Henry Strutt was a Choral Scholar at Bradford Cathedral from the summer of 2016 for a year, before he headed to study at the University of York. He has been recently successful in securing a place on the ‘Genesis Sixteen’ training scheme, a programme for young singers run by The Sixteen, as well as starting as a Lay Clerk at New College, Oxford.

We caught up with him just before Christmas to find out more about these new opportunities, and his time at Bradford Cathedral.

“It was a really useful time for me. I got a lot out of it that I wasn’t expecting,” he said of his year in the choir. “Not only was it good musically for me, but I gained lots of useful life skills. It also helped my organisation!”

Henry found out about the programme through other students participating in the training scheme.

“I thought – I want to have a go at this! – so I auditioned. I had to send in a video, as it was just as we were going into lockdown in March.

“Being successful was great news at such a difficult time for music, with performances being cancelled. It was something to look forward to.

“We’re about to have our first course in January, in Magdalen College, Oxford. It’s definitely a good start to a brand-new year.”

The programme usually runs from August, with a fresh intake each year, but has changed this year due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation. This year’s programme, which is residential, is planned to run from April 2021 until January next year, government guidance depending.

“There are four courses, two one-week long, and the others three days, and are training in close-harmony singing.”

Alongside ‘Genesis Sixteen’, the position of Lay Clerk at New College, Oxford is another exciting new development for Henry in 2021, a seven-month position starting January.

“After having such a successful and happy time at Bradford Cathedral I knew it would be something I’d be happy doing again, after I’ve graduated.”

In September Henry is heading to The Royal Northern College of Music to study a Masters in ‘Vocal Performance’. “I’ve just accepted a scholarship to go there, so I’m really excited about that.”

Henry’s future ambition is to go into vocal performance. “I’m not sure yet if I want to do that in solo repertoire or ensemble singing, but I’m hoping to discover that during the course. I may also explore some opera, as the RNCM has a very good opera department!”

We wish Henry all the best for all these new ventures in 2021 and look forward to hearing more from him in the future.

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