Queen's Park Junior Singers is a choir open to children between the ages of eight and 18. It is the perfect place to gain theatrical and musical experience while also having fun and making new friends. QPJS is affiliated with Queen's Park Singers, the adult choir, who invite us to perform in their concerts. In addition there are other events, for example, carol singing and Queens Park open gardens day. And we eat cake at the end of every rehearsal!
Serious choral skills are at the core of Queen's Park Junior Singers. The choir's director Mary Phillips imparts vocal training with the belief that children are quite easily capable of handling more challenging music than they are usually given credit for. The variety of music is also wide, ranging from rounds through to opera, singing in harmony and other languages. The children are encouraged to sing solos, duets and trios and chorus parts.
As well as performing in concert, children are also given the chance to take part in fully staged opera productions. The added discipline of having to sing and act simultaneously with adult singers helps them develop skills and confidence, not just in singing and performing but also in managing their time, learning about commitment and team work, self-discipline and making new friendships.
Mary Phillips is a freelance singer, composer and conductor. She teaches at Trevor Roberts School and South Hampstead High School and also has a private teaching practice. As a freelance singer, she has worked with the BBC Singers, the London Sinfonietta, Britten Sinfonia London Voices, Opera Rara, Electric Voice Theatre and Soapbox Children's Theatre. Before gaining a BA in music from the University of York, she was a clarinettist with the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain.