Vocal Coach: CBSO Chorus
Alison Chamberlain studied singing at the Royal Academy of Music, where she took piano as an additional first study, being Gold Medallist (highest mark in UK) for ABRSM Grade 8 piano. She gained LRAM in both piano and singing and was awarded the Oratorio Prize and Rutson Memorial Prize. As winner of the Westmorland Scholarship for a further year’s study of singing at RAM, she was also appointed as sub-professor for piano. She went on to study vocal performance with Paul Hamburger in London, and Gino Campesi in Italy. She later gained BA with 1st class Honours (OU) and Pg cert (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. A member of ISM, she also belongs to AOTOS and BVA, being interested in following recent developments in voice research.
As a soloist, Alison has performed wide-ranging repertoire from Early Music through to contemporary works in recitals, oratorio and opera in UK, and also broadcast with ABC when living in Western Australia. She has performed with several professional vocal ensembles (including the BBC Singers and Ambrosian Singers) in many BBC radio and TV broadcasts concerts and recordings, and also with the extra chorus of Covent Garden Opera. Often as soloist with the Ambrosian Singers, she performed in major venues (Purcell Room, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Royal Festival Hall, and at the Aldeburgh Festival) and abroad in Venice and Brussels.
Alison is currently a vocal tutor for the University of Birmingham, where her students have been awarded 2nd and 3rd year prizes, first class in performance at both undergraduate and post graduate level and been successfully accepted for further study through the Genesis Sixteen Training programme, and also the Glyndebourne Academy. She also teaches vocal technique to MA Conducting students, and presents yearly workshops on using IPA to inform singers on pronunciation of French, German and Italian.
Previous teaching experience was at Leeds University, where Alison’s students gained Firsts and performance prizes. She was also vocal tutor and co-ordinator of the vocal department at the Junior Birmingham Conservatoire for many years, where she directed a vocal ensemble and presented a yearly concert to include all advanced singers. Many of her students sang with the National Youth Choirs of Great Britain both as section leaders and soloists, in both concerts and recordings. Two won the BBC competition ‘Chorister of the Year’ leading to radio broadcasts, concerts, and TV appearances. Alison’s students have gained Dip ABRSM and LRSM and been soloists in UoB concerts and the Birmingham University’s ‘Summer Festival Opera’, and also with the CBSO Youth Chorus and CBSO Chorus.
Now in her eighth year as Vocal Coach to the CBSO Chorus, Alison thoroughly enjoys working with such a dedicated and motivated group of singers. She enjoys passing on the expertise she has acquired over many years to address how the voice works as an instrument, and maximise tone, vibrancy and stamina. She also enjoys her role as vocal coach in the audition process, both at UoB and CBSO, always aiming to make this a positive experience.