The award will be 1 year of free choir membership, worth up to £120, plus up to £250 of master-class singing lessons.
How to Apply
The arrangements have some flexibility, to accommodate those taking examinations.
To apply, simply contact Peter Matthews, our Scholarships Representative using the form below and attend at least three of the rehearsals which take place during school terms on Wednesday evenings from 7.30pm to 9.30pm, at a venue in Liskeard which varies according to availability, and has included the Public Hall, Methodist Church or Liskeard Community College old school hall or new music room..
This is on a no commitment basis, to see if you enjoy singing with us. If you do enjoy singing with the choir, then the Musical Director, Simon Dunbavand, will invite you to an audition, held in private before or after one of the rehearsals. In the audition he will be looking for your musical ability and musical potential.
There will also be a brief informal interview to ask you about your musical plans - we will be looking for someone who is ambitious musically and can make the best use of the award.
In return for the scholarship, we expect you to attend all the choir rehearsals and performances for a year. We do not object to an occasional missed rehearsal, but you must give rehearsals top priority, and performances absolute priority, over other activities.
There will be presentations to the new scholars at an appropriate ECBC concert. A 2016/2017 scholar, who used the scholarship to gain a Grade VIII singing award, is shown rehearsing above.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I have to be an expert singer?
No - that's the idea of the training! However, you do have to enjoy singing, be able to sing in tune, and be comfortable with reading music, and music theory.
Guide levels are skill equivalent to ABRSM grade V singing or higher, and/or Grade V music theory.
Do I have to be an expert interviewee?
No - the interview will be entirely informal. Interviewing skills have nothing to do with this scholarship and are not a criterion of the award.
Is it open to people of any age or background and to existing choir members?
Yes, although younger people and those who are not yet established choir members should find it easier to show that they are ambitious musically. In general, priority will be given to applicants who are younger and less experienced, provided they have achieved the skill level described above.
What do you mean by ambitious musically?
Although it would be good for you to want to stay in the choir, you may want to use the scholarship for some other purpose.
For example, you may want to use the training to help with an audition for another choir, band or musical show, or you may want to learn how to lead a choir of your own.
Do I have to be entirely classically orientated?
No - many of the best musicians like many different types of music. So there would be no objection to using the training we are offering to become a better Soul singer!
Can I choose my own teacher for the singing lessons?
Yes, but with the condition that the teacher must be an expert singer - for example having trained in singing at music college, or someone who is a concert soloist.
What if I do not know a singing teacher?
We will arrange one for you.
I am under 18 or vulnerable - will I feel safe in the choir?
Yes - the East Cornwall Bach Choir has successfully nourished many teenage members in the past, and has an active safeguarding policy.
Feedback from Cas Smirthwaite, 2017/2018 scholar:
“The scholarship was a great privilege. The vocal coaching helped me to improve my singing technique and increase my range. I feel that my voice has better clarity and diction.
My sight reading has come on in leaps and bounds although I think that this has been as a result of singing with the choir as a whole as well as the vocal coaching.
The fact that ECBC encourage scholars to take on solo singing roles at some of the concerts has improved my confidence singing in the classical style - although I had performed as a jazz soloist previously, I had never sung classical music before and as anyone in a choir knows, it's a very different way of using your voice.
Taking part in the scholarship has definitely furthered my musical education and I would highly recommend it to anyone looking to have a singing career.”
Once awarded, ECBC reserves the right to withdraw the scholarship at any time should attendance at rehearsals and/or participation within the choir be considered unsatisfactory.
Successful candidates should arrange their own singing lessons with a singer teacher with professional music qualifications. ECBC must approve the choice of teacher, following the guideline above. ECBC can arrange a teacher if requested. Invoices from the teacher, up to the value of £250, should be forwarded directly to the ECBC treasurer, contact details via Peter Matthews.
Scholarships will normally be awarded in the Autumn. Singing lessons should be arranged by the candidate, with the help of the scholarship subcommittee if necessary, to occur before the last concert of the season – usually in June the following year. Scholarships will not be carried forward to the following academic year.
The scholarship team reserve the right to award a bursary, of lower value than the scholarship, should that be deemed appropriate.
Candidates who have been in receipt of a scholarship or bursary are ineligible for further awards within this scheme.
As mentioned above, ECBC has an active safeguarding policy. Any member of the choir under the age of 18 is introduced to a member of the choir who is a child protection officer with enhanced DBS clearance. For male minors, this is G.Peter Matthews. For female minors, please refer to the vice chair, Ruth Atkinson, in the first instance. Any concerns, however slight, should be reported, and action will then be taken as appropriate.