Applications are invited from aspiring choral conductors for the James Lobban conducting scholarship.

What is it?

The scholarship offers a student the opportunity to work with Aberdeen Bach Choir for one academic year as a conducting assistant, with support and mentoring from their conductor, Peter Parfitt.

The choir is an adult choir with approximately 130 members who perform twice a year in St Machar’s Cathedral and whose largely sacred repertoire ranges from the 16th to the 21st Century.

For more information about the choir see www.aberdeenbachchoir.co.uk

The successful applicant will receive an award of £1000, payable in 3 instalments over the year.

Who can apply?

Applicants must be undergraduate or postgraduate students of Aberdeen University during the academic year 2019/20.  They should have some conducting experience, be keen to develop their choral conducting skills and they should also be contributing to the direction of a university ensemble.

What commitment is expected from the scholar?

Conducting scholars should be able to attend all rehearsals of the choir.  These take place on a Tuesday evening from 7.30 – 9.30 in High Church Hilton or St Machar’s Cathedral. (Special arrangements for later arrival can be made for a scholar who is also a member of the university Chapel Choir). The scholar will sing with the choir and will be introduced to conducting them at a pace which is appropriate to the individual. They will also participate in two concerts, in December 2019 (Bach Christmas Oratorio) and in April 2020 (a programme of music from 16th Century Venetian composers, accompanied by His Majesty’s Sagbutts and Cornetts).

How do I apply?

Anyone interested in applying for the scholarship should join the choir within the first four weeks of its rehearsal programme i.e. by Tuesday 17th September 2019. (Contact the membership Secretary, Sandra Massey, at smassey@mystics.co.uk). Membership is free to students and although music hire must be paid (£5 for the first term), this will be refunded to the student who is awarded the scholarship.

Having sung with the choir for few rehearsals if you wish to apply for the scholarship you should then submit a written application by Monday 7th October with a view to auditioning by rehearsing a piece of music selected in advance by the Musical Director on Tuesday 8th October.

Written applications should be sent by email to the choir’s Scholarship Co-ordinator Kate Graham at:

kate_graham@btinternet.com    and should comprise:

 a letter of application outlining:

  • Your reasons for applying for the scholarship
  • Your existing strengths and what you feel you can contribute to the choir
  • Areas in need of development which you feel will be helped by the opportunities offered by the scholarship

This should be accompanied by a brief CV concentrating on your musical experience, achievements and ambitions.

What happens next?

The audition will be followed later the same week by an interview with Peter Parfitt and a representative from the choir to allow applicants to reflect on their audition.

A decision will be made the same day as to the award of the scholarship.