18 January 2024

Newsletter 68 – Spring 2024

This year we will be sharing our passion for singing with more young people than ever before with the launch of our first ‘Samling Singing School’. This new project marks a significant expansion to our work in state secondary schools as we create a network of ‘Samling Singing Schools’ stretching from the Tweed to the Tees.

Each Singing School will receive a period of intensive tuition over six weeks, followed by regular support visits. Our leaders will work with choirs and small groups to help singers at all levels to develop a secure and healthy vocal technique. We will also provide specialist coaching and share best practice in singing teaching with school music staff, to ensure the legacy of the project.

Egglescliffe School in Stockton-on-Tees will be our first Singing School, with visits starting in February and we will be adding two more schools each year as the project rolls out across the region. Matthew Haworth, Subject Leader for Music and Associate Assistant Headteacher at Egglescliffe said,

‘Over the years I’ve seen students absolutely transformed by their experiences at Samling Academy. We’re thrilled that Samling Institute’s expertise and their passion for excellence will now be available throughout our school and to our feeder primary and partner schools. I am absolutely convinced that this is going to be a very successful partnership.’

We are also continuing our regular Samling Futures programme, visiting state schools in Morpeth, Teesside, North Tyneside, Peterlee, Durham and Darlington. This programme will be led by three Samling Artists who are enjoying thriving careers on the opera and concert stage. Armenian soprano Anush Hovhannisyan has performed lead Puccini and Verdi roles at the Royal Opera House. Tenor Nick Pritchard is making a name for himself as a performer of Bach and regularly appears as a soloist with The Monteverdi Choir. Pianist Ella O’Neill specialises in working with singers and has appeared at major concert halls and festivals across the UK.

Every year, Samling Futures inspires singers in the schools we visit to audition for Samling Academy. A quarter of our current Academy cohort have previously attended these sessions and are now inspiring the next generation by taking part in Samling Futures as ambassadors for Samling Academy and for classical singing. We look forward to hearing students who have attended this year’s Samling Futures events at our next round of auditions, to be held in May.

Our next public event is our Samling Artist Programme Masterclass at Marchmont House on Saturday 2 March, with leaders including celebrated Scottish soprano Marie McLaughlin and Samling Artist James Baillieu.

We will reach a new milestone with this programme in March, which will take the number of Samling Artists to over 400 from no fewer than 45 different countries. Having received recommendations for our next round of applications, we will be holding auditions in April over three days in London and Glasgow.

We look forward to seeing you at Marchmont House on 2 March or at one of our other events this year.

Image: Joan Rodgers CBE at Samling Academy coaching 15 year-old soprano Ava, who successfully auditioned for the programme after a Samling Futures visit to her school. Photo: Mark Pinder