The MMus in Vocal Music capitalises on research strengths in the department. At its centre is a project which can combine one or more elements of composition, musicology and performance. The medium of the ‘output’ will be determined by the nature of the project, and there is considerable flexibility in approach.

Teaching

Composers of choral music have the opportunity to work with Prof Paul Mealor, whose motet, Ubi caritas, was performed at the Royal Wedding in 2011, and with acclaimed choral composer Dr Phillip Cooke. Expertise in eighteenth-century vocal music and editing is provided by Dr Jasmin Cameron, while earlier repertoire is catered for by Dr Frauke Jürgensen and Prof David Smith. Dr Edward Campbell has interests in musical modernism, philosophy and in particular contemporary European opera. Both Prof Pete Stollery and Dr Suk-Jun Kim have combined their expertise in electroacoustic music with the voice. As well as the project, all students take a course in research skills and one based around a series of wide-ranging seminars, as well as two options reflecting the research interests of staff.

Visiting Fellows

The expertise of academic staff is complemented by a number of Visiting Fellows who include:

  • Dame Emma Kirkby, World renowned soprano
  • James O’Donnell, Organist and Master of Music at Westminster Abbey
  • James MacMillan, Composer
  • Ralph Allwood and Suzi Digby, Choral conductors
Performance Opportunities

There are many opportunities for MMus students to engage with vocal music in the department. Both King’s College Chapel Choir and the University Chamber Choir perform works by student composers; MMus student singers may apply for choral scholarships in the former. The Opera Society is active, and the Baroque Ensemble often includes music for singers, directed by soprano Dr Frauke Jürgensen. Choral Society puts on larger-scale works, and provides opportunities for conductors to work under the direction of Chris Gray, who works for Scottish Opera as well as being a member of staff in Aberdeen. There are other opportunities for solo singing and a number of smaller scale vocal ensembles.

More Information

Normally there is no audition or interview process. However, candidates should submit samples of recent work appropriate to the sort of project they would like to pursue (e.g. written work, and/or compositions, and/or a recording of a performance). Initial enquiries may be made by contacting Professor Paul Mealor (p.mealor@abdn.ac.uk) or visit the Online Prospectus.