RSCM Emerging Leaders

The RSCM Emerging Leaders Programme is for aspiring choral directors who are looking to develop the skills they need to be a future leader. A programme of online sessions makes the most of both professional input and peer support to help you become a more rounded and adaptable musician, able to contribute positively to the world of church music in the 21st century.

As an Emerging Leader, you will:

  • Learn from experienced musicians and leaders on topics that provide practical support, widen your knowledge and challenge your thinking.
  • Grow your own network of future choral leaders at a similar stage, sharing skills, ideas and experiences.
  • Benefit from a year’s free Individual Membership of the RSCM (digital magazines).

The Emerging Leader programme runs from July 2024 to May 2025, with online workshops and discussions spread through the year. The programme is free to take part in and you can be based anywhere in the UK – all you need is enthusiasm and an internet connection! Places will be limited to ensure that everyone can take part in discussions.

Up to four of those taking part in the wider programme will be invited to join our residential courses for young people in August 2024, giving you the opportunity to try out your developing choral direction skills in a real-life environment, with the support of experienced professional musicians.

“Being an Emerging Leader [on a residential course] helped me to be more critical of my conducting, and therefore more able to change and develop my technique. I genuinely believe I am a better conductor as a result of being an Emerging Leader – especially now, having had time to reflect on the week and put some of the things I learnt into more regular practice.” 2023 Emerging Leader

“The [residential] week was a good springboard for my development as a conductor and has inspired me to keep looking for opportunities to grow. I will use the things I have learnt in the choirs I conduct. The week also honed the skill of actively observing other conductors, which I will continue to do – noting both what works and what doesn’t!” 2023 Emerging Leader

Are you…

  • An experienced choral singer and/or organist (aged 18+) based in the UK, who is interested in exploring choral direction and leadership?
  • Keen to learn and develop your skills, willing to explore new things, and open to taking advice and direction?
  • Mature, responsible and organised and ready to engage with the challenges of working with singers, especially young people?
  • In sympathy with the ethos and aims of the RSCM?

Sounds interesting?

Applications are now closed. The deadline for applications was 17.00 on Monday 11 March. 

The Application Process

Please complete the application form. The application form will ask you for the details of two referees, one of whom should be able to speak about any experience you have in choral direction.

As part of the application form, you will be asked to indicate your availability for the summer course dates (Monday 19 – Sunday 25 August and Wednesday 28 – Sunday 31 August).

Shortlisted candidates will be invited to attend an online interview with members of the RSCM Education Team.
If you are shortlisted, we will also ask you to send us a short video (10-12 minutes) which shows you directing a choir. This video should include:

    • 7-8 minutes rehearsing a choral piece
    • 3-4 minutes ‘performing’/running-through the piece you’ve just rehearsed

    You can choose any sacred choral work (accompanied or unaccompanied) which is scored in at least two vocal parts. The choir can be of any shape or size (if it includes under 18s, please ensure you have the necessary parent/guardian permissions to record). We wouldn’t expect you to cover everything in your rehearsal; we’re just looking for a snapshot of the skills you’ve developed so far and how you approach a rehearsal.

    Successful candidates will be offered a place provisionally, subject to completion of safeguarding checks.

  • If selected to attend a course, the role requires a satisfactory DBS check and completion of a Confidential Self-Declaration and safeguarding training. Full-board accommodation for the duration of the course, travel expenses (within the UK only) and an honorarium are included.