2019:20 Gibson Conducting Fellow Announced

The Royal Scottish National Orchestra have announced the next Sir Alexander Gibson Conducting Fellow is Sarah Charista.

Sarah joins Scotland’s National Orchestra for the year-long choral training post after graduating from the University of Birmingham where she received a music scholarship to earn a Postgraduate in Choral Conducting under the supervision of Simon Halsey, Simon Carrington and Julian Wilkins.

Sarah is an active musician with experience in vocal music having been appointed as the assistant musical director in the Summer Festival Opera at the University of Birmingham.  Originally from Indonesia, she learned from Budi Utomo Prabowo and has attended Choral Conducting Workshop (by Goethe-Institut Indonesien) in 2016 by Nicolas Fink, which led her to pursue career in conducting.

The Sir Alexander Gibson Memorial Fellowship is open to choral conductors interested in furthering their experience of choral conducting and is the only initiative of its type in the UK. Over the next year Sarah will have the the unique opportunity to work at a very high level with the chorus of Scotland's National Orchestra and its Chorus Director.

The fellowship will involve attendance at a significant number of RSNO Chorus rehearsals, with Sarah arriving at the beginning of November as the RSNO Chorus prepared to sing in the World Premiere of the never-before-heard Ralph Vaughan Williams piece The Future.

RSNO Chorus Director Gregory Batsleer said: “The Gibson Fellowship is a deeply engrained part of the RSNO Chorus community and applicants for it are of the highest standard, so we are thrilled to announce the very dynamic and exciting Sarah Charista is in post. With a World Premiere performed over the weekend, it could not be a better time to come into the RSNO fold and be in the very heart of ground-breaking music making.

“The Gibson Fellowship is an extraordinary opportunity to work with a Symphony chorus, and we received first class applicants for the post this year and experienced brilliant auditions, but ultimately Sarah shone through and we are all very excited to see what she brings to the role, and the RSNO Chorus.”

Newly-appointed Sir Alexander Gibson Conducting Fellow Sarah Charista said: I am thrilled to be joining the RSNO family as the Gibson Conducting Fellow, and truly appreciate the honour this distinguished post carries.

“This is a great opportunity to work with an incredible symphony chorus, and the excellent Gregory Batsleer. Coming to the post as the Chorus prepared for a World Premiere has been an amazing start to the year ahead, and a sign of wonderful things to come. I am really looking forward to the next 12 months and the opportunities I have to learn, grown, and make the most of this experience in the RSNO community.”

Formed as the Glasgow Choral Union in 1843, the RSNO Chorus is the longest continuously operational performing arts organisation in Scotland. For more information on RSNO concerts and events, visit www.rsno.org.uk.