'It is incredible to think that these mature vocalists are mere students' The Times
Oliver Finn (Treasurer) (countertenor)
Ollie is a second year alto reading English. He was born nineteen years ago and began singing aged 11 when he started at the London Oratory School, an inner-city comprehensive in Fulham. He has come to King’s after a year in Gloucester, which he spent struggling with the hectic workload of a gap year choral scholarship, along with several other new members of the King’s Men. His jobs as a receptionist and waiter also gave him skills to fall back on if (-some might say when) the singing and academic study don’t work out.
Colm Talbot (countertenor)
Colm, studying Physics, is the only scientist in the choir. This means he is often first port of call for any science related issue despite having no formal qualification in Biology whatsoever. Having been raised in Hull, where he attended Hymers' College, there was much confusion amongst his peers as to why he suddenly started singing like a girl leading to many concerned looks being directed his way. Colm spent most of his school time singing in school productions from Mozart's The Magic Flute to Andrew Lloyd Webber's Jesus Christ Superstar. In his free time he enjoys watching Disney films and doing maths.
Daniel Lewis (tenor)
Daniel (a.k.a Dan, Damien, Big D, D Major) is a second year undergraduate reading English...and a lot of it. A somewhat precocious youth, heonly remained a treble at his local parish church for around six months before developing into the strapping tenor he is today. After escaping a rather secluded school on a remote hill in north-west London and ending a brief but illustrious television career, he gleefully ran into the arms of King’s College Choir. Although Daniel feels comfortable in the beautiful surroundings of the Chapel, having performed in such awesome venues as the Kremlin and the Vatican, he hopes to further satisfy his love of traveland of breaking into high security buildings while in the choir. In his spare time, apart from singing, you can find Daniel strumming his bass, swooning over fine art and wishing he had more spare time.
Julius Haswell (tenor)
Julius came to singing relatively late compared to the other choral scholars in the group. He started singing lessons at the age of 15 and swiftly moved on to the Royal College of Music Junior Department, where he remained for three years. Julius has spent his past 20 years mostly in Richmond and Barnes in South West London, where he managed to hone his skills of being the most gangster member in his year. Julius spent his year in Leipzig singing with the world famous Thomanerchor - Bach's old choir. He happened to be in the same city as the new organ scholar, although they never really got on. In his spare time Julius is a budding politician, and writes regular political articles. On top of that he...well...doesn't do much. He is also a semi-professional jockey and plays the drums in a death metal band.
Philip Barrett (Assistant Musical Director) (baritone)
Philip first sang in public when he insisted on singing the opening verse of 'Once in Royal David’s City' at a village carol service. The vicar suggested choristership to his parents, but his mum didn't want to send her little boy away. Ironically he ended up at boarding school where he began to sing in earnest. On becoming friends with a King's chorister at school, he developed a musical urge, which could only be reconciled by becoming a Choral Scholar. Philip spent his gap year in singing in the choir of Truro Cathedral. Aside from his choir commitments in Truro, Philip tried his hand at 'choral leadership' running choirs in several local primary schools, receiving the rest of his training by stacking shelves at Marks & Spencer’s. Philip is in his second year reading music, and can be found frequently in the college library pretending to work.
Will Geeson (baritone)
An aspiring world leader, Will is a second year Law undergraduate. Will’s choral career began at Gloucester Cathedral under Andrew Nethsingha and he enjoyed the experience so much that he decided to apply for King’s. Aside from singing Will also enjoys acting, sometimes even on stage. As part of his “classical education” he once donned his own mother’s dress to take part in a Latin reading competition and was horrified upon his arrival to discover that nobody else had dressed up. Will continued to further embarrass himself last year as part of the ‘incubating’ eggs of future Kings Men in Gloucester last year. He does however hope that he will eventually hatch into a beautifully baritonal swan.
James Jenkins (bass)
James’s singing career took an early blow when, at the age of ten, he narrowly missed out on the lead role in a school production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s, Joseph. Distraught, devastated and broken, James found a comforting home as a chorister, and eventually, choral scholar in the choir stalls of Wakefield Cathedral, where he began his transformation into the burly bass he is today. Despite, as some might say, being a somewhat 'closet' Yorkshireman, James still enjoys eating pudding for tea, promoting northern dialect, and wearing t-shirts in December. Away from his studies James can be found gazing fondly into the mirror and avidly supporting Liverpool Football Club.
Benedict Kearns (bass)
Benedict (known to his close friends as Benedict), hails from North London. Currently in his first year reading music, he began his singing career at the tender age of eight at Westminster Abbey, where he went on to become Head Chorister. Having studied at Mill Hill School and the Junior Department of Royal Academy of Music, Benedict is a pianist, conductor, and lover of Japanese food. In fact, there's nothing he enjoys more than playing Chopsticks, waving pointy sticks, or eating with chopsticks. As a self-certified grammar pedant, Benedict couldn't get 'any' satisfaction when singing with the Rolling Stones at the O2 Arena in 2012.
Patrick Dunachie (Musical Director) (countertenor)
Pat grew up in the market town of Ludlow, and attended Hereford Cathedral School, where he had been a chorister and was subsequently a temporary lay clerk in the Cathedral Choir. One of the highlights of Pat's singing career so far has been to perform in the world premiere of Stockhausen's opera Mittwoch aus Licht for Birmingham Opera Company in 2012. This involved dressing strangely, singing made-up words and creating bizarre vocal noises - things that come in useful as a member of The King's Men. Since coming to Cambridge, he has sung in many concerts with choirs, as a soloist, and indeed done his first opera roles. In his spare time, Pat likes to go punting, climb, and write about himself in the third person.
Rupert Scarratt (countertenor)
Rupert Scarratt is one of two new counter-tenors joining the King's Men this year. Originally a boy at Dulwich Prep School in London he really discovered his love for singing at his secondary school. Being a counter-tenor there, though, was never easy for Rupert as he juggled having "a weird high voice" with his passion for rugby. His suggestion of singing the line out calls was sadly declined by his fellow team mates. Besides singing (and of course Theology, the subject he is reading at King's) Rupert is often found surfing down on the South Coast in Polzeath or trying to persuade everyone his hair is not ginger but "strawberry blonde." Of course we all totally believe you…
Isaac Jarrett-Barnham (countertenor)
After beginning his singing career aged eleven as a fairy in a Royal Opera House production of Britten’s A Midsummer Nights Dream, Isaac continued to sing in the Tiffin Boy’s Choir for a further seven years. After having also been a member of the Thames Youth Choir and Kingston Parish Church Choir during his school years, he is now struggling to come to terms with the rigours of choral life at King’s. A first year studying Philosophy at Fitzwilliam College, he is also currently the only Choral Scholar whose rehearsal punctuality is affected by Cambridge’s frequent road closures and traffic jams.
Toby Ward (tenor)
Toby hails from the West Riding, and has fulfilled almost every job at Leeds Parish Church in the past 10 years. He intended to be an organist, before realising his ineptitude, so took up proper singing at the last minute. This resulted in leaving his beloved Yorkshire to learn how to sing at Gloucester Cathedral for one of his many gap years - like almost all the rest of The King’s Men. Deeply saddened by leaving the hills behind him, he hopes his music degree in Cambridge passes as fast as possible. He can often be found arguing the toss about Yorkshire cricket with his Dad.
Sebastian Johns (tenor)
Sebastian (unfortunately named S.Johns) is, in fact, beginning his second foray into the marvellous ranks of King’s Choir, having bulked out (quite literally) the treble section as a boy. Determined to give up singing forever and rid himself of the much feared choiritis, he tried to escape all traces of choral tradition, but sadly only made it as far the somewhat choir-happy lands of Oxford, where he attended Abingdon School. During the course of his GCSE years he attempted to become a professional in cello, piano and organ respectively, but having realised (and been assured of) his incompetence in all three, he slunk meekly back to singing, and can now be found desperately trying to be a tenor.
Robin Mackworth-Young (Manager) (bass)
Robin is a bass in his second year studying Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic – don't laugh. Whilst a chorister at St Margaret’s, Westminster Abbey, he caught the choral bug and continued singing at his secondary school in a pokey little place near Windsor. He plays the French Horn, attempts the piano and can frequently be found either listening to Jazz on his record player or wielding a Viking axe and drinking mead. Whilst all these provide Robin with much joy, the deepest love in his heart is reserved for one person only; Miss Taylor Swift.
Stewart Bates (bass)
Stew’s musical confidence took an initial blow as a child when he was abandoned by an audience of scarcely mobile retirement home residents during a French Horn performance. Happily, after much soul searching he began to sing, and is now one of KM’s latest recruits. A country boy through and through, he arrived at Southwark Cathedral in a bold move to experience the bright lights of civilisation. However, still the rather uncultivated specimen that he is today, civilisation found Stew somewhat ‘too hard to handle’. His job at an independent ‘Black Books’-esque bookshop offered him comprehensive training in the art of ‘story time’ and giftwrapping; Stew wishes to continue with these studies once this uni fad is finished. A First year French and German student, Stew enjoys spending his spare time following the latest woes of his beloved Shrewsbury Town F.C., getting asked for ID in clubs and convincing people that he actually can speak French and German.
Richard Gowers (organ scholar)
Richard comes from Cambridge in eastern England, where he was a chorister in the then world-famous King’s College Choir. During that time he took up the organ with the hope that he could get involved with choirs without having to stand up, and was sympathetically given a music scholarship to his senior school for spotting a consecutive fifth. After closing that school with a swine flu epidemic, he fled to Germany and lived in Leipzig, famously the city where composer C.V.Stanford lived for a brief period. He has played in several countries and page-turned in even more. Having been taught by Nigel Kerry, David Goode and Stefan Engels, he currently learns with Douglas Tang. While not playing the organ, Richard enjoys having fun, travelling, and spending time with his girlfriend, much to the annoyance of his wife.
Douglas Tang (organ scholar)
Doug is originally from Hong Kong, studies for a degree in music and is the Senior Organ Scholar at King’s. Previously, he was Organ Scholar at Hereford Cathedral after having studied at Dulwich College. His other interests in music apart from the classical side include techno, rock and heavy metal (to much surprise of those around him!); perhaps more conventionally he also plays the piano and flute. He’s also keen on swimming, badminton, reading and Apple.
Tom Etheridge (organ scholar)
Tom Etheridge is Organ Scholar at King’s, where he is reading for a degree in History. Having being educated entirely in institutions founded by Henry VI, he decided to take a gap year to explore the ‘real’ world; unfortunately he made it only as far as Gloucester Cathedral, and found even that minor foray so disconcerting that he hurried back to the Founder’s embrace. By popular demand Tom no longer sings, although he does play the viola, fulfilling all of that instrument’s stereotypes with room to spare. Known for his keen fashion sense, he can usually be seen walking from library to chapel dressed in varying shades of gray, wielding Lib Dem paraphernalia at unsuspecting passers-by.