The Department of Music is delighted to share news of student success stories for the academic year 2020-21 thus far, adding to the illustrious graduate list of the distinguished conducting provision offered by the University.

Following the completion of his undergraduate BMus studies, Elliot Mercer has been appointed to the Young Conductor Mentor Scheme with Crouch End Festival Chorus under David Temple, whilst also taking up a position at Francis Holland School for Girls in London. Elliot follows in the footsteps of fellow Birmingham graduate, Mariana Rosas, who undertook the Crouch End scheme herself in 2019, and now manages a busy freelance career.

Elliot Mercer singing with Birmingham University Singers

Elliot Mercer singing with Birmingham University Singers

Further afield, MA in Choral Conducting graduate, Peter Gortner, has found success in Germany, as his new recording with the Kammerchor der Christuskirche Karlsruhe has been named by Classical Music magazine as one of the “best Christmas classical music CDs and recordings released in 2020”. Similarly, fellow graduate, Augustina Kapoti, has recently featured on a new oratorio recording to mark the Armistice with the Zemel Choir in London.

Meanwhile, current MA in Choral Conducting student, Laura Bailie, has successfully gained a place on the illustrious Sorrell Women’s Conducting Course at the Royal Academy of Music. Taught by Sian Edwards, the course offers an opportunity for women to develop their craft and develop wider skills in musical and personal leadership.

Choirs and choral training is an integral part of University Music in Birmingham, and offer unrivalled opportunities for young singers and conductors at any university in the UK. For more information, or if you would like to find out more about choirs at University of Birmingham, please contact Gavin Allsop (