Young singers’ bursary scheme

I’ve known Petros Singers for many years, as both conductor and pianist, and am delighted to see the choir going from strength to strength in a wonderfully inventive mixture of projects under Richard’s leadership. Singing is indubitably good for the mind, body and soul, and this bursary scheme is a great opportunity for young adults to join a high-level group; I commend Petros Singers for its commitment to making this possible.

Libby Burgess – Pianist, Brahms Requiem, March 2019, Rachmaninoff Preludes, April 2022, and guest conductor

As a registered charity, part of our charitable commitment is to reach into the local community and offer gifted young singers the opportunity to sing with us on a full bursary (which covers the annual subscription fee). These places are open to singers aged between 16 and 30 years old and we welcome all voice parts (where needed within the choir).

As well as benefitting from being part of a warm, welcoming and friendly group, you would experience real opportunities to learn from some of the country’s leading and most-respected singing teachers. Our ambitious, wide-ranging concert programmes would expose you to large-scale, well-known works alongside forgotten masterpieces and rare choral treasures. We run the full gamut from Tallis and Praetorius, through Handel and Brahms, to Dove and Whitacre – with a smattering of Lennon/McCartney and a few Anons in between!

A further benefit of joining Petros Singers is access to individual singing lessons with an experienced professional teacher. The bursary scheme funds one free lesson per term for bursary members. You would also be invited to attend our annual singing workshops free of charge – inspirational events led by pre-eminent vocal musicians.

We are fortunate to perform alongside world-class musicians and soloists and constantly strive to be and work with the best. Please explore our concert archive to see performers from past concerts, along with the extent of our repertoire. Some of our concerts provide opportunities for solos from within the choir and you would be actively encouraged to audition for these.

While the majority of our concerts take place in West London, we also perform in highly prestigious venues in Central London such as St James’s Piccadilly, The Grosvenor Chapel, Holy Trinity Sloane Square and St John’s Smith Square. We also recently took part in the weekend services at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle.

Choir membership is by audition. These generally take place in the first two weeks of each term, although other times would be considered. Your audition would take place at the end of either your first or second rehearsal, giving you the chance to meet and sing with the choir.

If you wish to proceed, you would then sing privately to Richard Bannan, our Musical Director. The process is relaxed and friendly. Richard is as interested in finding out what you may be able to do in the future as hearing what you can do now. Ideally bring a short piece you know well (either a solo or a choral extract is fine); you will then be taken through a few exercises to assess your vocal range, sight-reading and ear.

We rehearse on Tuesday evenings during term time at St Peter’s Church, Black Lion Lane on the borders of Hammersmith and Chiswick. Singers are expected to attend all rehearsals and take part in the concert at the end of each term. Please see our FAQs for more information about what’s involved in being a choir member.

Our main supporter, Horton and Garton, is a principal donor to our bursary fund. They provide a valuable role in bringing music to talented young singers within our local community, and we are thrilled to have a Horton and Garton Bursary student singing with the choir. Leo, who currently works at Hakluyt & Company as a Business Development Analyst, describes here how he has found the experience of singing with the choir so far: 

I was looking for a choir of a good standard which I could balance alongside my career, is local to home and, above all, fun. So Petros Singers seemed the perfect fit! As the grateful recipient of a Horton and Garton bursary, the opportunities are fantastic – in particular through Richard’s directorship and the singing lessons from Toby Ward. I certainly feel fortunate to have found Petros Singers and have been welcomed with open arms. I couldn’t recommend the bursary scheme enough. 

For further information about applying for a bursary place, please email membership@petrossingers.org. We look forward to hearing from you.