'It is incredible to think that these mature vocalists are mere students' The Times
Oliver Finn (countertenor)
Ollie is a third 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 came 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.
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 second 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.
Daniel Lewis - Assistant Musical Director (tenor)
Daniel (a.k.a Dan, Damien, Big D, D Major) is a third year undergraduate reading English...and a lot of it. A somewhat precocious youth, he only 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.
Hugo Herman-Wilson (baritone)
Hugo returns to the King's Men following a sabbatical in which he spent a year learning to read and write. Having mastered these skills, he is now in a strong position to study for his final year Theology and Religious Studies exams at Cambridge. His next task is to learn how to read (and maybe even write) music, but this is proving to be a bit more of a challenge. Despite having no musical ability whatsoever, Hugo has still enjoyed a distinguished 20+ year career. Hugo’s first performances were 'in utero', performing inside his mother in the chorus of English National Opera. Whilst a comfortable and easy existence, Hugo decided it would probably make more sense to venture 'ex utero', eventually becoming a chorister at Croydon Minster. After leaving Whitgift School Hugo spent a year at Gloucester Cathedral, singing with the cathedral choir and causing mischief with four other future King’s Men. When he’s not singing Hugo enjoys a quiet, vegan, tee-total existence whilst he writes his book on the art of not telling the truth in quasi-humerous third person biographies.
Will Geeson (baritone)
An aspiring world leader, Will is a third 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 - Musical Director (bass)
Benedict (known to his close friends as Benedict), hails from North London. He started singing as a treble at 'the Abbey' aged 8, where he realised that wearing a dress in public was such a thrill, he later decided to apply as a choral scholar to King's. After his voice broke, Benedict attempted to hide his low voice by inhaling helium from balloons underneath the choir stalls...the ruse was quickly discovered. Deflated, he descended to the depths of bass. Due to his passion for opera and orchestral music, Benedict hopes to be a conductor, preferably on the 505 bus route, which goes past Covent Garden. In his spare time, Benedict enjoys walking, swimming and playing with his pet tortoise.
John Ash (countertenor)
John, the group's lone elderly graduate student, is reading for an MPhil in English. He came to singing at 16 when he joined Christ's Hospital School as a sixth-former, and after a distressing year as the world's worst bass found his true calling emitting high-pitched squeaks in the alto register. Following undergraduate studies in Music and English at Emmanuel College, he spent a year singing at Rochester Cathedral before the magnetism of the books dragged him back to Cambridge. When not singing, John can usually be found in the University Library, where he particularly enjoys scowling at anyone who dares to make a sound, panicking about how little reading he's done, and 'researching' the significance of potted plants, tupperware boxes, and curtains in the contemporary novel.
Rupert Scarratt - Manager (countertenor)
Rupert is one of two second year counter-tenors in 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 in a pokey little place near Windsor. Yet being a counter-tenor there 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. As manager this year he is hoping to set up a choral scholar rugby team - an aim shared by absolutely no one else in the group. 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…
Harry Bradford (tenor)
A washed-up has-been at the tender age of just 14, Harry enjoyed a somewhat illustrious career as a treble in the choir of the Chapel Royal, St James' Palace. He was, in fact, named Young Chorister of the Year, a title which earned him real respect as a ‘top lad’ at school. After wandering for a few years in a murky abyss of questionable viola playing, Harry returned to singing in his sixth form years, stumbling across another of the KM in the choir stalls of Southwark Cathedral. Surprisingly unperturbed by this experience, Harry followed in his footsteps and is now this year’s new tenor recruit. When not singing, conducting choirs or intensely studying for his music degree, Harry enjoys scuba diving, supporting Arsenal FC and fervently asserting that he CAN rap.
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, disastrously similar to another, lesser known, Cambridge establishment) is in fact in the midst of his second foray into the marvellous ranks of King’s Choir, having bulked out (quite literally) the treble section as a chorister many moons ago. Determined to give up singing forever after “peaking”, as he puts it, at the age of 12, 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 his time there he attempted to become a professional in cello, piano and organ respectively, but having realised (and been frequently assured of) his incompetence in all three, he slunk meekly back to singing, and can now be found desperately trying to convince people that he is, in fact, a choral scholar, despite being shorter and more immature than most of the current choristers…
Stephen Whitford (bass)
Stephen is a first year bass reading Classics. Although he was raised on the mean streets of Cheltenham, he is a man of the world, having lived in three continents. That said, he is an avid supporter of real ale, hash browns and the rain. Stephen never followed the well-trodden path of the chorister, but started singing in earnest only two years ago, in his Sixth Form at Dean Close School. Stephen hopes to pursue singing professionally in the not-too-distant future. His chief interests are opera and Lieder; the Choral Scholarship is just an excuse to have a piano in his room…
Stewart Bates - Treasurer (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 a second year bass in the group. 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.
James Bartlett (bass)
James is a third-year musican who has spent most of his time at Cambridge sounding like a broken drain underneath some Tallis. He's lived in Pembrokeshire ever since he was a little bachgen, and delights in telling anyone who'll listen that it's so far west that the nearest big city is in Ireland. Having never been a chorister, James conned his way into the Choir of St Davids Cathedral during his last year of school, and spent all the time he should've been doing his A levels singing at a volume far transcending the boundaries of taste (much to his choirmaster's dismay). Chorally very promiscuous, he has sung with choirs ranging from his native Catz to the rather more photographed college next door and hopes to have amassed the full set by the time he graduates. When not longing for the Green, Green Grass of Home, James can often be found waving a stick in time with a musical.
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.
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.