Inspirational leadership is one of the most important things we can offer our young singers. Led by Artistic Director, Rachel Staunton, our Senior Music Team are all choral conductors with many years experience of drawing the very best from young people. Our conductors encourage, nurture and challenge the members of their choirs, giving them a fantastically engaging and enlightening musical experience.
Conductor, LYC Cambiata Boys
Naveen Arles BCA FRSA, has established himself as an energetic, inspirational vocal leader and animateur. Founder of MDBrunch, his 36 years in music incorporates 26 years of creating singing groups of all ages and skills. Nav's ability to motivate people to try music and train any group of people means he equally delivers workshops in senior management training courses, with wellbeing support groups and in prisons.
His choirs have toured with Hugh Jackman, Take That, Lulu; performed with George Ezra, Alexandra Burke, Freya Ridings, on all TV channels, for HRH Prince Charles and welcomed the guests for Michelle Obama's exclusive UK book launch. Nav's experience and social justice work has led him to both be invited onto the council of the Association of British Choral Directors (ABCD) and to join a 10 person consultancy panel to advise Hal Leonard Europe on their Equality, Diversity and Inclusion policies.
Harry Baker is an award-winning pianist and composer with an equal passion for classical performance and for jazz and improvisation. A key player on the UK jazz and classical scenes, Harry has performed at the 606 Club, Pizza Express Jazz Club, Wigmore Hall, Royal Festival Hall and on BBC Radio 3, with international soloists including opera singer Danielle de Niese and cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason.
Conductor / Musicianship Tutor
Greg is a leading light in music education and performance. His ability to inspire people of all ages to explore new musical horizons whilst sharing his diverse range of musical skills has created new and exciting music-making opportunities, particularly for young people.
In addition to being Music Director of the London Youth Chamber Choir, he is Principal Conductor of the National Youth Training Choir and Associate Conductor of London Voices. He is also Musical Director of the Cross Border Orchestra of Ireland, an ensemble established in 1995 as a peace initiative and composed of exceptionally talented young musicians from all over the island of Ireland. Every year, in collaboration with the orchestra, he conducts over 35,000 school children across Ireland and the UK in a concert series called the Peace Proms; performances which help to build and nurture vital cross community relations.
He has held directorships with the Bournemouth Symphony Chorus, the Irish Youth Choir, the Ulster Youth Choir and the Royal College of Music Chamber Choir and has presented seminars on conducting and teaching strategies for organisations such as Cambridge University, the Association of Swedish Choral conductors, Cornell University New York, and music education hubs across England.
He has conducted the BBC Symphony Chorus, London Bach Choir and the London Symphony Chorus and collaborated with conductors such as Marin Alsop, Edward Gardner and Sir Colin Davis. He has conducted the National Youth Orchestras of Ireland and Ulster, the City of London Sinfonia, the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and the Ulster Orchestra in a range of performance and education projects.
An avid collaborator, with a Masters degree in composition, Greg has commissioned new music for choirs, electro-acoustic musicians, Irish folk ensembles, traditional Indian musicians, dance companies, pop stars and jazz bands.
He enjoys a very close association with Royal Albert Hall, devising the inaugural International Youth Choir Festival there in 2017. The festival, produced in collaboration between the RAH Education & Outreach team and the National Youth Choirs of Great Britain, featured seminars, workshops and performances in the Hall and across the city from some of the finest choirs in the world. Greg also hosts the ‘Carols at the Hall’ shows, a series of multiple sold out performances across the festive period.
He is a guest presenter for BBC Radio 3’s Live in Concert, Inside Music and Choir and Organ programmes, and has featured as a choral music expert for the BBC Proms television broadcasts.
Conductor, LYC South West
Charlotte is a singer, conductor and workshop leader based in London. Charlotte enjoys delivering workshops and facilitating education projects throughout the UK and Europe for various national organisations including The National Youth Choirs of Great Britain, The Voices Foundation, The Bach Choir and VOCES8 Foundation, and is an ambassador for Britten-Pears Arts.
Charlotte is musical director of Monumental Choir and directs the East Hertfordshire Schools Singing Festival. She is in demand as a workshop leader, presenter, and adjudicator. Charlotte studied at Nottingham University whilst also holding a choral scholarship, she then moved to Rome to study singing and Italian. Until recently, Charlotte was a full-time member of Apollo5, an international award-winning vocal quintet. She now enjoys a solo career of recitals, oratorio and opera.
Assistant Leader (LYC Junior Girls)
Gabrielle is a singer/songwriter with a heart for community. She is involved in a range of vocal leadership work in schools across London, through Ark Schools and Newham Music. Gabrielle also joined the team at NYCGB as a trainee to arrange and conduct a piece for the Training Choir. While supporting the development of others, Gabrielle is working towards releasing music of her own as an artist.
Accompanist (LYC North East)
Lucas Cunha is a pianist based in London. He studied at the Royal College of Music Junior Department for three years under the tutelage of Yekaterina Lebedeva, and is currently studying piano at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, where he is the recipient of the Alfred and Therese Kitchin Scholarship and is continuing his studies with Prof. Lebedeva.
Lucas has won various competitions in the UK, including first prizes at the North London Music Festival for Romantic, 20th Century and Jazz U18 categories, and the Enfield U18 Piano Competition in 2017. He has made a solo piano appearance with Haringey Young Musicians Symphony Orchestra (of which he is a former member) - playing both piano and orchestral percussion.
His successes have recently expanded from the UK to the international scene: he was invited to play in a gala concert in Shunde, China, and was one of the prize winners at the 2022 Musical Odyssey Masterclasses in Nafplio, Greece.
Assistant Leader (LYC North East)
Vanessa, passionate music specialist and leader of youth choirs, sees music as a therapeutic mechanism for building confidence as well as being a magical educational tool. Vanessa also leads dance classes and is always excited by the unique abilities and talents seen in young people.
As a member of Metronomes Steel Orchestra, Vanessa has performed at Notting Hill Carnival and at Natural History Museum, in her more recent role as a DJ.
Vanessa facilitates a number of community arts projects, adding sparkling joy and creativity to the lives of both children and adults of all ages and abilities. She is excited to be joining the London Youth Choirs staff team, contributing to enhancing the wonderful talent of the young people that she’ll be working with.
Assistant Leader (LYC North East)
Anna is a musician, movement artist and performance coach with a background in classical music, folk and theatre performance. Her expertise brings together being well and doing well and she loves to work with poeple big and small, from all walks of life, to hone their skills, let their light shine, and meet life’s challenges with centred strength.
Assistant Leader (LYC South East)
Jack was raised in Norwich and Oxford and read a music degree at the University of York. He comes from a family of educators, from nursery headteachers to academics, and his first education role was a gap year teaching assistant post at a primary school, followed by regular volunteering and a treasurer position with the University of York Music Education Group. He now leads music workshops in schools for VOCES8 Foundation, teaches on residential courses for National Youth Choirs of Great Britain, and is a London Youth Choirs assistant leader, as well as co-directing learning and engagement for Corvus Consort and the Whiddon Autumn Festival.
Jack is also a freelance tenor, and is delighted to sing often with Tenebrae, Corvus Consort, and the Monteverdi Choir, of which he is a 2023/24 Apprentice. He holds a regular position with the choir of St Marylebone Parish Church.
Assistant Leader (LYC Junior Boys & LYC South West)
Penny graduated from the University of Nottingham with a Bachelor of Music degree in 2003, where she was a choral scholar at St Barnabas Cathedral. In addition to her work with London Youth Choir, she is the Musical Director of Carshalton Choral Society and London Humanist Choir, as well as a freelance singer and teacher.
Assistant Leader (LYC Cambiata Girls)
Following work as a pastry chef, Sharon was looking to transition into a career in music in therapeutic settings when she received a job ad for a schools-based opportunity. She now works with children of a variety of ages as a school learning support assistant, using music to engage with and transition children through the school day. She has been a member of a Gospel Choir for 10 years, and is also a singer-songwriter.
Accompanist (LYC South East)
Jonny is a graduate of the Royal Academy of Music where he studied the organ, and has a Master's Degree in Jazz Piano from Trinity Laban. Exposed to classical music during his youth, Jonny was playing the Church Organ at Mass every Sunday from the age of 13. He has performed at many venues giving solo recitals as well as being the Church organist of several churches throughout London over the years.
He performed at The National Concert Hall, Dublin at the age of 15, and has given organ recitals at St Paul’s Church, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Westminster Central Hall, Fairfield Halls, Croydon, The Duke’s Hall at the Royal Academy of Music, and St Giles’ Cathedral, Edinburgh.
While studying the organ at the Academy, Jonny became deeply immersed in the jazz genre, and started teaching himself jazz piano in his spare time. It was also during this time that he started composing his own music. As a jazz pianist Jonny has performed at The Vortex Jazz Club, Toulouse Lautrec, Oliver's Jazz Bar, Bush Hall, Ninety One Living Room, Boisdale of Canary Wharf, Boisdale of Mayfair, and Blackheath Concert Halls in London.
Following the release of his 2019 EP 'New Days & Past Times', Jonny released his debut album Mellow Mind in 2020, which features 9 of his new original compositions, and a solo piano EP A Message Through Sound featuring 3 original solo compositions.
As well as performing as a keyboardist, Jonny is also an active producer making Deep House and Jungle music, with 4 EPs (Deep House Dubs Project EP, Diary Of A Keys Man EP, London Past & Present
EP & Wise Eyes EP) under his belt so far. He is also a Jungle DJ and record collector with several mixes recorded on SoundCloud.
Assistant Leader (LYC West)
Elliot is a conductor, teacher and singer based in London who is also lucky enough to be an LYC Alumnus. He now teaches music and runs multiple choirs and musical groups at a girls school in Central London. He graduated with a first in Music from the University of Birmingham, where he majored in choral conducting and took part in as much as singing and music-making as he could get away with.
To further satisfy his choral addiction, Elliot is Assistant to the CEO with national choral charity, Sing for Pleasure, where he started volunteering after thoroughly enjoying their conducting training. He has also recently been the Young Conducting Scholar with Crouch End Festival Chorus and enjoys working with choirs around London. Elliot has previously sung in National Youth Choirs of Great Britain and CBSO Chorus and has been Musical Director for The People’s Show Choirs, Ring of Sound Community Choir among other ensembles in London and Birmingham. Away from music, he enjoys reading, being a very average tennis player and refereeing football, but has never been able to properly introduce singing into his game management.
Conductor (LYC North East), Assistant Leader (LYC Cambiata Girls)
Laurel is a musical director and singer with a passion for sharing music-making with others. She currently leads the staff choir for King's College London, conducts Note-orious Community Choir and is leading the new choir London Youth Choir North East. Laurel completed an apprenticeship with the Royal Opera House Thurrock Community Chorus in 2018, led the London Humanist Choir for ten years, worked for many years for Music in Offices. Laurel made her conducting debut at the BBC Proms in 2019 in John Luther Adams' In the Name of the Earth, and conducted Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem in November 2022 with Wokingham Choral Society.
Laurel studied music at the University of Nottingham and sang as a choral scholar at St Mary's. Growing up in Kent, she sang with Kent Youth Choir, played in Ashford Youth Jazz Orchestra, and learnt to play several instruments in her Mum's folk band. Upon moving to London she was a member of London Youth Choir itself in its founding year, singing with the chamber choir in their performance with The Rolling Stones at the O2 Arena in 2012.
Laurel has performed with many professional choirs, including St Martin-in-the-Field's Voices, London Contemporary Orchestra, Echo Vocal Ensemble, London Choral Sinfonia, National Portrait Gallery Choir, and St Paul’s Cathedral Consort. She is an alumna of Genesis Sixteen, the choral training programme of internationally renowned chamber choir, The Sixteen. She has toured the UK and made several TV and radio appearances with Gareth Malone's Voices, including UK tour “Singalong-a-Gareth” as a lead vocalist, and penny whistle and ukulele player in Autumn 2022.
Laurel is also passionate about getting younger voices singing. For several years she was project director for Dartford Choral Outreach and currently leads Hampton Court Palace’s Songstars project, providing singing support to state primary school children in South West London who have limited access to music. Laurel also currently teaches curriculum music for Southwark Music Service, and works as a choral leader with Voces8 Foundation and Voices Foundation.
In her spare time, Laurel can be seen pedalling around London on her purple Peugeot racing bike, Polly.
Assistant Leader (LYC South East)
Jessica is a passionate youth educator, with a drive to bring out the oftentimes hidden confidence in young people. She uses laughter and fun to encourage them to embrace their unique abilities and talents. One of her primary tools in this process, is her other deep passion - music.
When not joyfully immersed at LYC, Jess is a library development officer, where she loves to engage with local communities and schools in the borough she services. Here she once again brings this passion for music forward, combining it with the magic of spoken and written words, to deliver fun filled events both in person, and in this new era, via zoom.
You will often find Jess, even with a book in hand, singing a song. Better still, you will find her dancing while singing with the under-fives, or teaching both parents and children calypso and pop tunes. As a regular member of Southwark’s ‘library band’, Jessica will insist that librarians are in fact very cool, and not stodgy at all!
Assistant Leader (LYC Junior Boys & LYC Cambiata Boys)
Antonio is a singer, choral leader and teacher from London. He was a founding member of the youth choir Inner Voices in 2011, and went on to study music at the University of Hull. Having been in the London Youth Choir in 2015, he is delighted to now be part of the LYC Staff Team.
Antonio is passionate about providing opportunities for quality music making and singing to young people, and does this through his work with the London Youth Choirs, Ark Academies and Southwark Music Service. Currently, Antonio is completing a year-long Fellowship Programme with the National Youth Choirs of Great Britain.
Conductor & Workshop Leader, 10th anniversary schools programme
Shivani Rattan is a British Indian Choral Conductor and Mezzo-Soprano based in London. She is a graduate of Royal Holloway where she held a Choral Scholarship and directed The Founder’s Choir. Shivani is now a member of Papagena, the all-female a cappella quintet, as their mezzo.
Shivani works for Brent Music Service as their Choral Co-ordinator as well as The National Children’s Choir of Great Britain (Assistant Conductor), Tenebrae (Singing Schools Workshop Leader), and Sing for Pleasure (Trainee Tutor, Communications & Social Media lead). Recently, her Three Indian Celebration Songs were published by Sing for Pleasure.
With The National Youth Choirs of Great Britain, Shivani was a Fellow in 2021 and has since enjoyed working on NYCGB courses, and with other organisations such as London Youth Choirs, Ark Schools, and Farnham Youth Choir, all thanks to the opportunity.
Conductor, LYC Junior Girls
Mariana is an Argentinian conductor based in the UK. She is currently Associate Conductor of London Symphony Chorus, Music Director of Cantoras Upper Voices, and Birmingham City Council Choir, and Deputy Conductor of Crouch End Festival Chorus. She also works regularly with National Youth Choirs of Great Britain, Birmingham Opera Company, West Midlands Inclusive Choir, Glyndebourne, and the Royal Opera House. In September 2021, she obtained the 2nd Prize at the Dima International Conducting Competition in Romania.
Mariana was educated in Italy and Argentina, and in 2018 transferred to the UK to study at the University of Birmingham with Simon Halsey. Prior to her move, she was Assistant Professor of Choral Practice at the National University of Arts in Buenos Aires. She has worked as a guest conductor in Germany, Denmark, Canada, Italy, and Switzerland.
She now works on a diverse range of projects across many musical disciplines and is regularly engaged as a guest conductor – with musicians of all ages and abilities – on projects across the UK.
MERLIE ANNE SEBASTIAN
Assistant Leader, LYC South West
Merlie Anne was part of the LYC Junior Girls’ Choir over five years ago and is excited to return as an Assistant Leader for LYC South West. She graduated from The BRIT School for Performing Arts and Technology with a diploma in Music Performance and Production in 2020. She is currently a freelance vocalist and digital artist based in Sutton, as well as a member of the London International Gospel Choir.
Conductor, LYC West
Olivia completed an MA in Choral Conducting and a Fellowship at the Royal Academy of Music. She received a distinction and was awarded a DipRam for outstanding performance in her final recital, in addition to the Sir Thomas Armstrong Choral Leadership Prize. She is the current Genesis Sixteen Conducting Scholar, Conductor of the University of London Chamber Choir and the University of Greenwich Choir.
Olivia founded and conducts professional ensemble The CONVENTional Project, an early music group performing music by women from the Italian convents.
Her previous engagements include being Assistant Musical Director with British Youth Opera, Assistant Chorus Master for the Academy Chorus, and attending Dartington International Summer School Advanced Conductor programme.
Rachel Staunton co-founded LYC in 2012 with Suzi Digby. Having gained a first-class honours degree in music at Royal Holloway, University of London, Rachel continued her studies at the Royal Academy of Music, graduating with numerous awards and an LRAM in Choral Conducting.
She held the post of Vocal Director for In Harmony Opera North (Classic FM’s Music Education Project of the Year 2014) and spent several years establishing the Opera North Children’s Chorus. Rachel has also worked as a conductor with the National Youth Choirs of Great Britain for over a decade.
In 2014, Rachel was made Associate of the Royal Academy of Music, in recognition of her contribution to choral music and work with young people. She is passionate about using choral music to inspire young people from all backgrounds and dedicates her career to this mission.
Assistant Leader (LYC Junior Girls)
Meg is a freelance flautist and conductor, having just completed her master's studying at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance. She dedicates her career to education, from private music tuition and workshop leading, to running and conducting an orchestra committed to educating children and young adults on film music. She is very grateful to have joined the team at LYC.
Meg loves to show her personality in her music, and can often be found performing barefoot, or tap dancing whilst playing the flute! Her bright coloured hair and make-up make her easy to spot in a crowd, and if not, you'll find her falling in love with each and every dog she comes across!
Conductor, LYC Junior Boys
Ben has been teaching primary aged children since his year abroad in a children’s theatre in Vienna in 2008. He set up the three children’s choirs of St. John the Divine, Kennington, in 2013, where 80 children aged 5-18 now attend weekly rehearsals and perform in concerts around the country; they have also broadcast live on BBC Radio 2 and have a partnership with St. John’s College, Cambridge.
Ben is increasingly in demand to lead one-off singing days and courses, working for the Red House, Aldeburgh, the Roman River Music Festival, the National Youth Choir of Great Britain, the Rodolfus Foundation and YK Pao School, Shanghai. He also conducts four office choirs in London and is the conductor of the University of Essex Choir and founder and director of the Wivenhoe Youth Choir. He ran the Singing Outreach Programme for Westminster Cathedral, working with 12 primary schools over London, from 2014-19. His book “Introducing Singing” was published by Trinity College London in March 2023.
Ben studied music and German at Durham University, University of Vienna, King’s College London and as a postgraduate in vocal studies at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance. Alongside his conducting, he is seen regularly on the oratorio and recital circuit and has sung with the BBC Singers, the Sixteen, Stile Antico, Tenebrae and the Eric Whitacre Singers among others. In 2019 he performed a solo recital as part of the Aldeburgh festival.
Assistant Leader (LYC West)
Stella is a former member of LYC Chamber Choir and joined the LYC staff team in September 2021 as an assistant leader for LYC West.
She graduated with a degree in Music from Royal Holloway University where she sang with the Royal Holloway Founders Choir and helped to run the Holloway Notes Choir for adults with learning disabilities. Since graduating in 2020, Stella has worked as an administrator for The Military Wives Choirs, London Youth Choirs and The Include Choir. She now works as Event Coordinator at the Royal College of Music.
Assistant Leader, LYC Cambiata Boys
Tristan is an LYC alumnus, a Choral Conducting student at the Royal Academy of Music, and a recent graduate of Oxford University. He runs several choirs, including the Elysium Consort, and is determined to provide opportunities to musicians of all backgrounds. He recently set up a Children’s Choir at St Luke’s, Woodside, and is Director of Music at St Mary’s, Merton Park. He has led singing workshops in the UK and abroad for children and adults alike.