We are proud of our choral scholarship scheme here at St John’s, which is generously supported by the William Gibbs Religious & Educational Trust. Each year, eight choral scholarships are available to vocal students from London music colleges, many of whom go on to very successful careers in opera, oratorio and other singing work.

Choral Scholars 2019-2020

helen may


Helen is a lyric soprano, currently studying for a Master’s in Performance at the Royal Academy of Music with Nuccia Focile. Helen benefits from private teaching with Marcio da Silva and has participated in masterclasses with Isobel Buchanan and Toby Spence. She is grateful for the generous support of the William Gibbs Educational Trust.

Helen's undergraduate studies in music took place at Cardiff University, where she held a David Lloyd Vocal Scholarship, and was awarded the Geraint Evans Prize for outstanding recital performance.

Since graduating Helen has performed a variety of operatic roles, including: Alcina (Alcina, Ensemble OrQuesta); Despina (Cosi fan tutte, Woodhouse Opera Festival); Pamina (Die Zauberflöte, Hastings Philharmonic); Amastre (Xerse, Ensemble OrQuesta, Grimeborn Opera Festival); Morgana (Alcina, New London Opera Players); Nerone (L'incoronazione di Poppea, Ensemble OrQuesta); Gianetta (L’elisir d’amore, Woodhouse Opera Festival); Valletto (L'incoronazione di Poppea, Hampstead Garden Opera); Calisto (La Calisto, Barefoot Opera and Ensemble OrQuesta); First Lady (Magic Flute, Secret Opera); and Yum Yum (Mikado, Opera Anywhere).

Helen has also gained extensive experience in contemporary music projects. As well as performing as soloist in the world premiere of Orlando Gough’s Bayeux (commissioned for the 950th celebration of 1066); and providing solo vocals for the multi-awarding winning short film APEX, produced by Numinous Pictures; Helen has created roles in three world premieres - Nimue (Merlin, Keith Beal, Hastings Philharmonic); Ruth (The Three Wayfarers, John Whittaker, Opera Anywhere); Aisha (Lizzie Strata, Roger Simmonds, Oxfordshire Contemporary Opera); and has covered the role of Aurora (Aurora, Noah Moseley, Bury Court Opera).

As an oratorio and concert soloist Helen has performed for: Poulenc's Gloria; Schubert’s Mass in G; Holst’s Two Psalms; Vaughan Williams’ Serenade to Music; Handel’s Dixit Dominus; Haydn’s Nelson Mass; Handel’s Messiah; Mozart’s Coronation Mass in C Major; Fauré’s Requiem; and Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel (Dew Fairy/Sandman).



Ffion Edwards


Welsh Soprano Ffion Edwards made her solo debut at the Royal Albert Hall in 2018 in the Festival of Massed Male Voice Choirs. Ffion is currently studying at the Royal College of Music, London for a Master of Performance with Dinah Harris. She is supported by the Countess of Munster Musical Trust, the Kathleen Trust and Cronfa Gwobr Goffa Ryan Davies.

Ffion was awarded a first class degree for her Bachelor of Music with honours at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. Ffion has won a number of competitions at the National Eisteddfod of Wales, including the Soprano aged 19-25 competition and was runner up in the prestigious W. Towyn Roberts scholarship prize.
Ffion recently appeared as the 1st Trio Member in Bernstein’s ‘Trouble in Tahiti’ at the RCM Opera Studio and will be performing as Clarice in Haydn’s ‘Il mondo della Luna’ this Autumn. Ffion has been a guest soloist on a number of occasions, she recently performed Goodall’s ‘Eternal light’ at Gloucester Cathedral and Handel’s ‘Messiah’ at Bristol Cathedral. Ffion also performed for His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales at his home in Llwynywermod in 2018.


Holly-Marie Bingham


Holly-Marie sings mezzo-soprano in the parish choir this year.


Judith Le Breuilly


Judith Le Breuilly was born in Birmingham and Graduated from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in 2018 with a First Class Bachelor of Music with Honours and is now studying for Master of Performance at the Royal College of Music as a Helen Marjorie Tonks Scholar studying with Dinah Harris and supported by the Josephine Baker Trust. During her time at the RCS, she was awarded first place in the Govenors’ Recital Prize and Jean Highgate scholarship for singers. 

Operatic roles include Zweite Dame Die Zauberflöte (Hurn Court Opera), Ernesto Il Mondo Della Luna, The Grand Duchess (Cover) A Dinner Engagement (RCMIOS), Various roles in Scoring a Century, Mother Goose (Cover) (BYO). Judith has also sung the roles Popova The Bear, Florence Pike Albert Herring, Lady Angela Patience (RCM) and Idamante Idomeneo (RCS) in scenes. 

On the concert platform, Judith has been a soloist for the Royal College of Music, the Glasgow Cathedral Choral Society, The Redditch Orchestra and the West Midlands Light Orchestra.


Ryan Williams


British tenor Ryan Williams is currently a member of Royal Academy Opera under the tutelage of Caitlin Hulcup and Iain Ledingham.

In October 2014, he graduated from the University of Chichester with a first class honours degree in music performance. After University Ryan spent 2 years on the choral scholarship scheme at Portsmouth Cathedral and went on to receive a Masters in Music from the Royal Academy of Music.

Ryan is a highly experienced Choral singer, highlights of which include being member of the inaugural Voces8 Scholarship programme, working with the Gabrieli Consort, The King’s Consort and being a member of the Philharmonia Chorus. 

As a soloist, Ryan has performed Oratorio works such as Handel Messiah, Dvorak Stabat Mater, Mozart Requiem, Bach B minor Mass, Haydn Nelson Mass, Rossini Petite Messe Solennelle, and he performed regularly with the Royal Academy of Music/Kohn Music Foundation’s Bach Cantata Series. This year, Ryan performed the role of Evangelist for Bach's St. Matthew Passion conducted by Trevor Pinnock, and toured South Korea with the Dudok Ensemble performing the same work.

In 2015 Ryan was a member Glyndebourne Opera Academy under Mary King, which inspired his passion for opera. Ryan’s operatic roles include La théière, Le petit vieillard, La rainette (L’enfant et les sortilege) Jupiter (Semele), Basilio/Curzio (Le Nozze di Figaro), Acis (Acis & Galatea) and Tamino (The Magic Flute). His chorus roles include Venus & Adonis, Dido & Aeneas, The
Gondoliers, Orphée aux Enfers (RAO), Tristan und Isolde covering Sailor, Fidelio and Der Fliegende Holländer (Longborough Festival Opera). 

Future appearances include Monostatos (Die Zauberflöte) and le Duc (Chérubin), both with Royal Academy Opera.

Ryan is generously supported by the Josephine Baker Trust, the John and Heather Clemence Charitable Trust and the Mario Lanza Educational Foundation.


Robert forrest


Robert sings tenor in the parish choir this year.


Edward Jowle


Baritone Edward Jowle is a postgraduate at the Royal College of Music, having graduated from the Bachelor of Music course there in 2018. He studies with Russell Smythe and Caroline Dowdle, and has participated in masterclasses with Gerald Finley and Sir Thomas Allen. He is a Rose Williams Scholar supported by the Denis and Sylvia Forbes Award, also recieving support from the Drake Calleja Trust, Help Musicians UK and the Josephine Baker Trust.
Recent stage work includes: Falke (Die Fledermaus/Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, Singapore); Guglielmo (Cosí fan tutte/Devon Opera); Elviro (Serse/Accademia Europea Dell’Opera, Italy); Papageno (Die Zauberflöte/Westminster Opera, France); Lord Dunmow (A Dinner Engagement), Snug (A Midsummer Night's Dream), and Will Atkins (Robinson Crusoe/RCM Opera Studio); Baritone Chorus (Dardanus) and cover Curio (Giulio Cesare/English Touring Opera); Gendarme (Les Mamelles de Tirésias) and Masetto (Don Giovanni/Euphonia Studio); Geneticist (Our Perfect Child/Tête-à-Tête, premiere); Adonis (Venus and Adonis/Brighton Early Music Festival); Cecil (Maria Stuarda/Magnetic Opera, Edinburgh Fringe); Alidoro (La Cenerentola/London Young Sinfonia).
His concert repertoire includes works from Bach to Howard Goodall, performing with choral societies and orchestras across the UK and Europe. Recent highlights include Oli Tarney St Mark Passion (St Peter, premiere) for the Endellion Easter Festival, Bach B Minor Mass for Lloyds Bank Choir, Berlioz L'enfance du Christ (St Joseph) for Scherzo Ensemble, Finzi Let us garlands bring for East London Symphony Orchestra and Elgar The Starlight Express for the RCM.
Future performances include the Follow the Lieder project in collaboration with Rye Arts Festival and Classic FM and a return to France for an Opera Gala with Orchestre de Canet en Rousillon.


maximilian Battefeld


Maximilian is a German baritone currently studying towards a vocal artist masters at Guildhall school of music and drama. As a singer he previously studied with Prof. Josef Protschka at Hochschule für Musik und Tanz Köln and with Samuel Queen. He will continue his training with Prof. Janice Chapman and Marcus van den Akker.

Maximilian read for his bachelor's degree at RWTH Aachen University in electrical engineering and graduated from Imperial College London with a masters of science in 2018.
Maximilian started his singing career as a treble in Wiesbaden boys' choir and returned as a soloist for concert tours in Germany, Croatia and Lithuania. He performed pieces such as Fauré's Requiem, Mozart's Coronation Mass and Bach's Christmas Oratorio.

Maximilian is a grateful recepient of a Drosihn grant, an Ede and Ravenscroft bursary and currently supported by the William Gibbs Educational Trust.