ENHANCE YOUR MUSICIANSHIP, TECHNIQUE AND PROFESSIONAL SKILLS ON OUR TWO-YEAR POSTGRADUATE COURSE

Our distinctive degree is the UK’s longest-established specialist course in conducting for choirs.

'My role is to draw students into the modern realities of the choral conducting profession as well as the rich British traditions of choral musicianship'
Patrick Russill, Head of Choral Conducting

It covers a wide range of sacred music for both concert and liturgical events, as well as selected secular repertoire. With expertise in conducting, rehearsal and baton techniques, choral repertoire, vocal technique and aural skills, our professors will ensure that you graduate with the tools you’ll need for an active and diverse career.

The Academy’s location in the centre of London, at the Heart of the British choral tradition, provides an enviable learning environment and enables us to collaborate closely with leading professional, amateur and collegiate choirs.

We offer choral conducting as a principal study at postgraduate level only. At undergraduate level, it is offered as an optional choir-training class.

Choral Conducting

Tansy Castledine

Tansy Castledine

Graduated 2004
Choral Conducting

Tansy Castledine

Graduated 2004

Choral Conducting

Tansy Castledine is Director of Music at Peterborough Cathedral. Much in demand as a choral conductor and music education consultant, she began her studies at the University of Oxford prior to gaining her MMus in Choral Direction and Church Music at the Royal Academy of Music. Castledine is a Fellow of the Royal College of Organists (FRCO) and in 2013 she was elected an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music for distinguished service to the choral music and education professions. She was President of the MTA (2015-2016), the UK's largest and longest established association of music teaching professionals, and in 2017 gained the National Professional Qualification in Senior Leadership (NPQSL).

Prior to taking up her role at Peterborough, Castledine was Director of Music and Organist at St Mark’s, Hamilton Terrace, worked with Finchley Children’s Music Group and was Visiting Lecturer and Director of the Chamber Choir at City, University of London. She served for eleven years as Director of Music and Organist at St George’s College, Weybridge. During this time she led the Chamber Choir to double national success becoming the BBC Songs of Praise Senior School Choir of the Year and Barnardo’s Senior Choir of the Year and recorded several highly acclaimed CDs. She has broadcast on BBC radio 3, 4 and World service in addition to working on television shows on ITV and Channel 4. Conducting engagements have included concert performances at the Barbican, Royal Albert Hall, and St Martin-in-the-Fields, in addition to concert tours across Europe and to the East and West coasts of America. Additionally, she has worked for the Royal School of Church Music (RSCM) as a Course Director and Singing Examiner, and for the Royal College of Organists on the TOSE Course as the Choral Direction Tutor.

Castledine is also the Musical Director of Peterborough and Ramsey Choral Societies and currently serves on the Executive Committee of the Church Music Society.

Meet
our alunni

Steven Fox

Steven Fox

Graduated 2004
Choral Conducting

Steven Fox

Graduated 2004

Choral Conducting

Conductor Steven Fox has been called ‘visionary’ by BBC Music Magazine and named ‘a conductor to follow’ by Seen and Heard International. Of a recent performance with The Clarion Choir, The New York Times praised his ‘deft guidance’, commenting: ‘Mr Fox revealed the drama of the score with vivid dynamic shadings … Intonation and pacing were exemplary throughout the performance.’ For his recording Kastalsky: Memory Eternal with The Clarion Choir, he was nominated in the category of Best Choral Performance at the 61st Grammy Awards.

Fox is Artistic Director of New York’s renowned The Clarion Orchestra and The Clarion Choir. Over his tenure, the group has expanded its repertoire from Salamone Rossi to Aaron Copland. He has led the group in highly acclaimed performances at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, White Light Festival at Lincoln Center, Miller Theatre at Columbia University and Carnegie Hall. He continues to lead them in concert appearances throughout the New York metropolitan area and recently conducted a new production of Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte for Opéra de Québec.

Rachel Staunton

Rachel Staunton

Graduated 2008
Choral Conducting

Rachel Staunton

Graduated 2008

Choral Conducting

Rachel Staunton is Artistic Director of the London Youth Choirs (LYC), which she co-founded in 2012 with Suzi Digby. Having gained a first-class honours degree in music at Royal Holloway, University of London, Staunton continued her studies at the Royal Academy of Music with Patrick Russill, graduating with numerous awards and an LRAM in Choral Conducting. She held the post of Vocal Director for In Harmony Opera North (Classic FM’s Music Education Project of the Year 2014) and spent several years establishing the Opera North Children’s Chorus. Staunton has also worked as a conductor with the National Youth Choirs of Great Britain for over a decade. In 2014, she was made Associate of the Royal Academy of Music, in recognition of her contribution to choral music and work with young people. Staunton is passionate about using choral music to inspire young people from all backgrounds and dedicates her career to this mission.

Felix Yeung

Felix Yeung

Graduated 2012
Choral Conducting

Felix Yeung

Graduated 2012

Choral Conducting

Award-winning conductor Felix Yeung currently combines his office as Director of Music at St John’s Cathedral and Provincial Music Director of Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui. He is also Music Director of Die Konzertisten, one of Hong Kong’s foremost chamber choirs. Yeung was given the Award for Young Artist (Music) in 2015 by the Hong Kong Arts Development Council and has been appointed Director of Music for the Lambeth Conference 2021.

Yeung has conducted Die Konzertisten in performances of JS Bach’s St Matthew Passion, Henry Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, Dietrich Buxtehude’s Membra Jesu Nostri, Gabriel Fauré’s Requiem, Leonard Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms and Anton Bruckner’s Mass No 2 in E minor, among others. In 2014, Yeung led the choir to perform with the world-renowned countertenor, Iestyn Davies. He has also prepared the choir for internationally acclaimed conductors such as Stephen Layton, Jonathan Cohen, John Butt and Chen Yun-Hung.

As Chorus Master of the Hong Kong Arts Festival Chorus and Die Konzertisten, Yeung has prepared these choirs for performances of Hector Berlioz’s Lélio with Les Siècles, Zhou Long’s Madame White Snake, Richard Wagner’s Das Liebesmahl der Apostel with the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra and Male Choir, Claude Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande, Bright Sheng’s Dream of the Red Chamber and Christophe Willibald Gluck’s Iphigénie en Tauride with Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch.

Yeung is an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music, where he obtained an MMus with distinction under the tutelage of Patrick Russill and Paul Brough. He was awarded the Academy’s coveted DipRAM for outstanding performance in his final recital and has obtained the LRAM diploma in Choral Conducting. Upon finishing his graduate studies, Yeung became the first Pettman Organ Scholar at the London Oratory. Yeung read music at The Chinese University of Hong Kong, where he was also Music Director of the Hong Kong Youth Choir.

Photo by Yat Ho Tsang

Robbie Jacobs

Robbie Jacobs

Graduated 2015
Choral Conducting

Robbie Jacobs

Graduated 2015

Choral Conducting

Robbie Jacobs studied music at King’s College, Cambridge, where he was the senior choral scholar, and holds a Masters in Choral Conducting from the Royal Academy of Music. He is the Co-Artistic Director of contemporary vocal ensemble, Reverie, and has held positions as Acting Artistic Director of the London Youth Choir, Chorus Master of the National Youth Choir of Great Britain, Musical Director of The Resonance Project, and a lecturer in Choral Skills at the Royal Academy of Music. Jacobs was the inaugural conducting scholar for Genesis Sixteen, where he studied with Harry Christophers and Eamonn Dougan. As an educator, he has worked extensively in the UK, with the Royal Opera House, Three Choirs Festival, The Rosehill Theatre and Ledbury Poetry Festival, and is an ambassador for the Teach First program. He is currently the Director of Artistic Programming for Boston Children's Chorus.

Find out more about the career paths of some of our former students

Tansy Castledine

Tansy Castledine

Graduated 2004
Choral Conducting

Tansy Castledine

Graduated 2004

Choral Conducting

Tansy Castledine is Director of Music at Peterborough Cathedral. Much in demand as a choral conductor and music education consultant, she began her studies at the University of Oxford prior to gaining her MMus in Choral Direction and Church Music at the Royal Academy of Music. Castledine is a Fellow of the Royal College of Organists (FRCO) and in 2013 she was elected an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music for distinguished service to the choral music and education professions. She was President of the MTA (2015-2016), the UK's largest and longest established association of music teaching professionals, and in 2017 gained the National Professional Qualification in Senior Leadership (NPQSL).

Prior to taking up her role at Peterborough, Castledine was Director of Music and Organist at St Mark’s, Hamilton Terrace, worked with Finchley Children’s Music Group and was Visiting Lecturer and Director of the Chamber Choir at City, University of London. She served for eleven years as Director of Music and Organist at St George’s College, Weybridge. During this time she led the Chamber Choir to double national success becoming the BBC Songs of Praise Senior School Choir of the Year and Barnardo’s Senior Choir of the Year and recorded several highly acclaimed CDs. She has broadcast on BBC radio 3, 4 and World service in addition to working on television shows on ITV and Channel 4. Conducting engagements have included concert performances at the Barbican, Royal Albert Hall, and St Martin-in-the-Fields, in addition to concert tours across Europe and to the East and West coasts of America. Additionally, she has worked for the Royal School of Church Music (RSCM) as a Course Director and Singing Examiner, and for the Royal College of Organists on the TOSE Course as the Choral Direction Tutor.

Castledine is also the Musical Director of Peterborough and Ramsey Choral Societies and currently serves on the Executive Committee of the Church Music Society.

Steven Fox

Steven Fox

Graduated 2004
Choral Conducting

Steven Fox

Graduated 2004

Choral Conducting

Conductor Steven Fox has been called ‘visionary’ by BBC Music Magazine and named ‘a conductor to follow’ by Seen and Heard International. Of a recent performance with The Clarion Choir, The New York Times praised his ‘deft guidance’, commenting: ‘Mr Fox revealed the drama of the score with vivid dynamic shadings … Intonation and pacing were exemplary throughout the performance.’ For his recording Kastalsky: Memory Eternal with The Clarion Choir, he was nominated in the category of Best Choral Performance at the 61st Grammy Awards.

Fox is Artistic Director of New York’s renowned The Clarion Orchestra and The Clarion Choir. Over his tenure, the group has expanded its repertoire from Salamone Rossi to Aaron Copland. He has led the group in highly acclaimed performances at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, White Light Festival at Lincoln Center, Miller Theatre at Columbia University and Carnegie Hall. He continues to lead them in concert appearances throughout the New York metropolitan area and recently conducted a new production of Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte for Opéra de Québec.

Rachel Staunton

Rachel Staunton

Graduated 2008
Choral Conducting

Rachel Staunton

Graduated 2008

Choral Conducting

Rachel Staunton is Artistic Director of the London Youth Choirs (LYC), which she co-founded in 2012 with Suzi Digby. Having gained a first-class honours degree in music at Royal Holloway, University of London, Staunton continued her studies at the Royal Academy of Music with Patrick Russill, graduating with numerous awards and an LRAM in Choral Conducting. She held the post of Vocal Director for In Harmony Opera North (Classic FM’s Music Education Project of the Year 2014) and spent several years establishing the Opera North Children’s Chorus. Staunton has also worked as a conductor with the National Youth Choirs of Great Britain for over a decade. In 2014, she was made Associate of the Royal Academy of Music, in recognition of her contribution to choral music and work with young people. Staunton is passionate about using choral music to inspire young people from all backgrounds and dedicates her career to this mission.

Felix Yeung

Felix Yeung

Graduated 2012
Choral Conducting

Felix Yeung

Graduated 2012

Choral Conducting

Award-winning conductor Felix Yeung currently combines his office as Director of Music at St John’s Cathedral and Provincial Music Director of Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui. He is also Music Director of Die Konzertisten, one of Hong Kong’s foremost chamber choirs. Yeung was given the Award for Young Artist (Music) in 2015 by the Hong Kong Arts Development Council and has been appointed Director of Music for the Lambeth Conference 2021.

Yeung has conducted Die Konzertisten in performances of JS Bach’s St Matthew Passion, Henry Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, Dietrich Buxtehude’s Membra Jesu Nostri, Gabriel Fauré’s Requiem, Leonard Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms and Anton Bruckner’s Mass No 2 in E minor, among others. In 2014, Yeung led the choir to perform with the world-renowned countertenor, Iestyn Davies. He has also prepared the choir for internationally acclaimed conductors such as Stephen Layton, Jonathan Cohen, John Butt and Chen Yun-Hung.

As Chorus Master of the Hong Kong Arts Festival Chorus and Die Konzertisten, Yeung has prepared these choirs for performances of Hector Berlioz’s Lélio with Les Siècles, Zhou Long’s Madame White Snake, Richard Wagner’s Das Liebesmahl der Apostel with the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra and Male Choir, Claude Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande, Bright Sheng’s Dream of the Red Chamber and Christophe Willibald Gluck’s Iphigénie en Tauride with Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch.

Yeung is an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music, where he obtained an MMus with distinction under the tutelage of Patrick Russill and Paul Brough. He was awarded the Academy’s coveted DipRAM for outstanding performance in his final recital and has obtained the LRAM diploma in Choral Conducting. Upon finishing his graduate studies, Yeung became the first Pettman Organ Scholar at the London Oratory. Yeung read music at The Chinese University of Hong Kong, where he was also Music Director of the Hong Kong Youth Choir.

Photo by Yat Ho Tsang

Robbie Jacobs

Robbie Jacobs

Graduated 2015
Choral Conducting

Robbie Jacobs

Graduated 2015

Choral Conducting

Robbie Jacobs studied music at King’s College, Cambridge, where he was the senior choral scholar, and holds a Masters in Choral Conducting from the Royal Academy of Music. He is the Co-Artistic Director of contemporary vocal ensemble, Reverie, and has held positions as Acting Artistic Director of the London Youth Choir, Chorus Master of the National Youth Choir of Great Britain, Musical Director of The Resonance Project, and a lecturer in Choral Skills at the Royal Academy of Music. Jacobs was the inaugural conducting scholar for Genesis Sixteen, where he studied with Harry Christophers and Eamonn Dougan. As an educator, he has worked extensively in the UK, with the Royal Opera House, Three Choirs Festival, The Rosehill Theatre and Ledbury Poetry Festival, and is an ambassador for the Teach First program. He is currently the Director of Artistic Programming for Boston Children's Chorus.