Tenebrae presents its flagship programme to help develop the most talented young-professional choral singers in the UK.
The Associate Artists scheme is a fellowship providing selected singers with training and mentoring from Tenebrae’s Artistic Director, and experience through active engagement with Tenebrae’s national and international performance and recording schedule throughout the concert season. Associates will also receive training in music pedagogy, and go on to put this into practice through a series of education and community partnerships.
In this way incumbents will gain invaluable first-hand experience of the work of a professional singer and develop their musicianship and choral skills under the leadership of Tenebrae’s Artistic Director, Nigel Short – one of the UK’s most acclaimed choral conductors.
The Associate Artist scheme with Tenebrae presents a fantastic opportunity to develop the skills required to sustain a portfolio career as a choral singer. As well as being immersed in the choir’s active concert and recording programme, I find the pedagogy training and youth choir partnerships particularly rewarding.
– Bethany Partridge (Associate Artist 2016-present)
Having admired Tenebrae for a long time, it has been a real privilege to sing and work with such a talented group of musicians. They have been amazingly supportive and welcoming colleagues.
– Elisabeth Paul (Associate Artist 2017-present)
The opportunity is aimed specifically at young professional singers: excellent musicians at the start of their careers, wishing to build a portfolio career as a choral singer. There are no age restrictions but it is expected that all candidates will have at least an undergraduate degree, preferably in music, or equivalent.
We normally open applications in the first three months of the calendar year and ask candidates to audition and sing in the choir before offering a position. Sign up to our newsletter here to be notified when this happens.
Each Associate Artist will, on taking the position, be offered at least £7,500 worth of professional work per season paid at the full Tenebrae rates, which are paid to all its singers. There is no obligation for Tenebrae to engage Associate Artists for every project and whilst they do not need to commit to all the work offered, they are strongly encouraged to do so in order to aid their professional development.
Complementing and enhancing the professional engagements will be a strand of education work, for which the Associate Artists will each receive ongoing training, starting at the fellowship’s outset with a residency, led by Nigel Short and other expert professionals. Associates are encouraged to review the choral development programme to suit the needs of Tenebrae’s partners and enhance their own skills in this area.
Furthermore, there are opportunities to perform as part of a vocal consort with other young professional singers and to develop these ensemble skills under Nigel’s guidance, who was a member of the renowned vocal ensemble The King’s Singers from 1994–2000.
Associates are enrolled for at least one year, but are often invited to continue on the scheme for longer in order to complete ongoing projects that last beyond one concert season. This aids the continuity of Tenebrae’s aforementioned partnerships and provides continued support for Associates at this early stage in their careers.
The programme offers an unrivalled opportunity for the professional development of rising choral talent in the UK. Through the year Associate Artists will enhance their musicianship, rehearsal and performance experience as well as building new leadership and education skills through the development of their own pedagogic practice. Importantly the programme enables Associates to build a portfolio career as a choral singer and education practitioner – skills essential to sustaining a professional career in singing.