembly and on Radio 4 and Classic FM. Our commitment to ground-breaking performances across genres has seen us bringing 40 professional singers together with our singers to perform Spem In Alium in the round by the skate park in the Southbank as well as teaming up with Cardinal Vaughan School’s fantastic Big Band and Chamber Orchestra to perform excerpts from Handel’s Messiah and the gospel remake ‘A Soulful Celebration’ at the Union Chapel.


Quay Voices: Musical Director, Matt Beckingham

Widely recognised as one of the top youth choirs in the UK, Quay Voices is the regional mixed voice youth choir for singers aged 14–19.

Under its Musical Director, Matt Beckingham, the choir works with exceptional conductors and choir trainers. In recent years the choir has performed with the King Singers, National Youth Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Royal Northern Sinfonia, Simon Halsey & Vasily Petrenko. The choir has performed at the Royal Albert Hall, as part of the BBC Proms, and at the Royal Festival Hall. In 2014 Quay Voices toured to Banff, Canada, performing in the Rolston Recital Hall, and recording an album.

With singers coming from as far south as York, and as far north as the Borders, the choir aims to offer the very best choral work in the North East. Quay Voices enjoys a broad range of repertoire, from major classical works through to commissioned arrangements of contemporary folk music. The choir regularly performs at its home, Sage Gateshead, alongside performances around the North East of England, across the country and abroad.


National Youth Chamber Choir of Great Britain: Musical Director, Ben Parry

The National Youth Chamber Choir is the elite ensemble of the National Youth Choirs of Great Britain. Its 24 mixed voices aged 18-25 are drawn from senior members of the National Youth Choir and, from 2015, the NYCGB Fellowship Programme: a core octet selected annually at national open audition.

A fully-integrated constituent ensemble of the NYCGB, the National Youth Chamber Choir uniquely operates on a professional basis, with members meeting throughout the year for intensive rehearsal periods and paid engagements encompassing performances, broadcasts, recording sessions and educational workshops. Typically, but not exclusively, members are enrolled in further music education or are at the outset of professional singing careers.

In 2015, the National Youth Chamber Choir has appeared by invitation at the American Choral Directors Association Conference in Salt Lake City, USA, performed a critically-acclaimed programme at the City of London Festival in collaboration with the National Youth Jazz Orchestra, and given the world premiere of Jonathan Dove’s Antiphon with the National Youth Girls’ Choir at the Sheldonian Theatre in Oxford. The ensemble has made new studio recordings for NYCGB’s digital label, including the second-ever recording of the Benjamin Britten rarity Voices For Today, released in October 2015, and has broadcast live on BBC Radio 3 and BBC Radio 4.

Forthcoming engagements include participation in A Carol For Christmas and Christmas Presence at King’s College, Cambridge with the King’s Singers (December 2015), a joint UK tour with the National Youth Jazz Orchestra for Shakespeare 400 (Summer 2016), and contributions to NYCGB’s combined-choir spectacular, imagiNATIONS, at the Royal Albert Hall (April 2016).


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