Young conductor mentoring scheme

Young Conductors Mentoring Scheme 2024-25

Two new talented young musicians will join us from September 2024 on the fifth year of our Young Conductors Mentoring Scheme.  

Six musicians, shortlisted from 16 applicants, were invited to an audition in which they conducted various pieces from Britten ‘St. Nicolas’ and Vaughan Williams ‘Toward the Unknown Region’ with a small choir of Crouch End Festival Chorus singers.  

The successful conductors are 25-year-olds Katherine Stonham and Florence Price.

Katherine Stonham is a graduate of the Royal Northern College of Music and University of Manchester, where she studied violin with Julia Hanson and conducting with Robert Guy. She was principal conductor of the Crosby Capriol Singers for three years, before taking up the role of principal conductor with the Huddersfield Philharmonic Orchestra and Manchester Philharmonic Orchestra. She also works as a guest conductor with the Cheltenham Chamber Orchestra, Wrexham Symphony Orchestra, Solway Sinfonia and Orchestra of Square Chapel.

Katherine said: “I am thrilled to have been offered a place on the young conductors mentoring scheme, and I am really looking forward to learning everything I can from working with David Temple and the choir. The choir were warm and welcoming during the audition, and perform to an incredibly high standard, so I am confident I will get a lot out of being part of the scheme.”


Florence Price is currently studying for an MA in Choral Conducting at the Royal Academy of Music, having previously gained a BMus in Music from the University of Manchester. She is currently the Associate Conductor of the Covent Garden Chorus and the Musical Director of the Staffordshire Chamber Orchestra, and recently conducted the Chorus of the Royal Northern Sinfonia in concert.

Florence said: “being part of the Young Conductors Scheme with Crouch End Festival Chorus is a fantastic opportunity. I will massively benefit from working with one of the country’s best and most active symphonic choruses, and from the mentorship with their inspiring conductor, David Temple. I’m greatly looking forward to the year ahead.”


The two young conductors will work with Crouch End Festival Chorus and will have free mentoring sessions for an academic year with Music Director, David Temple, MBE.

The programme consists of two mentoring sessions with David each month, and the opportunity to help David take some choral rehearsals. In addition, the musicians will have the opportunity to attend a Young Conductors workshop with the choir to practice their skills.

David said: “I am looking forward to working with Florence and Katherine and helping a new generation of choral conductors launch their careers.”

The scheme is open to talented and committed musicians aged between 18 and 35, from any background and with any level of training, who want to make conducting, especially choral conducting, their career.

Previous participants in the scheme are forging successful conducting careers. 

Applications for the 2025-26 programme will open in Spring 2025.


Here is what our Young Conductors alumni say about the scheme.

Mariana Rosas (2019-20)

“Having the opportunity to work with David Temple and CEFC is a truly amazing opportunity to discover the "behind the scenes" of a choir, and personally, it has helped me develop my skills as a conductor, reflect on different points of view and incorporate new approaches to my conducting. I highly recommend this scheme.” 

Mariana has recently been appointed Chorus Director of the London Symphony Chorus.

Matthew Quinn (2019-21)

“The CEFC young conducting scheme provides an excellent balance of practical experience and teaching/feedback. It has helped me take my conducting, rehearsing and preparation skills to the next level and prepared me for the world of being a freelance conductor! “ 

Matthew has recently been appointed Conductor of the London Youth Chamber Choir.

Charlie Perry (2020-21)

“I can’t begin to express how insightful, beneficial and enjoyable my year with CEFC has been. Working with a choir that are so willing and capable to throw themselves into absolutely anything from film scores to early music has taught me so much about what singers and conductors can achieve - even more so considering the circumstances of this last year.

Learning from David has been one of the great pleasures of my career as a musician so far: his unique way of approaching repertoire and rehearsal has given me a vast amount of confidence approaching and understanding large choral works (Monteverdi, Ellington, Mozart, Glass and Stravinsky to name but a few!). I feel a totally different musician to the one I was when I started on the scheme and would highly recommend it to any young conductor.”

Charlie is a Conducting Scholar with The Sixteen’s Genesis programme.

Elliot Mercer (2020-21)

“It has been a brilliant year working with the CEFC. Sitting in rehearsals and hearing their quality is so inspiring, let alone having the opportunity to lead rehearsals and experience their work first-hand. 

David's mentoring sessions have been so inspiring. You get everything from invaluable tips and tricks about repertoire and rehearsal to rigorous analysis of a particular gesture, and everything in between! David is a font of knowledge, and it has been great to discuss interpretation, repertoire, best practice when working with different choirs, what to do when in front of an orchestra, how to manage a successful ensemble from every angle and so much more. Working with David and the CEFC gives you access to the highest level of music-making and how best to up your game as a musical leader. “

Elliot is the Music Director for The People’s Show Choir.

Klaudia Zajac (2022-2023)

“The YMCS is special thanks to David’s trust in mentees and provides a lot of practice in front of the choir. Another remarkable point is the honesty and clear feedback that I am given, which is in contrast to the imprecise and vague feedback that I have experienced with other courses. One of the greatest assets of this scheme is the fact, that only 2 conductors are accepted what allows them to have a deep dive experience and lets them feel like part of the CEFC what creates a safe space to grow. Participating in this scheme has been one of the best things that I have done in my musical career. I highly recommend this scheme to any music student who is interested in applying.”

Klaudia is the Music Director of Sammartini in Brussels and Vocaal Ensemble Similare.

Daniel Rodriguez Tijaro (2022-2023)

“Participating in this scheme has been an incredible experience. Not only have I had the chance to conduct an incredible choir, but I have seen myself improve as a choral conductor. I think I am a different conductor now compared to before I started this scheme. I recommend this scheme to any young conductor who is interested in learning and who really wants to understand how to prepare for an astonishing performance. You won’t find this experience in any book or academy!”

Daniel is a Choral Director with the Diocese of Leeds Music and Music Director of Knaresborough Choral Society.



Young Conductor Mentoring Scheme Enquires:

Contact: Paul Winter - Scheme Co-ordinator


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