Head of Department – Lynda Richardson
Lynda studied at Trinity College of Music London, first as a pianist on a Junior Exhibition Award Scholarship, then with singing as joint first study as a full time student. She won several prizes, including the Ricordi Prize for Opera. As a soloist Lynda specialises mainly in contemporary music, and has given recitals and concerts all over Europe, Scandinavia, Canada and the Middle East.
She has performed with the Royal Opera, English National Opera, Glyndebourne and the Welsh National Opera. Lynda has taught at the CYM for 8 years and is the senior singing teacher at Mountview Academy of Dramatic Art. She also started the vocal department of the London Contemporary Dance School, taught at Arts Educational and Italia Conti, and acted in an advisory capacity for Sylvia Young and the London Studio Centre.
All CYM students up to the age of sixteen sing in one of our choirs, as a compulsory part of their musical training. It develops sight-reading and musicianship skills, crucial for excellent exam results, increases their awareness of group responsibility, support and leadership, and last but not least provides a means of getting to know and socialise with many more CYM students than they would otherwise meet just in their own departments.
In years 11-13 students are permitted to opt out of choir if they so choose, but this is becoming increasingly rare.
Repertoire includes a wide range of styles from Bach and Brahms to medleys from James Bond, West-Side Story and Guys and Dolls.
Students often have the opportunity to perform out of CYM and have sung on the film track of “Dogma”, backed pop groups, appeared on “Top of the Pops”, sung solo or chorus roles with the Royal Opera House, the English National Opera and the Bolshoi Opera, and frequently with the Royal College of Music Opera School.
Perhaps our most memorable occasion was in the summer of 2002 when in front of 2 million people and the world’s TV cameras, 250 CYM students (plus 50 parent/chaperones!) marched down the Mall singing in fluorescent rainbow T-shirts in the Commonwealth Parade as part of the Queen’s 50th Jubilee celebrations.
The singing department is continuing to grow in popularity, with more and more students asking to come in to the CYM as singers, and also to take up singing as a second study. Two new singing teachers have recently been appointed to meet this demand, and all our teachers are top professionals in their field.