22 year-old Abigail Kitching has been appointed as the next Sir Alexander Gibson Conducting Fellow, the year-long choral training post for emerging choral conductors. Abigail graduates with a degree in Music from the University of Manchester this month, where she is also the Musical Director of the chamber choir Ad Solem as well as a student conductor for the Manchester University Chorus and The Cosmo Singers.
The Sir Alexander Gibson Memorial Fellowship is open to choral conductors interested in furthering their experience of choral conducting and is the only initiative of its type in the UK. The Fellowship offers the successful candidate the unique opportunity to work at a very high level with the chorus of Scotland’s National Orchestra and its Chorus Director.
The fellowship will involve attendance at a significant number of RSNO Chorus rehearsals. Rehearsals are held on Wednesday evenings in Glasgow and the specific number of rehearsals at which attendance is required will be decided at the discretion of the Chorus Director. Abigail will also attend all conductor’s piano rehearsals, orchestral rehearsals and performances of the RSNO Chorus for one season from September to June. She will also have the opportunity to observe and work with the RSNO Junior Chorus.
RSNO Chorus Director Gregory Batsleer: “The Gibson Fellowship is a crucial part of the RSNO Chorus’ identity and has over the years provided many young choral conductors with the rare opportunity of working with a Symphony chorus. We had a wonderfully high level of applicants this year and saw some fantastic auditions but it was Abi’s exciting potential and overwhelming passion for choral conducting and choral music that made her the obvious candidate for the Fellowship. I am greatly looking forward to working with her over the coming year and supporting her growth and development. “
Newly-appointed Sir Alexander Gibson Conducting Fellow Abigail Kitching: “I am absolutely thrilled and humbled to be given the opportunity to work so closely with Gregory Batsleer and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra Chorus. I'm sure the coming year will be a great experience, giving me the chance to grow and learn from the RSNO community. I can't wait to get started!”
Formed as the Glasgow Choral Union in 1843, the RSNO Chorus is the longest continuously operational performing arts organisation in Scotland. In 2017/18 the Chorus and Orchestra will mark the occasion by staging the Scottish premiere of Leonard Bernstein’s MASS as well as his Chichester Psalms, Brahms’s A German Requiem, and Holst’s The Planets.