'It is incredible to think that these mature vocalists are mere students' The Times
Edward Button (countertenor)
Edward recently graduated from Girton College where he was a Choral Scholar for three years and is now a Development Officer at Pembroke College responsible for fundraising. He was an Alto Ley Clerk at King’s in 2011 and sang with the King’s Men for the year. As well as choral singing Edward enjoys singing solos and has performed Handel’s Messiah, Bach’s Magnificat and Batten's Fourth Service to great acclaim. He is delighted to be back this year, confusing audiences with his youthful looks but antique age.
Colm Talbot (Treasurer) (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.
Joel Williams (tenor)
No stranger to performing, Joel spent much of his youth prancing around the stages of various European opera houses, in roles ranging from one of the Drei Knaben in Mozart’s ‘Die Zauberflöte’, to Cobweb in Britten's ‘A Midsummer Night's Dream’. After leaving Trinity School, Croydon, Joel spent a year in Princeton, New Jersey, thoroughly immersing himself in American culture by drinking lots of tea and singing for Episcopal Churches. However, Joel nurtures musical interests outside the church, and honed his close harmony skills by singing with the Ivy League's oldest Co-Ed a capella group, the Princeton Katzenjammers. An historian by profession, Joel is often to be found delving into the academic world of Wikipedia and Amazon book reviews.
Philip Barrett (tenor)
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 first year HSPS(PSHPS…) 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.
Sam Landman (Musical Director) (bass)
Sam Landman nurtured his singing talent from a young age, singing each day with his friends on the school run. He was 'tricked' by his parents into auditioning for King’s College choir as a treble, having been told it was a competition for a packet of Mars bars. Somehow, although wearing a soldier costume and singing Abba to Stephen Cleobury, he passed the test, and became immersed fully into the world of music. Before even realising it himself, Sam has returned as a baritone and is studying music. He is a fine salsa dancer, a devilish cook, and likes to think of himself as a bit of a Messi on the football pitch (but is yet to show this to any of his peers).
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.
Pat Dunachie (Manager) (countertenor)
Pat grew up in a small town on the Welsh border going to Hereford Cathedral School, where Pat had been a chorister and subsequently lay clerk in the Cathedral Choir. The highlight of Pat's singing career so far has been to perform in the premiere of Stockhausen's opera Mittwoch aus Licht for Birmingham Opera Company in August 2012. This involved dressing strangely, singing non-existent words and making bizarre vocal noises - things that come in useful as a member of The King's Men. In his spare time, Pat likes to go punting, climb, and write about himself in the third person.
Oliver Finn (countertenor)
Ollie is a first 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.
Robert Busiakiewicz (tenor)
Robert Busiakiewicz, a postgraduate composer, is a recent tenor addition to the group. Having previously studied at King Edward VI School, and King's College London, and living on King Street, it seemed only fitting that he should wind up singing at this particular college. As the eldest member of the choir, Robert takes regular naps during rehearsals and sermons to keep his energy at undergraduate levels. The Lord Mayor of London admitted Robert to the Yeomanry of the Worshipful Company of Musicians this September, which means that he is immune to stylistic criticism, vocal fatigue and certain tropical diseases.
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.
Daniel Lewis (tenor)
Daniel's biography is forthcoming.
Hugo Herman-Wilson (baritone)
Grandson of a Russian clown Hugo, unfortunately, did not inherit any of his grandfather’s acrobatic prowess. He did however, begin his musical venture in utero, performing inside his mother in the chorus of English National Opera. Whilst a comfortable and easy existence, Hugo decided it would be a positive move 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 fellow King’s Men. Hugo is in his first year at King’s, reading for a degree in Theology and Religious Studies. Aside from singing, Hugo enjoys dying his hair various colours and playing the double bass, although not necessarily at the same time.
Robin Mackworth-Young (bass)
Robin is a bass in his first 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.
Henry Hawkesworth (Musical Director) (bass)
Henry is a bass choral scholar, and is in his third year at King's reading music. Apart from making vacuum cleaner noises at the bottom of the immaculately balanced texture of the King's Men, he also occasionally afflicts the world with his oboe and piano playing, and sometimes (alarmingly) even conducts orchestras. He has taken on numerous concert and operatic engagements, most recently singing Collatinus in 'The Rape of Lucretia', Sarastro in 'The Magic Flute' and bass solos in the Stravinsky Mass (Cambridge University Music Society) Buxtehude's 'Jesu Membra Nostri' (Trinity College Music Society) Copland's Old American Songs, and Bach's St John Passion (Truro Cathedral). He has participated in masterclasses with Andrew Kennedy, Sarah Connolly, Roderick Williams and Andreas Scholl, and studies with Russell Smythe.
Douglas Tang (organ scholar)
Doug is originally from Hong Kong, studies for a degree in music and is the Junior 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 the Junior 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.