All choir members receive regular free in-house training from one of our three expert singing teachers – David Lowe, Elaine Pearce and Kate Symonds-Joy – or can obtain a financial subsidy for an external teacher.
Each choir member is encouraged to develop their voice as a member of the choir as guided by their teacher. Some singers stay with the same teacher throughout their time at Caius, but change is often possible between years.
David Lowe has been a Caius Voice Trainer for over 25 years. After holding similar positions at Reading, Warwick and Oxford Universities he has made Cambridge his base, helping train the choirs and preparing singers for their university recitals. Many Choral Scholars from Caius, St John’s, King’s, Trinity, Clare and Jesus Colleges have continued their post-graduate singing education with David at the Royal Academy of Music, where he was a professor of singing for some 15 years and at the Royal Northern College of Music, where he now works as a Principal Study Vocal Tutor.
David was a Choral Scholar at King’s College and studied singing at the Royal College of Music. Alongside his busy professional singing life he has developed a role as a conductor. He is a Director of the Cambridge University Chamber Choir, was the Associate Conductor of the Oxford Bach Choir and was Master of the Music of Norwich Cathedral from 2007-2011. He teaches singing to the Choristers at St John’s College.
He has worked at the Eton Choral Course each summer for many years and gives regular masterclasses at the Den Jyske Sangskole in Herning, Denmark.
Four years of study at the Royal College of Music, initially with the renowned Russian soprano Oda Slobadskaya, and later with Jessica Cash, prepared Elaine Pearce for the rigours of life as a Concert and Session singer in London and abroad.
As a recitalist she has performed regularly, in repertoire ranging from Purcell through to the Second Viennese School and beyond: in the City; on Swedish Radio; in St. John’s Smith Square; and at the Royal Festival Hall in a performance of Michael Howard’s ‘Two Dramatic Scenae’.
She took part in Tavener’s opera ‘Therese’ at Covent Garden, and sang leading roles in Telemann’s ‘Piminone’; Mozart’s ‘Impresario’ and Pergolesi’s ‘La Serva Padrone’, at the Bath Festival. Concert performances found her in Mozart’s ‘Cosi van tutte’ taking the role of Fiordiligi, and in the title role of Holst’s ‘Savitri’.
Highlights of her concert career have been: as the soloist in Tavener’s ‘Canticle of the Mother of God’ at the Bath Festival and on Radio 3; First soprano in Sinopoli’s work for ‘Three Coloratura Soloists and Orchestra’ at St. John’s Smith Square; in Busotti’s ‘Rara Requiem’ for seven soloists and orchestra at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, and in a solo voice performance in the Purcell Room of Poulenc’s ‘Figures Humaines’. She sang the Strauss Four Last Songs with the Barbican Chamber Orchestra, and was the soprano soloist in Tippett’s ‘Visions of St. Augustine’ at the Barbican.
She gave classes in the interpretation of Elizabethan and Restoration music at the Schutz Festivals in both Finland and Sweden; and now enjoys teaching young singers in Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, and at Royal Holloway, University of London.
Kate Symonds-Joy graduated with a First Class Music degree from Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge and a DipRAM from the Royal Academy Opera course. She was the winner of the 2011 Thelma King Vocal Award and was awarded the Basil Turner Prize for her role Bianca in Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia for BYO.
Concert work includes Ravel’s Chansons Madecasses at the Purcell Room, Rutter’s Feel the Spirit at the Barbican, Janacek’s Diary of One Who Disappeared at Kings Place, Mahler’s 2nd Symphony in Cadogan Hall, Handel’s Messiah with Bordeaux Opera and with the CBSO at Birmingham’s Symphony Hall, and Verdi’s Requiem in the Royal Albert Hall.
Operatic roles include Mrs Herring in Britten’s Albert Herring in Aldeburgh, Noye’s Fludde in Westminster Cathedral, Wild Girl in Delius’ A Village Romeo and Juliet for Wexford Festival Opera, Ino in Handel’s Semele with Sir Charles Mackerras, Dorabella in Mozart’s Cosi fan Tutte and Medea in Cavalli’s Giasone for RAO conducted by Jane Glover.
Recitals include the Wigmore Hall as part of the Royal Academy Song Circle, Berio’s Sequenza III and Berberian’s Stripsody for nonclassical, Janacek’s Diary of One Who Disappeared at Kings Place, Berio Folksongs with the Psappha Ensemble and an audio visual operatic installation in the Metropolitan Museum in New York with ERRATICA. Kate appears as soloist on Giles Swayne’s Stabat Mater (NAXOS), Strauss’ Deutsche Motette (Delphian) and Villa-Lobos’ Magnificat for Contraltino and Choir (Delphian).
Kate has sung with the Monteverdi Choir for over ten years and has appeared as a soloist under Sir John Eliot Gardiner in Handel’s Dixit Dominus, Bach’s B minor mass (SDG recording) and Mozart’s Requiem. Kate has been teaching since 2005, now at both Gonville & Caius and St John’s Colleges, and as a mentor on the Monteverdi Choir Apprenticeship Scheme. Further information can be found at www.katesymonds-joy.com.