29 June 2017
Harry Christophers and The Sixteen have announced Benedict Preece as the Genesis Sixteen Conducting Scholar 2017/18. Currently Music Director of Caritas Chamber Choir, East Bridge Chorale and Sandwich Concert Band, Benedict began his career as a Chorister of Canterbury Cathedral and continues to sing in the choir as a Deputy Tenor Lay Clerk.
First introduced in August 2014, the Genesis Sixteen Conducting Scholarship offers unparalleled access to tuition from two of the country’s leading choral conductors, Harry Christophers and Eamonn Dougan. Scholars get to work with Genesis Sixteen singers during their year’s training, observing each course, lead their own rehearsals and conduct several pieces publicly with them. They also take part in The Sixteen’s education and outreach work in primary schools. Previous Conducting Scholars include Benjamin Cox, Sarah Latto and Robbie Jacobs.
Benedict says: “I’m delighted to have been selected as the Genesis Sixteen Conducting Scholar 2017/18. I’m immensely looking forward to working closely with two of the leading choral conductors Harry Christophers and Eamonn Dougan, and with the extremely talented singers in Genesis Sixteen. For any young conductor who enjoys working with voices, this has to be one of the most exciting scholarships available and I feel privileged to have been awarded this prestigious scholarship.”
At Trinity College of Music, London, he studied horn, natural horn, the organ and composition. Benedict has developed his orchestral conducting technique with Stephen Portman (a former student of Monteux and Szell) and on Peter Stark’s renowned courses. His compositions have recently been performed by Caritas and choirs in Sweden, the Netherlands and the USA.
Benedict currently maintains a busy schedule with his ensembles. Caritas Chamber Choir is regularly engaged to deputise for Canterbury Cathedral Choir and have recently performed in Lille Cathedral, the Netherlands. Future engagements include Madrid and a tour of Sweden. Next year, Benedict will also direct Canterbury’s Festival Chamber Orchestra and Kent Sinfonia.