Welcome to the Cathedral's new Scholars

Friday 13 September

The Cathedral would like to introduce (and extend a big welcome) to our new Organ Scholar, Käthe Wright Kaufman, and our three new Choral Scholars – Eugene Chan (Alto), Tommy Geddes (Tenor) and Tyler Neumann (Bass).

You can read their introductions and biographies below:

the Wright Kaufman

I’m a native of Chicago and grew up as a chorister at St. Luke’s Parish Church in Evanston, Illinois. I began my organ studies there in 2007. I’m a graduate of the Eastman School of Music in Upstate New York, where I received Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees following studies with David Higgs, Edoardo Bellotti and William Porter. During the year between my two degrees I served as Organ Scholar at Truro Cathedral, where I worked with Christopher Gray, Luke Bond and Simon Jacobs. Before coming to Peterborough, I worked as Organ Scholar at St Paul’s Episcopal Church in Rochester, New York.

I have performed for the American radio program Pipedreams Live! and have performed in venues around the United States and the United Kingdom. I’m an Associate of the American Guild of Organists, and I’ve received the Gerald Barnes Award for Excellence in Pipe Organ (2013), the inaugural VanDelinder Prize in Liturgical Organ Skills (2014), first place in the West Chester University International Organ Competition (2015), and second prize in the Fox Valley AGO Competition (2018).

Eugene Chan

I began singing at a very young age but my formal musical training started at the violin when I was seven. I continued singing informally before I taught himself the piano and later the organ in my teen years. When I lived in the Rocky Mountains, I was delighted to be appointed the Director of Music at St Georges-in-the-Pines in Banff. I am thankful to have begun in the English choral tradition under masterful choir directors – Jonathan Bunney at St Giles-in-the-fields, London and Michael Hedley at St Nicholas, Amsterdam. Returning home to Toronto, I continued with five church and concert choirs on top of a busy career in hospitality – I then moved to Blackburn Cathedral where I became Alto Scholar.

Choral singing has taken me to many cathedrals, including Holy Trinity (Québec), Winchester, Ely, Norwich, Coventry, Portsmouth, Palma, Ávila, St Patrick’s (Dublin), Oxford and Southwark, and also to Westminster Abbey this summer. Outside music, I enjoy travelling and have been to 35 countries, most recently to the delightful epicurean and cultural centre of Peru.

Tommy Geddes

My name is Tommy, and I have just started as a Tenor Choral Scholar at Peterborough Cathedral. I was born and raised in Liverpool, and last July I graduated from Exeter College at the University of Oxford, having completed my undergraduate degree in music. During my three years at Oxford I sang with Exeter College Chapel Choir, which provided three services per week during full term and occasional cathedral visits at other times.

I have always enjoyed the communal aspect of singing, both in terms of the social life within the choir and the role the choir plays in leading the congregation in worship. The amount of singing in the Cathedral will be more than I have done in the past, but I thoroughly look forward to developing my singing and contributing to the musical life and worship of Peterborough. At some point I would like to return to Oxford for further study, focusing on my specialism in composition, and I hope that my choral connections could be an outlet for any music I write.

I am also a viola player, and this is in fact where my love of music began – playing in youth orchestras as a child and teenager. I am sure that I will find similar opportunities here in Peterborough to make music.

Tyler Neumann

I have travelled a long distance to join the Peterborough community. Born in Illinois in the United States, I emigrated to New Zealand with my family at the age of 10. I first discovered my love of choral singing in my later high school years, having successfully auditioned for the New Zealand Secondary Students’ Choir and later the New Zealand Youth Choir.

In 2013 I began my studies at the University of Otago in Dunedin (literally ‘New Edinburgh’), New Zealand. At Otago I gained a Bachelor of Music in Classical Vocal Performance, a Bachelor of Science in Physics, and later a Master of Teaching and Learning in Secondary Education.

In 2017 I first began singing in the Anglican choral idiom, joining the choir at St Paul’s Cathedral in Dunedin. I quickly discovered a great enjoyment of the high turnover of repertoire and the necessity of quick reading and sharp musicianship.

Beyond singing, I am a keen pianist, conductor and arranger.

I hope that my Choral Scholarship at Peterborough Cathedral will serve as a stepping stone toward Lay Clerkships in future years.

Our Lay Clerks who joined the Cathedral last year have begun their second year here – Joe Bolger, Will Bosworth, Ben Kirk, Chris Murphy and Owen Winter. Nine new children (five boys and four girls) have also joined the Cathedral choir – making a total of 50 children (26 girls and 24 boys).

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