We are a group of friends who are passionate about singing together as a basic human need.
Dr Edward Wickham, Artistic Director
Edward Wickham is a leading exponent of choral music, as director, educator and scholar. As Director of Music at St Catharine’s College, University of Cambridge, he is responsible for student and children’s choirs, both of which record, tour and broadcast regularly. At Cambridge University he has led courses on music history, choral skills and for several years run the Masters course in Choral Studies. In 2013 he established The Oxford and Cambridge Singing School which runs choral courses throughout the UK and has recently branched out into the Far East and Australia.
Dr Wickham began his musical journey as a chorister at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle. Having attended Harrow School, we went to Christ Church, Oxford where he read for a degree in History and was a choral scholar. He later read for a Masters at King’s College, London, and there he received his PhD for a study in 15th century sacred music.
Dr Wickham has throughout his career maintained a busy schedule both as a pedagogue, conductor and academic. Soon after leaving Oxford he established the vocal ensemble The Clerks, with which he made over two dozen recordings, and received many plaudits including the Gramophone Early Music Award. The Clerks has given concerts in many of the major UK and European festivals and venues, numerous broadcasts on British, European and US radio, and undertaken coast-to-coast tours of the USA. As director of The Clerks, his recordings and performances of Renaissance music have made a significant contribution to the understanding and appreciation of repertoire. He is equally engaged with contemporary music, commissioning new work from a range of leading choral composers.
Dr Wickham is much in demand as a choral coach, and has given workshops and masterclasses throughout the UK, USA and Europe; he was also for several years a guest conductor at the Tokyo Cantat Festival. He is a committed advocate of choral outreach, and is the founder and Artistic Director of The Oxford and Cambridge Singing School.
Since 2003, Edward Wickham has been Director of Music and a Fellow at St Catharine’s College, Cambridge. He is also an Affiliate Lecturer at the Faculty of Music in Cambridge where he delivers courses on Late Medieval and Renaissance music and its notation. He was for several years the Course Principal of the Master’s course in Choral Studies, and chaired a working party on Choral Outreach.
As well as directing the College Choir, in 2008 Dr Wickham formed the St Catharine’s Girls’ Choir, the first and, until recently, only college-based choir for girls in the country. Under his direction, the choirs of St Catharine’s have made several recordings, toured in China and the United States ,and given several live broadcasts on Radio 3 and 4 (In Tune, The Choir and Sunday Worship).
Samantha Wickham, Director
Samantha’s childhood dream was to be a composer and she wrote many a piece for their school concerts. After university, she entered the field of executive recruitment/HR management in the Finance & Insurance industries. In 2013, Samantha founded The Oxford & Cambridge Singing School as a way of introducing primary school children and young adults to quality music. What started in Cambridge, soon expanded to Oxford, London, the Far East and Australia.
Samantha’s favourite choral piece is ‘O Radiant Dawn’ by James Macmillan.
Juliet Allan, Director
Juliet has worked in music for many years, including as an artist manager (artists included The Tallis Scholars, Julian Bream, Endellion Quartet) and as General Manager of The Tallis Scholars Summer Schools, which she developed with Peter Phillips. A one-time choral scholar at St Catharine’s College, Cambridge, she has combined music with financial services marketing, as a director of a specialist entertainment insurance advisory. Her favourite choral work is “When David Heard” by Thomas Weelkes – heart-wrenchingly beautiful.