Young conductor mentoring scheme

ANNOUNCEMENT - Young Conductors Mentoring Scheme 2024-25


Applications for the 2024-25 scheme are now open.

Click here for more information about the scheme and how to apply





Young Conductors 2022-23

Two talented young conductors joined us from September 2022 on the third year of our Young Conductors Mentoring Scheme.  

Seven musicians, shortlisted from 22 applicants, were invited to audition for the scheme.  They were asked to prepare extracts from two pieces of music (Beethoven Mass in C and Bernstein Chichester Psalms) and conduct a choir of 24 Crouch End Festival Chorus singers.  

The successful conductors are 26-year-old Klaudia Zajac and Daniel Rodriguez Tijaro, 25.

Klaudia Zajac was born in Poland where she obtained a BA in Music (Krakow Academy) before obtaining a Masters in Choral Conducting (Royal Conservatory of Brussels).   Since then, she has worked as a conductor with several choirs and orchestras such as Nova Era Vocal Ensemble (Portugal), Hochschule Hannover Concert Choir and orchestra (Germany), and North Czech Philharmonic (Czech Republic). Klaudia is currently working with three choirs in Brussels.

Klaudia said: “I am so pleased to have a place on the next Young Conductors scheme with Crouch End Festival Chorus and David Temple. One should never stop learning and so I am impatiently looking forward to learning from such a great conductor.”

Daniel Rodriguez Tijaro was born in Colombia, where he obtained the Order of Merit when graduating with a B.A in Music and Choral Conducting (Javeriana University of Bogotá, 2019).   He was Assistant Conductor with the Javeriana Chamber Choir and Cantoría Infantil of Colombia, before being appointed Musical Director of the Gaitana Representative Choir in Fundación Nacional Batuta (2016-2021). He was recently awarded a MA in Choral Conducting at the University of Birmingham.

Daniel said: “I cannot express how grateful and thrilled I am to be part of this extraordinary mentoring scheme. The mentoring from David Temple will change my life positively, I am sure of that. Crouch End Festival Chorus is an amazing choir to be associated with and to have the opportunity to learn new skills which keep changing people lives through choral music. I am prepared to give my best, to explore and why not, to share a small pinch of that Colombian ‘flavour’ that I proudly carry wherever I go!”

The young conductors will work with Crouch End Festival Chorus, one of Britain’s leading symphonic choirs.  The choir has a reputation nationally and internationally for innovation, versatility and an eclectic repertoire, which is regularly demonstrated in concert halls, arenas and recording studios in our own promotions and in commercial engagements.

The two selected musicians will have free mentoring sessions for an academic year with conductor David Temple, MBE.  This will consist of two 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 half-day conducting workshop with the choir to practice their skills.

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.  Applications for the 2023-24 programme will open in early 2023.


 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


Our Concerts
Hire us
Join us