The New Chamber Singers is a choir of about 30 mainly English-speaking voices based in Rome, Italy. It was founded in January 1993 and has developed a vast repertory that stretches from the Renaissance to living composers. One of its objectives is to propose compositions and composers little known to an Italian audience, without ignoring the more well-known chamber choir pieces. The choir has also sung in Umbria and Campania and crossed the Apennines to Bologna in 1999. The choir has made a CD of the Durufle Requiem and the Langlais mass. The current choirmaster is Stefano Vasselli, and the organizer and driving force behind the choir is Andrew Cochlin. Past choir masters include Keith Griggs and Wijnand Van Der Pol.
The choristers of the NCS are largely drawn from Rome's international community, which means that there is a steady turnover because people who have come for Rome to study or on secondment pass on to pastures and countries new. Thus, there may be vacancies at any time, (particularly in the tenors, who are traditionally always in short supply!).
If you would like to join the choir, you should take into consideration the following:
You must be able to read music. The hectic program of concerts and other events does not allow time for learning by ear.
Because of the international nature of the choir rehearsals are normally conducted in English, though a little Italian is often mixed in!
Entry to the choir is by audition, where you will be tested on your range and asked to demonstrate your ability to sing in tune and to sight-read short pieces of moderate difficulty.
To request an audition, propose a concert or other event, or ask a question, please send a mail to:
Born in Rome in 1969, he began his concert career at the age of 17. He attended the S. Cecilia Conservatory in Rome where he graduated in four main disciplines: Organ, Composition, Piano and Choral Conducting. He also took courses in Gregorian Chant at the Pontifical Institute for Sacred Music and attended many international Master Classes with various renowned teachers such as Michael Radulescu, Maurice Pirenne, Suzanne Chaisemartine, Daniel Roth and Michael Schneider.
He has given numerous recitals all over Italy, Europe, the United States, Israel Argentina and Mexico, dedicating himself particularly to the French Romantic repertoire: he has performed the complete Organ works by Cesar Franck and Maurice Duruflé, the complete series of Ch. M. Widor's Symphonies and has in his repertoire significant works by Vierne, Tournemire, Dupré, and Messiaen, among others; he has recorded Duruflé's Requiem and the Langlais Messe Solennelle; he has also often played with orchestras presenting organ concertos by Handel and Poulenc.
From 1993 to 1998 he was organist at the church of S. Spirito in Sassia in Rome; in 1995 he was awarded the first Prize at the "Torneo Internazionale di Musica" and in 1999 he was appointed as Organist and Director of Music at St. Paul's within the Walls. Under his direction, the music and musical life of St. Paul's has flourished and the church has gained an outstanding place among Roman venues for concerts. He has worked with various orchestras and conducted St. Paul's choir in many concerts performing Faurè's Requiem, Bach's Magnificat, Vivaldi's Gloria, and Mozart's Requiem, among others. He is also active as a composer and some of his works have been included in a publication of liturgical music edited by Church Publishing Incorporated in U.S.
In his earlier years he sang tenor with the New Chamber Singers, but in 2007 he conducted the choir for the first time, as a guest conductor. It was a great success, and led to him being offered, and accepting, the post of permanent choir master.
Born In London in 1947, Andrew was educated in Paris and London, going on to get a degree in Modern Languages at London University. He came to Rome in 1968 to teach French at an international school, and ended up at St George's International School, where he stayed until early retirement in 2006, finishing up not only teaching French, but also as Careers Coordinator, helping to point many St Georgians towards fame, success and happiness (we hope). His musical interests started with the French horn and the piano, both of which he studied at school, and soon extended to singing, his secure baritone musicianship providing vital support to many a tenor and bass section over the years.
A committed Christian, and regular member of the congregation of All Saints (the Anglican church in Rome), he soon became a churchwarden and has been a long standing member of the Church Council, for which services he was decorated with the MBE by Her Majesty in 2005. In recent years he became the coordinator of the church choir, and has devoted much of his retirement to improving the quality and quantity of music in the church.
In 1993 he was one of the founders of the New Chamber Singers, and became its president when the original conductor and president, Keith Griggs, left to pursue his career in Norway. It is impossible to imagine the choir without Andrew's presence. He proposes the programs, organizes the auditions, rehearsals and concerts, often takes the rehearsals when the titular conductor is not available, writes and distributes the newsletter, designs the posters and writes the program notes, handles the legal aspects related to the performing rights taxes, and has conducted the choir in concert.
During his free time he can be found studying choral theory and management (participating in courses organised by the Royal School of Music), or ferretting out little-sung gems from the dusty cupboards of second-hand music shops all over Europe. In 1998 he founded the Campion Quartet, which allowed his repertoire to extend more into the realms of "popular" music than had been usual with the NCS, and gave him the opportunity to exercise his abilities as an arranger for four or five voices of a variety of "popular" and sacred works.