Olivia Clark, soprano (La Mort du Nombre)

Photo credit: Fiona Yelland
Photo credit: Fiona Yelland

Olivia Clark, from East Lothian, Scotland, read French and Spanish at St Andrews. She now works for OperaUpClose, having trained in Arts Management with Monteverdi Choir and Orchestras.

Aside from musical opportunities at university, Olivia has undertaken work with the Dunedin Consort and with the Edinburgh Festival Chorus.  She was also a member of the National Youth Choir of Scotland and its Chamber Choir for four years with whom she performed alongside the SCO, RSNO, the Ballet Rambert and the BBC.

Singing has always been an integral part of Olivia’s life ever since she started as a chorister aged 7 and from there she has sung in broadcasts, performed in touring West End shows and won various music and singing prizes including runner-up in the Scottish Rotary Young Musician of the Year in 2008.  Olivia has studied under Jonathan May, Susan Hamilton and Clare Shearer.

At St Andrews she was a choral scholar of the St Salvator’s and St Leonard’s Chapel Choirs undertaking annual international tours to Germany, Cyprus and the USA.  With St Salvators Chapel Choir Olivia has taken part in CD recordings working with the Fitzwilliam Quartet and Ars Eloquentiae.  She also sang with the University of St Andrews Madrigal Group and was the group’s Tour Manager.

Olivia played an active role in the university’s opera company, Byre Opera, performing roles in Albert Herring and Iphigénie en Tauride, which she also helped to translate with the St Andrews French department.

Mairi Grewar, piano (La Mort du Nombre, Thème et Variations and “Vocalise-Étude”)

Photo credit: Fiona Yelland
Photo credit: Fiona Yelland

Mairi Grewar is a collaborative pianist based in London. She received her undergraduate degree (BMus) in Piano Performance from Central Washington University where she studied with Dr. John Pickett (piano) and Dr. Gayla Blaisedell (Vocal Studies).

Mairi has performed a wide range of repertoire, including piano solo works as well as extensive vocal and instrumental accompanying. These include Britten’s A Charm of Lullabies, Ravel’s Cinq Melodie Populaires Greques and Beethoven cello and violin sonatas.

Mairi was the accompanist for the Central Washington University’s Chamber Choir and was accompanist for the theatre departments musicals and plays. In 2014, Mairi undertook musical director work on two scenes from Bizet’s Carmen and Puccini’s La Boheme for the CWU Opera, and was repetiteur for the Byre Opera’s 2015 production of Iphigenie in Tauris.

Mairi worked as an associate accompanist for the University of St Andrews Music Centre as well as being the accompanist for the University of St Andrews Gilbert and Sullivan society. Mairi is now undertaking a degree in piano accompaniment on the Guildhall Artists Masters Programme, which commenced in September 2015.

Jakub Gutkowski, piano (Chants de Terre et de Ciel)

Photo credit: Fiona Yelland
Photo credit: Fiona Yelland

Jakub Gutkowski studied piano with Richard Beauchamp and John Cameron at St Mary’s Music School, Edinburgh, and harpsichord with Carole Cerasi at the Royal Academy of Music. He has provided basso continuo in concerts with Christopher Hogwood and John Butt, as well as for Opera dei Lumi’s productions of Così fan tutte (2014), Le nozze di Figaro (2015) and their performance of Mozart’s Requiem (2016).

Jakub has toured Scotland with the Kellie Consort for two seasons, including on harpsichord and chamber organ for Bach’s Mass in B minor. He is currently in his third year of an undergraduate degree in Philosophy at the University of St Andrews, where he is a member of the jazz-fusion band St Andrews Fusion and was repetiteur for Byre Opera’s 2016 production of Britten’s The Turn of the Screw.

Chris Huggon, tenor (La Mort du Nombre)

Photo credit: Fiona Yelland
Photo credit: Fiona Yelland

Chris began singing at the age of 12, in a desperate bid from his mother to stop him from singing around the house, and soon began entering various county competitions. He was awarded the title of Tendring Musician of the Year 3 years running and was also named most promising young singer twice in the Colchester equivalent of this competition. Chris was accepted into the University of Essex choir on a bursary scheme and was able to perform many exceptional choral works in many cathedrals and concert halls during his three years with them.

Upon arriving at St Andrews, Chris became a member of the St Salvator’s chapel choir and sang regularly with them as a choral scholar for two years, as well as singing with the University Madrigal Group. As the recipient of a Vocal Scholarship with the University, Chris has had much success studying with Jonathan May. He has also been fortunate enough to take part in three productions with Byre Opera, performing the parts of Damon in Acis and Galatea, Mr Upfold in Albert Herring and Pylades in Iphigénie en Tauride. Chris was recently accepted onto the Genesis Sixteen choral training programme for this coming year, a project he is very much looking forward to.

Unfortunately, despite his mother’s best efforts, all this singing has only encouraged further singing at home.

Maebh Martin, violin (Thème et variations)

Photo credit: Fiona Yelland
Photo credit: Fiona Yelland

Belfast native Maebh Martin was born into a musical family, beginning her piano studies aged six and taking up the violin the following year. Since the age of thirteen she has been leading and managing her own Belfast-based string quartet. She holds an ABRSM Diploma with distinction in violin performance and is currently working towards the same qualification in piano.

Maebh was very involved in musical life at the university throughout her Modern Languages degree at St Andrews. She was elected leader of the Universities of Scotland Symphony Orchestra in both 2013 and 2014 and led the 70-strong orchestra on two European tours.

A musical scholarship-holder in both violin and piano, she was the soloist in Grieg’s Piano Concerto in A minor in the St Andrews Chamber Orchestra’s inaugural concert tour to Northern Ireland in March 2015. Maebh also played first violin in the Hetty Buchanan Scholarship String Quartet, performing regularly in St Andrews and further afield in Scotland.

Jenny Stewart, soprano (“Vocalise-Étude”)

Photo credit: Fiona Yelland
Photo credit: Fiona Yelland

Jenny began singing at the age of 9, and joined the National Youth Choir of Great Britain when she was 13. Since then she has performed in venues around the country with some of the world’s best conductors with them. Highlights included working with Daniel Barenboim and the West Eastern Divan Orchestra, performing Beethoven’s 9th in the BBC Proms 2012 on the opening night of the London Olympic Games, and performing Mahler’s 2nd symphony with Gustavo Dudamel and the Simon Bolivar Orchestra in the 2011 Proms, as well as touring the UK with the NYO and Vasily Petrenko. In 2014 Jenny was accepted into the semi-professional Nation Youth Chamber Choir, and toured to Salt Lake City with them in February 2015 where they were guests at the American Choral Director’s Association conference.

During her time at the University of St Andrews, Jenny pursued her choral singing and also explored solo performance with teacher Jonathan May. Taking several music modules led to her to achieve a distinction in her ABRSM Voice Diploma in 2013. She was Senior Chorister of St Salvator’s Chapel Choir for two years, helping co-ordinate a tour to New York, Princeton and Washington DC and the launch of the choir’s own record label, Sanctiandree records. In addition to the USA, Jenny toured to Cyprus, Spain and Scotland with the choir, and recorded five CDs, as well as performing for Hillary Clinton at the 600th anniversary celebrations for the University.

Jenny became heavily involved with all aspects of musical life at the University. For two years she was the musical director of the University’s Gilbert & Sullivan Society, including musically directing a show at the International G&S Festival in Harrogate, and she was part of the cast for the 2013 production of Handel’s Acis and Galatea, performed by what is now Byre Opera. Jenny graduated with an MA in Philosophy in June 2015, following which she took up an arts administration internship with the University’s Music Centre and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra.

Caroline Taylor, soprano (Chants de Terre et de Ciel)

Photo credit: Fiona Yelland
Photo credit: Fiona Yelland

Soprano Caroline Taylor studies on the MMus in Vocal Studies and Opera at the Royal Northern College of Music under Louise Winter, where she is generously supported by the Richard Newitt Fund. Her previous teachers include Anthony Roden, Jonathan May, Anna Maria Panzarella, Clare Shearer and Gillian Gray. She has performed in masterclasses with Valerie Masterson, Alison Pearce, Mhairi Lawson (Hampshire National Singing Competition), Roderick Williams and Iain Burnside (St Andrews Voices) and has received coaching from Brian Bannatyne-Scott, Walter Blair and John Graham-Hall.

Caroline made her professional concert debut in 2012 with Dundee Symphony Orchestra, as the soprano soloist in Vaughan Williams’ Sinfonia Antarctica. She has also performed as a soloist with Anstruther Philharmonic Society (Vivaldi’s Gloria), the Kellie Consort (Bach’s Mass in B minor) and St Andrews Chorus (Handel’s Jephtha). Opera credits include Governess in The Turn of the Screw, Miss Wordsworth in Albert Herring and Coridon in Acis and Galatea (Byre Opera); Yum-Yum in The Mikado (Southampton Operatic Society); Mabel in The Pirates of Penzance (Mermaids Performing Arts); Josephine in H.M.S. Pinafore (University of St Andrews Gilbert and Sullivan Society); Aline in The Sorcerer (Peak Opera); Papagena in The Magic Flute (St Andrews Voices); and Blanche de la Force in scenes from Poulenc’s Dialogues des Carmélites (RNCM).

During her time at the University of St Andrews, where she read for an MA (Hons) in French, Italian and Spanish, Caroline held choral scholarships with Holy Trinity Church Choir and St Andrews Chorus and was the 2015 recipient of the Cedric Thorpe Davie Vocal Scholarship and Memorial Prize for outstanding musical contribution. Since commencing study at the RNCM, Caroline has worked with Florence Daguerre de Hureaux and Nelly Miricioiu and in November 2016 took part in a Baroque Opera Residency led by Robert Howarth and Michael Barker-Caven at Opera North, Leeds.

Caroline looks forward to upcoming recitals throughout the UK and to performing the works of Richard Strauss in concert at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe this summer. She continues to be grateful for the support of her colleagues, friends and family on this exciting musical journey!