The St Mary Magdalene Choral Foundation began in September 2017. For information on applying and the role that Choral Scholars have at St Mary Magdalene, please click here.
Soprano Choral Scholar – Emily Christian
Emily began her choral career as a chorister at Rochester Cathedral, and was a student at The Rochester Grammar School, where she sang in the chamber choir, NCHANT (runners-up in BBC Songs of Praise School Choir of the Year 2014). During this time, she also attended Junior Trinity on a Saturday, studying voice, flute and piano, and performing in multiple ensembles such as a vocal ensemble, flute choir and wind orchestra.
She went on to gain a scholarship to The Purcell School for Sixth Form, again studying voice, flute and piano. Here she engaged in various school activities including the Impulse musical outreach programme, and played Belinda in a production of Dido and Aeneas.
Emily has also been a member of The National Youth Choirs of Great Britain for many years, singing in various exciting concerts, including the BBC Proms. During her gap year she sang in the chamber choir of The London Youth Choirs, and was a soloist on Gareth Malone’s CD, A Great British Christmas.
Following her gap year in which she worked as Medway Music Scholar, Emily studied a Bachelor’s of Music at Royal Holloway University of London. During her studies, she held a choral scholarship with the university chapel choir, singing services and concerts around the UK, France, Belgium, The Netherlands, Germany Italy, Canada and USA. The choir has recorded multiple discs, most recently a debut recording of Pierre Villette’s Messe Da Pacem which was recorded in Notre-Dame d’Auteuil, Paris, during the June heatwave in 2019. In August 2019, Emily sang with the choir for Ellie Goulding’s wedding in York Minster. During lockdown, she has made recordings for Royal Holloway Chapel Choir’s charity single with Laura Wright, Can You Hear Me, and the National Anthem for ITV’s coverage of Royal Ascot.
Counter-Tenor Choral Scholar – Joshua Elmore
Joshua Elmore, countertenor, is a native of Mobile, Alabama, U.S.A. He studied at the University of Southern Mississippi (USM) where he received a bachelor’s degree in music education and at the University of Leeds where he received a master’s degree in vocal performance. At Leeds University, he took singing lessons from professional countertenor James Laing.
Elmore’s choral engagements have allowed him to hold several choral scholarships and to be a part of university top choirs such as the USM Southern Chorale and the Leeds Minister choir. He has performed in the U.S., the Caribbean, Europe, and the UK where he presented several recitals, premiered pieces, and has been the soloist in numerous works.
Elmore’s passion lies with opera and will continue to explore operatic career opportunities. A few of his opera involvements include Betto in Gianni Schicchi (Southern Opera and Musical Theater Company), Chorus of I Pagliacci (Southern Opera and Musical Theater Company; Mobile Opera), Chorus of L’Elisir d’Amore (Leeds University Union Opera Society), Ruth/Zorah in Ruddigore (Leeds University Union Opera Society), and was a soloist in an opera gala performance at the University of Leeds. More recently, Elmore has been accepted to participate in a digital mentoring programme where he will be given the necessary tools to further develop his career in opera.
In his spare time, Elmore enjoys going to the gym, eating, and laughing over a pint (not simultaneously or in that particular order).
Tenor Choral Scholar – Alexander Ledsham
Alex Ledsham began his musical career as a chorister in his native Birmingham. Singing has been a passion of his since he first became a chorister at the tender age of 7, under the watchful eye of his late father, who was his director of music for many years. He read music at Leeds College of Music and Anglia Ruskin University, during which time he was active in both the Leeds and Cambridge choral scenes – singing in the choirs of Leeds Minister (2006-2007) and Great St Mary’s The University Church (2008-18), he has also gained a reputation as the “go-to tenor dep” in Cambridge, having deputised regularly at six Cambridge colleges (and counting!). Whilst at university, Alex was also able to play both of his other instruments – Piano and Clarinet, as well as taking up Harpsichord and developing a love for Continuo playing. Initially training as a countertenor, Alex retrained as a Tenor in 2013.
Outside of choral music, Alex has also moonlighted as an opera and oratorio soloist on occasion – his operatic roles include; Misenus (Aeneas in Hell – a pastiche of Purcell’s theatre music), Don Curzio in Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro, and Jake in Kurt Weill’s Threepenny Opera. His oratorio performances include; Schutz Christmas Story (Evangelist) and Handel Messiah (Countertenor and Tenor soloist). Alex’s passion is Early Music, specifically Baroque opera, and he spends most of his time in various cafes and coffee shops transcribing and editing operas, most of which haven’t seen the light of day for 200 years. Outside of Music, Alex is and avid reader, Xbox and board gamer and a keen historian.
Baritone Choral Scholar – Digory Price
Digory Price is an aspiring répétiteur and conductor studying a post-graduate degree at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. He holds a first class degree from Leeds College of Music and has been a choral singer from a young age. Digory began his singing career at Kingston Parish Church choir and has since held scholarships at Leeds Cathedral and St. Mary Magdalene, Richmond. Digory is looking forward to beginning his third term at St. Mary’s. Digory’s operatic roles have included Tony in Paradise club, a brand-new opera performed by Leeds college of music, and Don Basilio in The Marriage of Figaro.
Digory has worked with a number of choirs and operatic societies both as an accompanist and as a conductor, including LCOMSU Opera Society, Leeds Youth Opera, Opera Norths’ Sing ON choirs, charity Made With Music, Battersea Choral Society, Croydon Male Voice Choir and Real Voices choir. Digory’s personal interests include running, cycling, eating and travel.
Bass Choral Scholar – Jacob Abel
Jacob Abel is a first study singer from West London. Singing was cemented as his true passion on joining secondary school, where he covered a huge range of repertoire with several choirs. He also participated in several recordings and films, an annual evensong, and annual carol singing at Hampton Court Palace. In 2018, he joined the school’s main choir on a tour to Barcelona, where he sung in the Sagrada Familia and the cathedrals of Barcelona and Girona. His final summer at school was spent with the Voices of Lions at the Edinburgh Fringe 2019, which performed on most days to a full house.
For now, he is in his second year at King’s College London reading geography. During his first year, he had his first principal role playing Chief Brown for the Opera Society’s performance of the Threepenny Opera, and sung in the chorus for the performance of the Magic Flute. Outside of College, he sung with the choir of All Saints Church, Fulham, where he gained experience of singing regularly in a Church setting. He also takes singing lessons with Daniel Turner and is working towards the ATCL.
Aside from singing, he plays both badminton and the piano to a pretty decent standard, and has an interest in flying and aviation, maybe one day becoming a pilot.