Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester, the UK’s largest specialist music school, has announced the appointment of Marcus Farnsworth as Head of the school’s new Vocal and Choral Department.
The school will also extend the new department’s programme to welcome young singers from age 13, together with all pupils for whom singing is a first subject of study, and the School’s many choirs.
Marcus Farnsworth, a professional baritone, was awarded first prize in the 2009 Wigmore Hall International Song Competition and the Song Prize at the 2011 Kathleen Ferrier competition. He attended Chetham’s as a pupil after beginning his musical journey as a chorister at Southwell Minster in Nottinghamshire. Subsequent studies took him to the University of Manchester and the Royal Academy of Music, and his award-winning professional career has included recitals, recordings and operatic performances across the world.
He marries his performance career with an ongoing commitment to educational and community singing: he is Director of the Southwell Festival Voices, President of St George’s Singers in Manchester, and Founder and Artistic Director of both the Southwell Music Festival and Manchester Vocal Festival, held at Chetham’s for the first time in 2018.
Farnsworth’s role will encompass both leadership of the School’s excellent choirs, and development of the programme for first study singers, alongside a superb team of vocal teachers. Every student at Chetham’s sings regularly as part of an ensemble, whilst the flagship Chamber Choir and Chorus has performed alongside artists including Paul McCreesh, John Rutter and the Hallé.
Like all instrumental students at Chetham’s, singers from Year 9 will be eligible for funding up to full fees for all music and academic teaching through the Department for Education’s Music and Dance scheme.
Chetham’s Principal, Alun Jones, said:
‘I am delighted that Marcus is joining us at such an exciting time in the School’s development. As we celebrate Chetham’s 50th Anniversary as a specialist music school, we look forward to the future and to influencing the musical landscape of the nation for many more years as an international centre of instrumental, vocal and choral excellence.’