For many years, St Giles’ has had a strong Choral tradition but the way music and singing are incorporated into the curriculum for our schools has changed. The Choir Academy of St Giles was formed in 2012 to help provide children with a thorough base for developing their singing and musical abilities. At first the effort was concentrated on training boys who are trebles. However, with the introduction of a Girl’s Choir at St Giles’, these training opportunities are now open to girls as well.
Boys and Girls who are being taught in St Giles’ Choir Academy are provided with three different strands of musical training:
* Singing as members of a choir (boys and girls trained independently)
* Singing as individuals
* Gaining a knowledge of Musical theory
There are also opportunities for members of the Choir Academy to learn to play the piano or the organ.
The growth of the Choir Academy has enabled splendid choral music to be produced by our choirs. This in turn has enabled our choirs to be of such a standard that they regularly go on visits and tours, singing for services in cathedrals and churches and giving concerts. They have had summer tours to Rome and in 2015 they went to Sicily. The choir have produced CDs of excellent quality which are available for sale.
If you would like to enquire about a child joining the Choir Academy at St Giles’, please contact Nicholas Prozzillo. Nicholas will arrange a meeting with you and give the child an audition. Although there are costs attached to membership of the Academy, these are relatively modest.
Choir Academy Scholarships
To further enhance choral music in Oxford, St Giles now offers Senior Organ Scholarships. If you would like to apply for such a scholarship, please contact Nicholas Prozzillo for details.
Choir Academy – Tutors
Choir Director: Nicholas Stefano Prozzillo MA MMus DPhil PGDip CertHE
Organ Scholar: Harry Meehan ARCO
Vocal Tutor: Anna Shackleton BMus
Nicholas is Director of Music at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford and an organ and academic music tutor. Nicholas hails directly from Swansea and indirectly from Morcone (Italy). His teachers include Dame Gillian Weir, and he studied at the Birmingham Conservatoire, Brasenose College, and the Royal College of Music where he completed his MMus with distinction. He was a Junior Fellow at the RCM, an Edison Fellow at the British Sound Archive, and a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Harris Manchester College, Oxford. Nicholas completed his doctorate under the supervision of Laurence Dreyfus and guidance of Peter Williams.
A strong advocate for music education, Nicholas’s early work with choristers at St Chad’s Cathedral, Birmingham, and the Chapel Royal, Hampton Court Palace, led him to eventually lead two children’s’ choirs at St Giles’. He undertakes regular school visits to demonstrate the joys and benefits of choral singing and recruit choristers. As an organist, Nicholas has performed in the cathedrals of Westminster, St Paul’s, Coventry, Blackburn. He has a special interest in the music of J S Bach.
Please do contact Nicholas if you wish to discuss joining St Giles’ Choir. Nicholas is most willing to meet prospective parents who wish to have an informal meeting about their son joining the choir.
Harry was born in Dublin, where he was a chorister in the St. Patrick’s Cathedral Choir under Peter Barley. Here, he received much of his early music training and developed an interest in the organ, subsequently taking lessons with Tristan Russcher of Christchurch Cathedral. While in school, Harry held numerous appointments as an accompanist to choral societies and amateur choirs, such as the University of Dublin Choral Society and The Italian Choir of Dublin. At the age of 16, Harry became one of the youngest ever organ scholars at St. Patrick’s Cathedral – holding the scholarship for two consecutive years. While still in school, he took the ARCO diploma and the following year moved to Truro to take up the position of organ scholar. Here, he was again given the opportunity to accompany the Cathedral choir regularly on another internationally acclaimed Willis organ. He is now organ scholar at The Queen’s College, Oxford, where he is also reading for a degree in music.
Anna is a highly versatile young singer from Oxfordshire. Anna recently graduated with a first class honours degree from the Birmingham where she studied with Christine Cairns and received regular coaching from Andrew King, Stephen Barlow, Robin Bowman, Simon Nicholls, and Jane Robinson. Her main vocal specialisms encompass early opera, oratorio and French art song, although she is equally comfortable with singing styles ranging from Jazz to contemporary works.
We are most grateful to all the support which we receive to develop music at St Giles’. Please contact Nicholas Stefano Prozzillo if you wish to make a donation.
The Ouseley Church Music Trust
The Broadly Trust
The Lynn Foundation
Mrs Jean Darke
Mr and Mrs J A Pye’s Charitable Settlement
The Old Parsonage
New College, Oxford
Magdalen College, Oxford