Fulham Camerata is a non-auditioning amateur chamber choir of around thirty-five voices based in south-west London.
It is supported by an ensemble of semi-professionals, allowing the choir to tackle exciting repertoire and maintain high musical standards.
Members span all age groups, various nationalities and are drawn from diverse professional and ethnic backgrounds.
The joy of singing is what binds us together!
Meet the people
HARRY CASTLE — Music Director, since June 2018
Harry began his musical life as a chorister at St Peter’s Collegiate Church, Wolverhampton, where he became a choral scholar and from September 2017 to August 2018 was Acting Director of Music while completing his postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE). Before taking a place to read Music at Hatfield College, Durham, Harry sang as a countertenor choral scholar at Exeter Cathedral. At Durham, Harry held many conducting posts including Director of Music at Hatfield College, Conductor of Durham University Symphony Orchestra, Musical Director of Durham University Chamber Choir and Durham Opera Ensemble. Alongside conducting, Harry was also a choral scholar at Durham Cathedral under James Lancelot.
After leaving university to begin his teaching career at Norwich School, Harry held posts as Musical Director of Sheringham and Cromer Choral Society and The Iceni Choir. He took his first London teaching post at Holland Park School, and is now Assistant Director of Music at Cardinal Vaughan Memorial School.
He is a founding member and Musical Director of The Sovereign Singers, a London-based chamber choir consisting of Durham University graduates.
Harry has conducted in major venues across Europe. Notable UK performances have included Holst’s Planets Suite in Durham Cathedral, Guillame de Machaut’s Messe de Notre Dame in Norwich Cathedral, numerous services in Westminster Abbey, York Minster, and Canterbury, Wells, Salisbury and Southwell cathedrals, while overseas he has conducted in Kaiser Wilhelm Church, Berlin, San Sebastian Church, Madrid and St Stephen’s Basilica, Budapest.
RALPH ALLWOOD, MBE DMus— Patron
From the choir's earliest days, guidance provided by Ralph Allwood has proved invaluable. We continue to benefit from his active interest as patron. For instance, Ralph sits on the selection panel for key musical appointments. Fulham Camerata is very fortunate to have his support.
Ralph was for 26 years Director of Music at Eton College and is now a freelance choral director. He is the Director of the Eton Choral Courses, which he founded in 1980. Seven thousand 16 to 20 year olds have been students on courses over the last thirty-seven years. The Rodolfus choir, made up of the best singers from the courses, has produced over 20 CDs since he founded it in 1982.
Ralph is co-founder and conductor of Inner Voices, a choir made up of singers from state schools in London. He is also Director of Chapel Music at Queens’ College Chapel, Cambridge, and Director of the only conservatoire chapel choir in the world, the Old Royal Naval College Trinity Laban Chapel Choir. He is also an Honorary Fellow of University College, Durham.
Ralph has conducted choirs for 40 live broadcasts for BBC Radio 3, is a judge for the Llangollen Eisteddfod and has written much music heard worldwide on radio and television. He is Choral Advisor to Novello and to Trinity College, Oxford, and teaches at Trinity Laban Conservatoire and at his old school, Tiffin. In 2015 he co-founded the Pimlico Musical Foundation to enable children from Pimlico Primary Schools to sing in choirs, particularly at St Gabriel's Church.
In 2012 Ralph was awarded a Doctorate of Music by Aberdeen University. He was made MBE in the 2012 New Year's Honours list. In 2017, the Archbishop of Canterbury presented him with the Thomas Cranmer Award for Music and Worship.
Fulham Camerata has performed five of Ben’s compositions, including the three-part Life Cycle and For the Fallen which were commissioned by the choir. "I really enjoy writing music for the choir and working with them in rehearsals," he explained, "and I find it provides an invaluable platform for trying out new compositional ideas for voices". He also teaches singing, theory and piano to members of the choir.
Ben has won the National Centre for Early Music Composers' Award (2012) and Leeds International Film Festival Best Documentary Soundtrack (2013). Commissions and international performances include Merton College Oxford (2014), York Minster (2015), The Tower of London (2017), The London Festival of Contemporary Church Music (2018) and Emmanuel College Cambridge (2019). Ben has also composed live soundtracks and extended orchestral works, receiving exceptional reviews. His music has been recorded by ORA, The Rodolfus Choir and The Fieri Consort and receives regular broadcasts on BBC Radio 3, including by internationally acclaimed ensemble The Tallis Scholars. He is currently completing a PhD in composition at Oxford University.
Ben performs regularly as a Bass-Baritone soloist. He has worked extensively with I Fagiolini, The BBC Singers, The OAE, The Tallis Scholars, The Fieri Consort and Siglo De Oro. Conducting positions include organ scholar at Hexham Abbey (2009), interim Director of Music at University College Durham (2011) and founding director of Ensemble Renaissance (2011-present).
William Fielding is studying at the Royal College of Music and is organ scholar of Her Majesty’s Chapel Royal, Hampton Court. He works largely as an organist and collaborative pianist, with instrumentalists and singers alike, and is much in demand as an accompanist at the RCM. In 2017, William performed Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring for piano duet, in collaboration with Dance School of Scotland, and performed many times with his long term chamber music group, ‘The Strathearn Piano Trio’. In May 2019, William toured the Czech Republic with violinist, Joel Munday.
William has performed in venues such as The Queen’s Hall and The Usher Hall, Edinburgh; St Mary’s Cathedral, Edinburgh; Glasgow Royal Concert Hall; Leeds Town Hall and The Barbican, London. He looks forward to his time at the Royal College of Music over the coming years.
"I’m excited to be working alongside Harry and Fulham Camerata. The choir has a wonderful dynamic, and the results achieved by the concert are wonderful. I’m thrilled to be a part of it!"
GEORGIE ENTWHISLE — Soprano scholar, since February 2019
Georgie has been a chorister since the age of ten. Her choral training began at Bath Abbey where she was a chorister for eight years, two as head chorister. At Bath she recorded numerous CDs, sang on BBC Radio 3 multiple times and sang with the choir live on BBC 1 on Christmas Morning. She was a Music Scholar at Prior Park College in Bath and studied singing with Rosa Mannion. She obtained distinction in her Advance Performance Certificate in singing as holds grade 8s in singing, alto saxophone, piano and violin. In her final year at school Georgie played the role of Susanna in Mozart’s Le Nozze de Figaro.
Georgie recently graduated in music from King’s College London. In her final year she was selected for the Advanced Performance Module, studying under Alexander Ashworth at the Royal Academy of Music. At King’s she was also a choral scholar in The Chapel Choir of King’s College London under Dr Joseph Fort. During theses three years she was given many notable opportunities solos and consort, within the university an externally. In 2018, Georgie was one of the soprano soloists in Handel’s Chandos Anthems for the London Handel Festival. She also was the soprano soloist in Leighton’s Mass for Double Choir at St Paul’s Convent Garden, as part of the St Martin’s in the Field’s Concert series. Georgie sang the soprano solo of the premiere of Barber’s The Lovers at Kings Place. Whilst at Kings she’s recorded four CDs with the choir and went on tours to Canada, Nigeria and America.
Georgie has sung in numerous London churches, such as St Luke's Chelsea, St Paul's Cathedral, Westminster Abbey, Westminster Cathedral, St Peters Eton Square and St Gabriel's Pimlico. She has sung in the closing concert of the 2019 London Handel Festival with the London Handel singers under the direction of Laurence Cummings.
Georgie says she is thoroughly enjoying Fulham Camerata, the varied types of music that is chosen and, especially, the enthusiastic direction of Harry Castle. “The choir is full of kind and interesting people who are all there to make music and all have the same passion for choral singing. It is the perfect group to spend a mid-week evening with.”
ALEX CARPENTER — Tenor scholar, since 2014
Alex is a music graduate of King’s College London and Goldsmiths, University of London, and currently works as a freelance singer, conductor, teacher and accompanist. Involved in various singing groups at university, as a student Alex was also a semi-chorus member of The Bach Choir, with whom he sang in prestigious venues including the Royal Albert Hall and Buckingham Palace.
Alex is a Founder and Musical Director of chamber choir The Lyra Singers, and Company Musical Director of the New London Opera Group (newLOG), whose production of Patience achieved runner-up position in the 2018 International Gilbert & Sullivan Festival in Harrogate. An experienced stage performer, this year’s G&S Festival also saw Alex win the Best Male Voice award for his performance of Ralph in KCL G&S Society’s production of HMS Pinafore. Currently receiving singing tuition from Nicholas Clapton, Alex has performed as a soloist with The Bach Choir, OperaCoast, newLOG and Fulham Camerata. Alex is also a keen composer, with his setting of Edward Lear’s ‘The Duck and the Kangaroo’ for children’s choir performed at the Wandsworth Schools’ Music Mayor’s Gala Concert in 2017.
SEBASTIAN JOHNSON — Bass scholar, since 2019
Seb studies music at King's College, London, having been bass choral scholar at Norwich Cathedral. He is a recruit of Genesis Sixteen under the tutelage of Sir Harry Christophers and Eamonn Dougan, and recently premiered James MacMillan’s Symphony Le Grand Inconnu in Edinburgh and London with The Sixteen and Britten Sinfonia. He composes music for all ensembles, particularly for choir. King’s College London Chapel Choir, with whom he performs regularly and has toured internationally, has premiered several of his compositions.
Seb is aiming for a career in choral and composition, alongside being a personal trainer as he regards physical fitness as an essential adjunct. He says “I really enjoy Fulham Camerata for its high standards of singing, friendly faces and warm atmosphere: I felt immediately welcome.”
With a wide vocal range and relaxed resonance, he adds security to the bass voices, makes technical decisions for the section and, when called upon to solo, does so with poise and aplomb.
Photo credits jonathonvines.com and carmelking.com
A small committee runs the choir for the benefit of members. It is open to all and is run collaboratively, with all choir members contributing to events and activities. Committee officers are Judith Nugée (chair), Ted Townsend (treasurer) and Sophie Burgoine (secretary).
Fulham Camerata was formed in 2007 by Hermione Ruck Keene and Christopher Wray, under whom it grew from a small group of barely ten singers to a choir of thirty-plus. The founders’ commitment to the development of singing, both amateur and professional, is still a guiding principle: we aim to foster and help the careers of talented young professionals when appointing our accompanists, choral scholars, soloists and Musical Directors. Alexander Campkin, our first composer-in-residence, was succeeded by Ben Rowarth in 2015. From 2015–2108 Fulham Camerata was brought to new heights by the dynamic young conductor James Day, pictured, who is Musical Director at Tiffin Boys' Choir.
Fulham Camerata strives to put on more concerts with orchestral accompaniment, to commission new works from emerging composers and to reach out to local communities with free performances and educational work.
Sponsorship from companies and individuals helps us to achieve these goals. It offers an attractive schedule of benefits: acknowledgement in publicity, complimentary advertising space in our programmes, reserved concert tickets, and the possibility of private performances to staff, families or clients.
If you would like to sponsor us, do get in touch.