TWO young singers from Lyme Bay Chorale have been awarded a bursary to help develop their interest in music.

The beneficiaries are Fleur Gardner-Wray, who has recently joined the soprano section of the choir, and Alex McNeice, who has been singing tenor for about a year.

As well as free choir membership, the pair will receive five free singing lessons with an experienced teacher during each choir term. In return, they are asked to commit to attending at least nine rehearsals before each concert and to take part in the final performance.

Fleur is in her final year at Colyton Grammar School, where she sings in the school choir, and is hoping to study engineering at university.

"When my school music teacher told us about the bursary, I thought it would be a good way to try some singing lessons as well as to get experience with a different choir," she said. "I’m really enjoying it so far, particularly learning voice techniques with the specialist teacher."

Alex is studying for his GCSEs at Woodroffe School, and sings with both the Colyton choir and Royal Schools of Church Music’s Intermediate Millennium Youth Choir.

Lyme Bay Chorale, based in Lyme Regis, is an SATB choir comprised of around 25 singers. Under the direction of Alex Davies, organist at St Michael's Parish Church, the choir has developed a strong reputation both regionally and nationally, working with leading conductors and organists including Andrew Millington, Peter King and David Bruce-Payne.

The Young Singers Bursary Scheme works to attract new musicians to the choir and encourage individuals aged between 14 and 35 to pursue a musical career. Previous bursary recipients have gone on to attend music college and sing with the National Youth Choir and university choirs.

On Saturday, December 7, a masterclass will take place with professional singers Philippa Hyde and Paul Esswood, the choir's patrons. Anyone wishing to take part is asked to contact the choir’s musical director, Alex Davies, on

Lyme Bay Chorale perform two concerts per year, usually in the spring and winter.

This year's Christmas concert takes place on Sunday, December 8, at 4pm in St Michael's Parish Church, Lyme Regis. The choir will perform works by Bach, Handel and Haydn alongside professional soloists and an orchestra.