Meet The Apex Singers
Founder & Artistic Director
Ollie Lambert is a Manchester-based musician creating innovative music for vocal ensembles that pushes the boundaries of conventional consort writing. As the Founder, Arranger and Artistic Director of The Apex Singers Ollie has written, mixed and produced 50+ arrangements including 2 albums, “Hiraeth” (2020) which received 2 Contemporary A Cappella Recording Awards, and “Stravaig” (2022), a collection of pieces written during lockdown. Ollie's arrangements have been performed by internationally-renowned ensembles across the world: The Vancouver Youth Choir in Canada, Exaudi Youth Choir in Australia, Mannskoret Arme Riddere in Norway and Ardú in Ireland to name a few.
Lydia is a UK based light soprano with a special interest in ensemble singing. Since graduating from the Royal Northern College of Music with a First Class BMus Hons degree in Vocal and Opera studies in 2019, she has formed relationships with Voces8 and the Sixteen by taking part in their young artist programmes. In addition to her freelance work Lydia is also a Choral Scholar at HeartEdge Manchester (the Northern branch of St. Martin in the Fields) and was one of the eight young artists invited to be part of the Southwell Music Festival in 2022. Lydia enjoys leading musical workshops and has recently joined the Voces8 Foundation's team of educators with whom she has delivered outreach projects for young people in both the UK and France. Having grown up abroad she is confident working in French and is The Apex Singers’ coach for Scandinavian languages. Lydia feels privileged to be a member of The Apex Singers, taking particular interest in the study of folk music in its social and cultural contexts. To be surrounded by such passionate people and music is incredibly uplifting. The music of 'Hiraeth' will always hold a special place in her heart as a reminder of the ensemble's beginnings.
Sophie is a Manchester and London based vocalist who studied music at the University of Manchester. Sophie is currently working as a musician contractor and music coordinator with Hilary Skewes and Co. She is also a freelance singer, flautist and nursery assistant. Sophie has been part of many choirs, including the University of Manchester Cosmo Singers and Ad Solem. She has performed in ensembles ranging from large opera casts to smaller 4-part ensembles, singing and playing a mix of classical, renaissance and folk music. Out of this has grown a love for singing in small, close harmony ensembles, and The Apex Singers has fuelled this love. Sophie's favourite music to listen to and play is folk music. The Apex Singers' debut album 'Hiraeth' was a fantastic way to learn and enjoy new exciting folk music. Sophie is passionate about creating, sharing and making music accessible to everyone.
Katie, a recent music graduate from The University of Manchester, is a Manchester-based singer performing with a variety of music groups. She is a Primary School Teaching Assistant by day, and a musician from tea-time til late! Recent classical performances have included singing Elgar’s Sea Pictures with the University of Manchester’s Symphony Orchestra, playing the role of the eponymous heroine in a world stage production of Judith Weir’s Armida as well as playing the role of the Book of Fate in Jonathan Dove’s The Enchanted Pig, singing in the chorus of Haydn’s creation at the 2019 Proms at the Royal Albert Hall, and performing as the mezzo soloist in John Casken’s Memorial at the University Chorus’ December concert in 2018 which was later recorded. Katie was both a member and manager of the auditioned University chamber choir Ad Solem and also sang with the University Chorus throughout her undergraduate degree. While she is classically trained, Katie also has a passion for jazz and folk and is a vocalist in a range of groups including an 8-piece new-jazz ensemble called Laga Runa, as well as an indie-folk trio called the Deep Blue with fellow Apex member Niamh.
Hailing from the West of Ireland, Niamh Feeney is a vocalist who studied music at the University of Manchester. She has been a member of several choirs such as Ad Solem Chamber Choir, The Cosmo Singers and University Chorus. Niamh is a singer with MSC Big Band performing jazz and neo-soul tracks and also forms one third of indie-folk trio Café Spice, performing all over the UK & Ireland. Niamh uses her practical knowledge and education to curate music sessions and songwriting workshops with multiple organisations such as Visible Choir, Streetwise Opera and Theatre in Prisons & Probation. She is passionate about bringing together her love of singing with her belief in the power of the arts to change lives. Moving from Ireland to the UK, joining the Apex Singers has given Niamh the unique opportunity to return to folk singing.
Robin’s first performances were singing at folk nights in Sheffield pubs as a child. After completing his undergraduate degree in Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic Studies as a choral scholar at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, he spent six years as a tenor Lay Vicar at Lichfield Cathedral and studied postgraduate composition at Birmingham Conservatoire. He also used his voice in more informal (and sometimes unusual) settings, leading primary-school singing workshops with Lichfield MusicShare, singing folk sets in care homes and at Lichfield Folk Festival, and performing contemporary and improvised works in art galleries, medieval bridge-chapels and at canal-side firepits. In 2020 he came to the Royal Northern College of Music, recently graduating with a Masters in singing and continuing with a postgraduate diploma. He enjoys oratorio and operatic performance as much as folk music and his solo highlights include Leighton’s Crucifixus Pro Nobis, Handel’s Messiah and playing Frederick in The Pirates of Penzance at the International Gilbert and Sullivan Festival. “I knew I wanted to sing with The Apex Singers as soon as the tears started rolling down my face halfway through the first track on Hiraeth, The Booley House. I’m hugely excited to be able to make such beautiful music with such a talented and dedicated group!”
Matthew Burns is a recent graduate of the Royal Northern College of Music, having studied a Masters in Music Performance under Paul Nilon. During his undergraduate degree at the University of Aberdeen, Matthew was a Chapel Choir Scholar and this is what sparked his love for singing in small ensembles. Matthew has sung in many choral settings but primarily in chamber choirs. He is currently a member of Canzonetta Chamber Choir and The Hallé Choir. Matthew enjoys small ensemble singing most of all and especially a cappella music as it is so intimate and expressive. In addition to singing in choirs, Matthew has been a soloist in many major choral works and performed in multiple operas, most recently in the chorus of Opera North’s production of Silent Night by Kevin Puts.
George Lowe is a vocal student at the Royal Northern College of Music. Their love of vocal music originated from their time in the Hallé Children's Choir, performing from the age of 9 on stages such as the Bridgewater Hall. After this, George sang with other renowned ensembles, including the City of Birmingham Symphony Chorus and the BBC Proms Youth Chorus. They made their way through the Hallé family of choirs, even helping out with administrative work, eventually becoming a bass in the critically acclaimed Hallé Choir. They have performed a variety of repertoire including Elgar's 'The Dream of Gerontius’, and as a child in Mahler's 8th symphony, however it has often been the smaller more personal pieces that have resonated with them. George is currently studying in their third year at the Royal Northern College of Music and they're very interested in getting to know the world of Opera and solo work, however vocal ensemble music has always been their passion, bringing them to the Apex Singers. It was during their time with the Hallé when they met Ollie Lambert, and were captivated by the idea of this 8-part a cappella ensemble.
Elliot has developed his vocal talent through community choral singing. The encouragement of his Choir Leaders, has driven him to achieve Intermediate 1 Conducting courses with Sing for Pleasure. When not singing, he studies Physics at the University of Manchester Elliot performed with Bolton Youth Harmonies, Lads A Capella and Canon Slade School Choirs before becoming one of the youngest members to perform with BMS Singers, experienced singers at Bolton Music Service led by Jane Hampson. It was Jane's encouragement that drove Elliot to audition for the Hallé Youth Choir with whom he sang for two years before successfully auditioning with the Hallé Choir in July 2018. Elliot performed at Manchester Cathedral’s Remembrance Concert for the Arena bomb victims with the Hallé Youth Choir. Elliot has performed on various tours as a vocalist, travelling to Malta, Prague, Bratislava, and Madrid. Through his time with the Hallé, Elliot met Artistic Director, Ollie, and auditioned for the exciting opportunity to join ‘The Apex Singers’. Elliot is very much looking forward to being a part of bringing Ollie's concept to life.