James hits all the right notes to win choral scholarship

Thursday 5 May 2016

WEB James Micklethwaite

James Micklethwaite (GSAL15) has won a prestigious choral scholarship at King’s College, Cambridge.

As part of the scholarship the talented young tenor, who is due to begin studying philosophy at Churchill College, Cambridge from September, will sing with the King’s choir for two hours a day.

In his role as a choral scholar he will sing Evensong every day apart from Monday, with two services on a Sunday. He will also sing in concerts at King’s Chapel, and at other venues like the Royal Albert Hall.

As well as overseas tours, performances for the Easter and Christmas television and radio broadcasts, James will also sing with the King’s Men, an a capella close harmony group comprised of the choral scholars. Singing lessons with a teacher from the Royal College of Music, or a similar musical establishment, are included as part of the scholarship.

James, who was a member of the GSAL head boy and girl team last year, has taken a year out to be a choral scholar at Norwich Cathedral.

He said: “This year has been invaluable preparation for next year. Prior to this year, I’d never sung in a church or cathedral choir, and so I had to get used to a completely different style. Singing psalms and plainsong proved a particular challenge at the start of the year, as did the sheer volume of music. Now that I’m familiar with a lot of the repertoire, however, I hope that next year will be more manageable!”

Throughout his time at school James won a number of musical accolades. He achieved Grade 8 in singing at the age of 11 and sang with the National Youth Choir of Great Britain and the Yorkshire Philharmonic Choir. He was awarded the highest grade in a diploma from the Associated Board of Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM) at just 15, in an exam aimed at university students and last year he passed the second stage of the diploma and was awarded the Licentiate of the Royal Schools of Music.

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