Dr Edward Wickham
Dr Edward Wickham was appointed Director of Music at St Catharine’s College, Cambridge in 2003 and later became Fellow and Director of Studies in Music. In 2008 he formed the St Catharine’s Girls’ Choir, the first and only college-based choir for girls in the country. He is also the Director of Gramophone Award-winning vocal group The Clerks.
Dr Wickham has been an Affiliate Lecturer at the Faculty of Music in Cambridge since 2006, where he delivers courses on Late Medieval and Renaissance music and its notation. He is Course Director of the MMus in Choral Studies, and chairs a working party on Choral Outreach. His current research interest entails the examination of modes of text understanding and intelligibility within a range of choral repertories.
Educated at Oxford and King’s College, London, where he received his PhD for a study in 15th century sacred music, Dr Wickham has throughout his career maintained a busy schedule both as conductor and academic. Soon after leaving Oxford he established the vocal ensemble The Clerks, with which he has made over two dozen recordings, and received many plaudits including the Gramophone Early Music Award. As director of The Clerks, his recordings and performances of Renaissance repertoire have made a significant contribution to the understanding and appreciation of composers such as Ockeghem, Obrecht and Josquin Des Prez; and their innovative performances from manuscript facsimiles (notably a late-night BBC Proms performance) have done much to illuminate issues of period performance in Renaissance polyphony. He is equally engaged with contemporary music, commissioning new work from composers as diverse as Christopher Fox, Joanna Marsh, Robert Saxton and Stevie Wishart.
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, which runs vacation singing courses for children in London, Cambridge and Oxford. With The Clerks he has run many collaborations with schools, most notably with the Tower Hamlets Music Education Service, resulting in performances at the Spitalfields Festival and in Cambridge.
Following postgraduate performance studies in singing at the Royal College of Music, London (where she was taught by Heather Harper), Helen has pursued a full career as soloist, teacher, and ensemble singer. Highlights include recitals at Wigmore Hall and her solo debut at the BBC Proms; staged productions with Sir Simon Rattle at the Salzburg Festival (Rameau Les Boréades, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment) and the Berlin Philharmonie (Bernstein Wonderful Town, Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra); and appearances worldwide with numerous vocal ensembles including The Tallis Scholars, The Sixteen, Gabrieli Consort and I Fagiolini.
In 2001 Helen moved with her family to Cambridge and has steadily built a thriving teaching practice with students from school to the university. Her work with young voices ranges from coaching St Catharine’s Girls’ Choir to those of Great St Mary’s Church and, formerly, the boys at King’s College Chapel Choir.
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