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A portrait of Lizzie from an event
Elizabeth Leather

The Department of Music is delighted to share news of recent distinguished student achievement in the conducting field, adding to the illustrious list of graduates from the wider conducting programme at the University.

Benedict Goodall and Elizabeth Leather have been named as two of the four Conducting Fellows with the National Youth Choirs of Great Britain (NYCGB) for 2021. The scheme offers a fully funded programme of unique professional development opportunities to emerging professionals from a diverse range of backgrounds and musical genres, as well as the chance to become part of a professional choral network inspiring young singers from each nation of the United Kingdom.

There is also success for Olivia Tait, who completed her undergraduate studies in Birmingham and is now working for her MA at the Royal Academy of Music. Olivia has been named the 2021 Conducting Scholar of Genesis Sixteen, The Sixteen’s young artists’ scheme aimed at nurturing the next generation of ensemble singers. Olivia will be mentored by Eamonn Dougan and Harry Christophers across the year, as well as work closely with the singers on a range of projects. Additionally, Mariana Rosas – a graduate of 2019 – has been appointed as the conductor of the Girls’ Choir of London Youth Choirs, the network of choirs committed to providing singing education for young people across the capital.

Olivia Tate playing in the UoB orchestra

Olivia Tait

Further afield, Australia’s leading choral organisation, Gondwana Choirs, have appointed Hester Wright as the Director of Western Sydney Choirs. Hester – a recent graduate of 2020 – will lead on providing singing opportunities for young people in western Sydney, as well as develop new singing strategies for inclusive music-making in Australia’s biggest city.

Conducting opportunities are an integral part of University Music in Birmingham, and offer unrivalled opportunities for young musicians’ development at any university in the UK. For more information, or if you would like to find out more about University Music at University of Birmingham, please contact Gavin Allsop (