Discover OVs through our weekly profiles.
For our first week back at King’s we are delighted to feature OV Rebecca Hardwick (Br 00-05) as our Former Pupil of the Week. Rebecca is establishing herself as an exciting operatic soprano in London. She was a music scholar at King’s as a singer, violinist and recorder player, regularly performing in concerts with the Keys society. Rebecca was heavily involved with the choirs and orchestras – although, her favourite subject was actually Art.
Rebecca went on to study Music as a singer at the University of York, followed by winning a scholarship to the Royal College of Music in London, and going on to be a member of the English National Opera ‘Opera Works’ course. During this time, she was selected to be one of eight Apprentices with the internationally acclaimed Monteverdi Choir and Orchestras, and has since toured, recorded and performed with the ensembles.
In the 2018/2019 season Rebecca made her debut at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden in Mozart’s ‘Le nozze di Figaro’.
Despite having had a quiet lockdown, Rebecca is currently working in Bergen, Norway with the Edvard Grieg Kor and Bergen National Opera for their autumn season, including repertoire by Ligeti, Beethoven and Verdi. When she is in London, she sings with the choir of St James’ Spanish Place, Marylebone.
Her latest news is that she is being funded to begin a Doctorate in contemporary vocal performance at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, specialising in György Kurtág’s seminal work ‘Kafka Fragments’ for soprano and violin. This project was born from a residency she curated at Snape Maltings in Aldeburgh during their ‘Festival of New’. She is a keen advocate for contemporary repertoire, having also studied in workshops at the Stockhausen Stiftung für Musik in Germany, and regularly performing internationally with her graphic score group Vocal Constructivists. She is very much looking forward to balancing a few more years of study with her performing career, at a time when the Arts industry is slowly building back to normal.
“Versatility is a very important part of being an artist; I’m very lucky that my career involves so many different avenues of singing – choral, opera, contemporary – I always keep an open mind. I was at King’s before they allowed girls in the Cathedral choir, so I’m very pleased I ended up becoming a singer anyway!”
Emilie Lynch Williams
Our final OV of the Week for this academic year is Emilie Lynch Williams (K 06-13). At King’s, Emilie was a member of the Boat Club, helped out with the art club at St. Albans and was also involved in Young Enterprise.
After King’s, Emilie completed a diploma in Art & Design (Art Foundation) at the University for The Creative Arts in Epsom, Surrey. Whilst there she had the opportunity to try out many different creative outputs including Fine Art, Photography, 3D Design and Architecture and Graphic Design. Emilie settled on and found a passion for Fashion and Textiles which led to studying for a BA Honours Degree in Textile Design at Chelsea College of Arts in London.
During this time Emilie spent an influential six months at The Swedish School of Textiles in Borås, Sweden where she realised the importance of sustainability and ethical design in both textile and interior design. Alongside her studies Emilie worked in various retail and visual merchandising jobs; most notably at Selfridges and Topshop. Whilst only part-time these roles cemented her customer service and sales skills, and gave Emilie confidence in her design work.
After graduating, Emilie went straight into an almost three-year career as an Interior Designer at Laura Ashley. Emilie says, “Being a notable, British brand steeped in history, this was a wonderful starting point for me and I enjoyed creating coherent and cosy schemes for my clients.” This field-based role included designing both digital and tactile mood boards, processing orders and planning and helping to schedule logistics including deliveries, decorating and curtain fitting.
At the start of the pandemic Emilie was furloughed as her job had involved going into people’s homes which was no longer possible. During the crisis, Emilie set up business Florence and Blank with Sam Raybone (W 06-13) which offers a curated selection of unique home goods and artwork, handmade by various creatives. Their dedication is to slow design, unique one-off pieces and small batch works.
This week we are really pleased to feature OV Anthony Cross (Os 90-96). As a pupil, Anthony took part in many extra-curricular activities including CCF (RAF), choir, drama and Young Enterprise.
Anthony read History at King Alfred’s Winchester, graduating in 2000. After 2 years in a Christian community, followed by a variety of jobs, Anthony studied Occupational Therapy at Sheffield Hallam University, graduating in 2008.
Anthony’s final clinical placement was in forensic mental health, working with mentally disordered offenders and he has worked in this field continuously since 2009. He spent 5½ years at Broadmoor High Secure Hospital, then moved to a medium and low secure unit in Berkshire. Anthony is now Head of Therapies for a private healthcare provider with sites in Hampshire and Surrey. Their patients are all older males (over 55) in low secure and locked ward services.
Anthony says, “Occupational Therapy is promoting and using meaningful activity to optimise people’s quality of life. This is through a balance of self-care, productivity and leisure. Many of the patients with whom I have worked, both now and previously, have never had a balance of these. My role has been to promote this ‘occupational balance’ through structured activity and developing skills for self-management of leisure time. It is using an individual’s own interests to engage them and develop participation.
I have used my own skills and interests in developing activities for patients. I have run choirs and bands. I have led communal singing with older patients, as people with dementia respond well to music. I am currently developing a ‘Men’s Shed’ for the patients.”
Anthony still loves music and plays guitar, ukulele, drums, keyboards and sings. “I have been recording a song every day on my Facebook page during lockdown (#livemusiclockdown), so that there is still live music going out into the world. I remain involved in the Church of England at parish, deanery and diocesan level.”
This week for OV of the Week, we are delighted to feature OV Laura Kingshott (Br 00-04). Laura was involved in music and drama at King’s and also enjoyed taking part in Duke of Edinburgh.
After King’s, Laura studied Environmental Chemistry and Process Engineering at the University of Nottingham. This was followed by a Masters of Environmental Technology at Imperial College London, which included a research project at Arcadis consulting.
Laura then emigrated to Australia, where she commenced a graduate program with mining company BHP on a remote island off the Northern Territory, which included a 3-month secondment in Gabon, Africa.
Laura has remained with BHP throughout her career to date, including several years as a fly-in fly-out worker to the Pilbara region of Western Australia.
Laura now works across BHP’s 20 Australian operations, supporting the development of compliance management technology applications, and the implementation of BHP’s water stewardship and climate change public targets.
This week we are delighted to feature tenor and professor of singing Richard Steele (Cl 61-71) as our OV of the Week. At King’s, Richard was a cathedral chorister and took part in and organised many concerts whilst at school, studying piano, oboe and singing. He sang Nanki Poo in the school production by Peter Diamond (Hon OV) of The Mikado.
In a career spanning 40 years, Richard has sung in some of the world’s great opera houses. His career began with the lyric roles of Flamand, Fenton and Tamino (Glyndebourne) and progressed naturally into the German Heldentenor repertoire. He has sung Loge, Siegmund and Siegfried in many Ring Cycles. Notable performances include Laça in Janacek’s Jenufa (San Francisco Opera, Metropolitan Opera, New York), Siegfried (Seattle Opera, English National Opera), Lohengrin (ENO, Teatro Massimo Palermo), Tannhäuser (Chemnitz, Sydney, Beijing, Venice), Tristan (Grange Park Opera), Siegmund and Peter Grimes (Liceu Barcelona), and Herodes (Washington, Stuttgart, Bogota)).
Although specialising for many years in Wagner roles, he also sang Don Jose (San Francisco), Sergei in Shostokovitch’s Lady Macbeth of Mtensk (Melbourne), Samson in Samson et Dalila (Sao Paolo), Eisenstein in Die Fledermaus (Seattle, Seoul), the Prince in Rusalka (Opera North), Sir Philip Wingrave in Owen Wingrave (Edinburgh Festival, Royal Opera House, Aldeburgh Festival, Toulouse), Aegisth (Prague).
Richard is now a professor of singing at the Royal Academy of Music, London. Since the pandemic, he has continued his teaching regularly online.
“I have very happy memories of my time at the King’s School. My time as a cathedral chorister (directed by Christopher Robinson) helped develop self-discipline as well as musicianship, which was invaluable during my career. I would also like to thank Harry Bramma (Hon OV) (Head of Music) for his inspirational lead in making music so important at the school. I have also always taken a great interest in art, jazz and cricket. There are art galleries all over the world waiting to be visited, also jazz clubs (New York was a particularly rich source) and sometimes a decent game of cricket (The Ring Cycle in Adelaide in 1998 happily coincided with an Ashes Tour).”
We have reached the final few weeks of the summer term and are excited to feature OV Sarah Westlake (Os 11-13) as this week’s OV of the Week. Sarah joined King’s at Sixth Form and took part in lots of activities alongside her A-Levels including debating, drama and choir as well as being a monitor.
Upon leaving, Sarah studied History and Spanish at Durham, working during her year abroad as a teaching assistant at a primary school in Barcelona. At University, Sarah was a writer for The Tab and Editor of University College’s magazine. At the same time, Sarah also tried to get as broad as possible an experience of work, so interned at various places, including at a PR firm, a Sales company and in Assurance at EY.
Our OV of the Week this week is Cameron Walker (Os 08-15) who is approaching 5 years since he left King’s. As a pupil, Cameron threw himself into school life, singing in the school choir, being a monitor and taking part in the 2012 Les Mis production.
Cameron studied Broadcast Journalism at Nottingham Trent University. During this time, Cameron tenaciously approached TV producers and directors to offer himself for work placements and freelance shifts. A tactic that helped him to get his foot in the door of the industry. After graduation, Cameron gained a place on the ITV News Traineeship. He spent 10 months in the Channel Islands, working for ITV Channel Television. Here he learnt to produce and present news bulletins, how to produce professional TV reports and wrote countless articles for the ITV News website.
Cameron is now a television journalist based in London. He currently works as an output researcher for ITV’s Good Morning Britain. At work, Cameron produces multiple programme items every shift and helps to write and edit VTs (pre-recorded videos). Cameron says, “I love briefing guests and reacting to breaking news – every day is different and I never know what to expect when I come into the studios.”
Another week of lockdown has passed and this week we are pleased to feature Ed Bolton (K 79-89) as our OV of the week. At King’s, Ed studied Maths, Physics & Chemistry at A-Level. Ed was involved with lots of sport too, starting off as a rower in the removes and then switching to rugby in the sixth form.
Ed went to study Production and Operations Management, Business Studies at the University of Nottingham before embarking on his career in business operations. Ed started out with OCS Group UK where he worked for over 17 years. During this time Ed gained several promotions, working his way up from Project Manager to Managing Director for their Transport Division.
Ed is now Head of Business Services at International Airlines Group (IAG) where he looks after HR and administration at the Group’s Head Office.
Dr Lucy Studd
This week as we continue to show our support for our amazing OV NHS and key workers we are delighted to feature Dr Lucy Studd (K 00-05) as our OV of the Week. At school, Lucy was involved in Drama and LAMDA, and went on to study Drama and Theatre Arts at Birmingham University, and Acting at Drama Centre, London.
After working as an actor, Lucy changed careers and enrolled in a medical degree at St George’s University, London in 2014. She graduated from medical school in 2018 and is now a Foundation Year 2 Doctor at St George’s Hospital in London; currently working in General Practice. Lucy will start training to be an Anaesthetist in August 2020.
She married Graham (another doctor!) in 2019, and they are expecting a baby later this year.