Supporting Young Singers

The Celia Burgan Bursary

Yorkshire Bach Choir is delighted to be able to provide financial support to help promising members of the choir who, through their chosen course of study, are not eligible for University funded singing lessons. 

Bursary awards began in 2009 when YBC were able to use funds generously provided for that purpose by the D’Oyly Carte Charitable Trust and the R M Burton Charitable Trust. Since these funds were expended, from 2014, YBC has continued to award bursaries each year to students from the choir’s own funds.


In acknowledgement of the generous financial support given to YBC over a number of years by the late Mrs Celia M Burgan, the trustees decided to name the award the YBC Celia Burgan Bursary. YBC normally awards two bursaries each year, each to the value of £225.

Although it is our intention to continue to offer these bursaries in the future, Yorkshire Bach Choir would be grateful for any individual offers of sponsorship, which can be acknowledged or remain anonymous, to enable this tradition to be maintained.

A condition of the award is that beneficiaries provide a resumé of their experience as a result of being able to afford expert vocal tuition.

The late Mrs Celia M Burgan pictured here with the 2014 bursary winners Katarzyna Slawski (left), Saul Jones (center back), Maddy Power (right).

Fabienne Brooksbank


Fabienne Brooksbank, 2009

I am grateful to YBC and its sponsors, the D’Oyly Carte Charitable Trust, for the generous bursary of £450 which I have used to pay for singing lessons at university. The lessons have been invaluable in helping me develop an understanding of performance styles, as well as advancing my singing technique.

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Katarzyna Slawski


Katarzyna Slawski, 2014

In my third year of my undergraduate Accounting studies I chose an elective module in Performance, and through the generosity of this Bursary I could fund my music lessons in order to prepare for my recital. Taking this module led me to then do an MA in Performance Practice, which is a year the I will never forget.

Jonathan Hanley


Jonathan Hanley, 2013

This funding meant that I was able to pursue another great passion whilst at university. Singing lessons have not only prepared me for 'step-out' solos with the choir, but also expanded my repertoire and singing technique as well as enabling me to appear as a soloist for other choirs around the country.

Saul Jones


Saul Jones, 2014

I worked closely with Ed Ingham, who helped me develop as a bass. Having the bursary support meant I enjoyed a great deal of freedom of choice of what music we explored in my singing lessons. This has helped me to start performing as a soloist whilst continuing my studies at Cambridge.

Sarah Holland


Sarah Holland, 2013

 As a result of being granted this award, I have been exposed to invaluable training and experience. Thanks to this and the regular performance opportunities within the choir, I believe I have improved as a performer, and also as an interpreter of music overall.

Maddy Power


Maddy Power, 2014

I benefited immensely from the vocal lessons funded by the Yorkshire Bach Choir Tuition Bursary. Regular lessons helped me to improve my vocal technique and language skills, boosted my confidence and allowed me to play a greater role in the Yorkshire Bach Choir. I am very grateful for the opportunity.

Richard Bracknell


Richard Bracknell, 2015

The tuition I received courtesy of the Celia Burgan Bursary helped me make significant progress in choral singing. Edd Ingham’s technical and interpretative insights supported my development as a choral scholar at St Wilfrid’s Church, which led to my appointment as a choral scholar at Bradford Cathedral.

Sophie Collerton


Sophie Collerton, 2016

 I undertook singing lessons with Yvonne Seymour, who completely transformed my voice and allowed me to develop into a dependable member of YBC. Through the generosity of the YBC Celia Burgan Bursary, I was able to continue with these singing lessons into the final year of my undergraduate degree.

Christopher Oates


Christopher Oates, 2017
Molly Garratt

2019 & 2020

Molly Garrett, 2019 & 2020

As a non-music student, I do not qualify for free vocal tuition. Following my successful application for the Celia Burgan bursary last year, I have found that the lessons have continued to fuel my development as a singer, whilst massively improving the ways in which I am able to prepare for rehearsals and concerts.

Helen Tudor


Helen Tudor, 2020

Although I have had music lessons in the past, I have never had a singing lesson. Since I study Natural Sciences, I am not eligible for funded lessons. I am glad to have the opportunity to sing with YBC. It is the smallest choir I have sung in. I feel it will give me more confidence holding my own on my part.

Bethan Kelly


Bethan Kelly, 2020

Singing has become an increasingly important part of my life. Although a first study violinist, singing is just as important and enjoyable to me. I find the positive feeling you can gain from singing with a group of people is unparalleled. YBC has been a fantastic opportunity for singing some new and interesting repertoire.