We are delighted and very proud to present our newest guest presenter, Sarah Algoet:

Sarah Algoet trained as a classical singer at The Royal Conservatory of the Hague.  Since then, she has pursued a diverse array of intensive singing, speaking and movement training courses, which has enabled her to develop a comprehensive teaching technique covering every vocal style: from classical to heavy rock, musical theatre to intimate jazz and much more besides.  In 2007, Sarah founded singsing!, a successful coaching practice for singers and speakers.  She offers on- and offline private and group lessons, as well as workshops, masterclasses and voice retreats.  She teaches at the invitation of universities, colleges, academies, choirs, companies, hospitals, congresses, conferences and symposia throughout the world.  Sarah founded the Belgian Voice Teachers’ Association in 2011, and was visiting professor at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels (Music Theatre) from 2011-12.

Past Guest Presenters include:

Elisabeth Meister

Liz Franklin-Kitchen trained as a singer at RAM, GSMD, CIAV (now WIAV), and as a Jette Parker Young Artist at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.  Her carer saw her in title and supporting roles in major houses and concert venues around the world, including the Royal Opera House, the Teatro Municipal de Santiago de Chile, Lyric Opera Chicago, La Monnaie, Bilbao, Toulouse, Carnegie Hall, and many others. 

In 2015, Liz wrote and presented a TEDx talk entitled “The Beauty of the Human Voice”, since when she has been in demand as a speaker, giving talks on the value of collaboration, communication and connection.

Liz’s singing career was cut short following an accident.  This led her to re-train as a personal development coach with the International Coach Federation, and later, as a choral conductor under Amy Bebbington at ABCD.  She took up a position as Director of Music at All Saints, Weston, in Esher, and went on to found her own choir based in Guildford, The Stag Hill Singers.  She is a member of Corra Sound, Woking’s leading all-female vocal ensemble, and tours with the wind quartet Chamberhouse Winds, narrating popular children’s stories, such as Peter and the Wold, The Snowman, and Paddington Bear’s First Concert.  Liz is passionate about mental health and wellbeing, and supporting women in the arts.  She is currently studying for a qualification in Music Therapy at Roehampton University. 

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Dr. Alicia W. Walker is Associate Director of Choral Studies at the University of South Carolina, where she directs the University Chorus and the USC Men’s Chorus, and teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in conducting and music education. She holds degrees from Florida State University, Southern Seminary, and the University of Georgia. An experienced music educator, Dr. Walker taught at the elementary, middle, and high school levels prior to joining the music education faculty at the University of Georgia. Dr. Walker made her conducting debut at Carnegie Hall in 2015, and will conduct at Lincoln Center in 2019. Her choirs have been selected to perform for SCMEA and for South Carolina’s ACDA conference.

Each year Dr. Walker travels to South Africa to teach continuing education for choral directors, and in 2017-18 she taught and conducted in Taiwan and in England. She is a Past President of Southern Region ACDA and Georgia ACDA, and she developed ChorTransform, ACDA’s service-learning initiative for student chapters. Her commitment to professional mentoring led Dr. Walker to found Facets,™ a leadership retreat for women conductors. In Columbia, she conducts a chamber choir of music educators called Limited Time Only, and she maintains an active schedule as a guest conductor, clinician, and adjudicator. A long-time church musician, Dr. Walker has served churches in Florida, Kentucky, Georgia, and South Carolina, and she presently conducts the Chancel Choir at Shandon Presbyterian Church. She was a committee chair for the development of Celebrating Grace, a hymnal published in 2010, and is a contributing author for Sacred Choral Music Repertoire: Insight for Conductors, a resource to be published by GIA in 2019. She is a Life Member of ACDA, and holds memberships in NAfME and NCCO.

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Marion Friend MBE 
is a senior consultant in arts and education and a life coach, mentor and facilitator with a particular interest in career development, and in supporting individuals to explore and reach their potential. She enjoys working with clients ranging from new graduates to chief executives in public and not-for-profit sectors including secondary and tertiary education, national portfolio organisations and charities.

Marion was Director of Junior Trinity at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance for twelve years until July 2014 and previously held senior management posts at the Philharmonia Orchestra, BBC Young Musician of the Year and Wigmore Hall. She is currently Chair of Samuel Gardner Memorial Trust and her local Wimbledon Symphony Orchestra and is an artistic and quality assessor for Arts Council England.

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Dr. Jenevora Williams is a leading exponent in the field of vocal health and singing teaching. After a successful career in Opera, Jenevora turned her attention to investigating healthy and efficient vocal function. The combination of academic study and practical experience has resulted in a unique perception for understanding the human voice. She was the first singing teacher to be awarded a PhD in voice science in the UK, and won the 2010 BVA Van Lawrence Prize for her outstanding contribution to voice research. Her book, Teaching Singing to Children and Young Adults, has been enormously popular with singing teachers throughout the world. She is well-known for her imaginative and rigorous training courses for singing teachers in the UK and Europe. As a teacher of singing, she works with professional singers of all ages, as well as working in Vocal Rehabilitation for BAPAM and the NHS.