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Toby Hession, Chetham's 2010-2015

Currently reading for MPhil in Composition at Clare College, Cambridge

Piano and Composition

Since leaving Chetham’s…

I’ve had a prosperous three years of undergraduate study at Cambridge, pursuing composition, piano and conducting. I was commissioned for a new work by the King’s Singers for their own 50th Anniversary celebrations, and currently have my works published by Edition Peters. I have also been named the Cambridge University Musical Society (CUMS) Conducting Scholar for 2018-19 during my MPhil year, having been an Assistant Conductor with them for two years as an undergraduate. I have sung as a Choral Scholar with the world-renowned Clare College Choir, and now serve as their Lay Clerk and Librarian.

What was the best thing about your time at Chetham’s?

The chance to be part of a group of people who were so diverse in background, but so united by their love of music. There is no other school that offers the atmosphere and learning environment of Chetham’s. On a more specific note, the Commonwealth Resounds’ trip to Sri Lanka in 2013 would have to be a particular highlight.

What’s your favourite memory of Chetham’s? 

I will never forget Physics lessons with Julian (Mr…!) Blundell! I miss him dearly. And of course my entire A2 ‘study leave’ period was spent watching the Snooker World Championships in the Boys’ House Common Room, and we’d pretend to be on our laptops / reading every time a member of house staff walked in…

Oh, and all those 2am fire alarms…

What impact did Chetham’s have on your life?

It prepared me for a career in music, quite simply. I had some unbelievable opportunities whilst at Chetham’s that I could not have had anywhere else, and I have had some even more unbelievable ones since that I could not have had were it not for Chetham’s to begin with. Thank you; Chetham’s is still the most amazing place I could have spent my school life, and I would be nowhere without it.

More information about Toby and his career

Toby’s Website





Instruments: Composition, Keyboard

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