Alison Chamberlain

Vocal Coach: CBSO Chorus


Alison Chamberlain studied singing at the Royal Academy of Music where she took piano as an additional first study, being ABRSM Gold Medallist for Grade 8 Piano. She gained LRAM in Piano and in Singing, was awarded the Oratorio Prize and Rutson Memorial Prize, and in her final year was appointed sub-professor for piano whilst also being the holder of the Westmorland Scholarship for singing. She went on to study with Paul Hamburger in London, and Gino Campesi in Italy. She later gained BA (first class honours) with the Open University and PG Cert in ‘Psychology for Musicians’ at Sheffield University. To further her understanding of vocal technique, she completed Levels 1 and 2 of ‘Estille Voicecraft’ at Napier University Edinburgh in 2000, and is currently a member of both AOTOS and BVA.

Alison has performed with professional vocal ensembles (including the BBC Singers and the Ambrosian Singers) in many BBC Radio and TV broadcasts, Promenade Concerts, concerts and recordings, and with the Royal Opera House Covent Garden Chorus. Often as soloist with the Ambrosian Singers, she frequently performed in major venues (Purcell Room, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Royal Festival Hall) and in festivals such as the Aldeburgh Festival and abroad in Venice and Brussels. She has also performed wide-ranging repertoire from Early Music through to contemporary works, in recitals, oratorio and opera. When living in Australia, she broadcast recitals with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

Alison's teaching experience includes working as a vocal tutor at Leeds University where her students gained firsts and won prizes for performance. She was vocal tutor and co-ordinator of the vocal department at the Junior Birmingham Conservatoire for many years, directed a 'vocal ensemble' for the advanced students, and presented a yearly vocal concert at the Adrian Boult Hall.

Many of her students have sung in the National Youth Choirs of Great Britain as section leaders and soloists in both concerts and recordings, and two have won the prestigious national BBC competition ‘Chorister of the Year’, leading to broadcasts and television appearances. As a private teacher her students have gained Dip ABRSM and LRSM with distinction, and have performed as soloists both with CBSO Youth Chorus and CBSO Chorus.

Currently working as vocal tutor at the University of Birmingham, Alison teaches vocal performance to BMus and MA students. She also teaches vocal technique to post-graduate conducting students. She has written and presents annually, workshops on diction, using IPA as a guide to pronunciation of English, French, German and Italian. Her students often perform as soloists in concerts, and in the Summer Festival Opera. They have been awarded both second and third year prizes, distinctions at post-graduate level, and in 2014 one was the winner of a national competition to sing with Bryn Terfel at the Llangollen Festival.

Alison also actively encourages students to benefit from membership of the various excellent choirs at Birmingham University, where Simon Halsey is Professor and Director of Choral Activities. On successful audition, students can also benefit from performing with CBSO Chorus and the CBSO, giving them invaluable performing experience.

Now in her fifth year as Vocal Coach to the CBSO Chorus, Alison thoroughly enjoys working with such a dedicated and motivated group of singers. She also enjoys being a part of the audition process for the many University of Birmingham choirs, CBSO Chorus, and occasionally the London Symphony Chorus.