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2018 Cheltenham competition for young professional singers of Baroque music

Press Release: January 05, 2018

Applications are now open for young singers who wish to compete in Cheltenham’s annual competition for singers of Baroque music, which is being held on 25th March this year as part of the 2018 ‘Spring Festival of the Baroque’. The aim of this competition is to discover and encourage new young singers of talent and provide them with an opportunity to perform before an audience and a panel of experienced judges. The closing date for applications this year is 1st February.

The competition - sponsored by the Cheltenham Bach Choir - is a one-day event and is intended for young professional singers of Baroque music up to the age of twenty-eight. It attracts singers from around the UK and beyond to compete for the Cedric Virgin Memorial Prize, named after a long serving member and supporter of the choir. There are cash prizes and the winner also has the opportunity to perform with the choir and a professional orchestra.

The 2018 Singing Competition will be judged by three well known professional musicians: Professor Russell Smythe, Christine Cairns, and David Crown. It will be held at the Prince Michael Hall at Dean Close in Cheltenham on Sunday 25th March 2018. Preliminary rounds will be held in the afternoon, with the finalists performing at a concert in the evening. The public are encouraged to attend, with tickets available for both the afternoon and evening sessions.

David Crown, Music Director of the Cheltenham Bach Choir said “The Singing Competition was a great success last year, attracting talented singers from all over the country, so we are very excited to be running it again. It gives people in and around Cheltenham the opportunity to hear some of the UK’s best young singers of Baroque music in action”.

The winner of the 2017 Spring Festival of the Baroque Singing Competition was British/ Australian soprano Lauren Lodge-Campbell. The second prize went to Sylwia Stepien (soprano), and Joanna Harries (mezzo-soprano) won the third prize.

To register for the competition singers should visit the choir’s website www.cheltbachchoir.com . Applications close at midnight on the first of February.

The Singing Competition is part of the Cheltenham Bach Choir’s Festival of the Baroque, which will run from 23rd – 25th March 2018. The Festival will also include a performance of Bach’s B minor Mass, and a concert of Bach Cello suites played by Tim Lowe. The Festival is supported by the Oldham Foundation.

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