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August 28, 2010

Welcome to the new King's Singer

The King’s Singers have announced that Jonathan Howard will become the new bass in the group when Stephen Connolly steps down in September 2010. Jonathan, who is 23 years old and a graduate of New College, Oxford, beat off stiff competition in the final round of auditions, held at the Royal Society of Musicians in London.

Jonathan, a founding member of the Oxford Clerks – an a capella group modeled on The King’s Singers – also plays violin, viola and piano, has taken to the stage in opera and drama, plays several sports and even won medals at university for ‘Intercollegiate Trampolining’! He was chosen as one of nine ‘clevers’ to appear in the BBC3 series ‘Clever v Stupid’ last Summer – not surprising as he did five and a half A Levels and speaks fluent German and French. His passion for classical music began at his school, Christ’s Hospital in Horsham, West Sussex, and he subsequently won a choral scholarship to New College where he read classics and participated in numerous tours and recordings with the renowned New College Choir.

On learning that he had won the coveted job Jonathan said:

"It is an absolute dream-come-true for me to have the opportunity to perform for a living with such wonderful colleagues and singers, particularly since almost every small-consort or close-harmony venture I have done in the past has been inspired by their work. I am thrilled to accept the post, and cannot wait to start as a full-time member in October. Even now, I'm still in shock that this is actually happening."

David said: “Jonathan impressed us all with the quality of his voice, his musicality and ability to blend into The King’s Singers' sound and style. His enthusiasm and his obvious enjoyment, along with his thorough preparation, made his audition an enjoyable experience for all of us. For me there is the added bonus of another Oxford graduate joining the line-up.”

Stephen, who leaves after 23 years to take on a new role as Head of Vocal Studies at the prestigious Cheltenham Ladies’ College, said:

“I am thrilled that we have managed to find such an energized and talented musician as Johnny. He will be a real asset to the group and bring with him a wonderful timbre of voice as well as a freshness that will help propel the KS well into the future. I can't wait to hear him in concert!”

Philip said: "Flexibility is the keynote with any potential King's Singer - the ability to change your individual voice in order to make the sound of the group work. Johnny has a special kind of awareness which made me think that he would slot in very quickly to the group's way of working.”

Posted by acapnews at August 28, 2010 12:00 AM

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