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Sing for Pleasure announces members of its Young Conductors programme 2013

22 May 2013

The choral charity Sing for Pleasure (SfP) has announced the recipients of awards for its Young Conductors programme, funded by a number of grants from Charitable Trusts and Foundations, the Young Conductors are Neil Balfour, Nick Graham, Joshua Cirtina and Helen Briggs.
The four scholars were selected by the SfP management committee after an open call to applicants. Each prospective scholar undertook a written application and telephone interview. The scholars receive access to an annual programme with attendance on SfP conducting courses, a choir placement and mentoring support from course tutors.
Yorkshire based Neil Balfour is a recent graduate from Leeds College of Music who currently leads a number of choirs in the Yorkshire area. Nick Graham, from Guildford, is a student at the University of Oxford who has previously set up a youth choir in his local area and is passionate about the development of choral singing for young people. 
Future RNCM student Joshua Cirtina from Lancashire currently sings in a number of choirs and quartets and also conducts a wind orchestra, whilst Somerset based Helen Briggs holds a music degree from the Birmingham Conservatoire and is involved in a number of youth choirs including the Wells Cathedral School Choir.
Manvinder Rattan, Head of Conductor Training commented: "The standard of applicants has been extremely high and we are delighted to be able to provide a springboard for these young musicians. I'm thrilled that we can play a real part in finding and fostering such promising choral talent".
Neil Balfour said: 'It feels like a great privilege to be offered both a scholarship and the support and encouragement of Sing for Pleasure. Their vast knowledge and expertise and the access to events and mentoring means that I will be able to experience opportunities I would otherwise be very unlikely to. I am immensely grateful to be given the chance to develop my expertise in choral conducting and directing.'
Sing for Pleasure was launched in Bristol in 1964 as a musical society that celebrated all stages of choral and conductor development. Nearly 50 years later, the charity has a national reach, says its members are more passionate than ever about music and has built an excellent professional reputation. The charity has been delivering high quality accredited training courses for over 45 years. www.singforpleasure.org.uk

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