Award winners together in Chichester

Funtington Music Group brings together some of the past bursary winners of the Robert Headley Prize on Wednesday, October 19 at 7.30pm in the University of Chichester Chapel.

FMG Bursary Winners concert Erin Alexander
FMG Bursary Winners concert Erin Alexander

The FMG awards the prize – in honour of its late founder – annually to the winner of the university’s showcase competition.

The performers will be Erin Alexander (soprano), Ben Socrates (piano), Jason Stanbridge-Howard (countertenor) and Jasmine Selby (flute). Piano accompaniment will be by Chris Coote.

Soprano Erin Alexander finished her bachelor of music in vocal performance at Chichester University in 2016 and received a first-class honours degree. Erin was selected to become the first-ever recipient of the Cooper Hall Emerging Artists Bursary Award and has now chosen to study a masters of music at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama.

As an undergraduate Erin was a sought-after soloist and performed in venues including Birmingham Symphony Hall, Buxton Opera House, Chichester Cathedral, Arundel Cathedral, The Savoy Hotel, Goodwood House and Chichester Assembly Rooms where she was invited at the last minute to stand in for Catherine Bott performing Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater.

Ben Socrates is a classically-trained pianist whose expertise and interests have seen him perform around the world, sought after in the concert hall and in fields as diverse as contemporary improvisation, jazz and interdisciplinary art. After studying at Chichester Ben was offered a scholarship for a masters in piano performance at Trinity Laban Conservatoire. As a student Ben was the recipient of numerous awards, winning the Clifford Benson competition for solo performance, the University of Chichester Concerto Competition, the Elisabeth Schumann Lieder Duo Prize and the Founders Prize for Accompaniment.

Since graduating in 2012 Ben has performed throughout the world, in concert tours with the International Piano Duo featuring Matthieu Esnult. In London, where he is based, Ben is in regular demand as a recitalist, accompanist and a collaborative pianist.

Jason Stanbridge-Howard held the post of director of chapel music from 2011 to 2013 while at Chichester, and after graduating in 2013 was appointed alto lay clerk at Portsmouth Cathedral.

Funtington Chairman David Tinsley said: “We are delighted that four of our bursary winners have agreed to return to the university which played such a formative part of their musical careers, and we are looking forward to an outstanding concert from these rising musical stars.”

Tickets are £15 on the door or may be pre-ordered on 01243 378900.

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