About York Singing Academy

York Singing Academy was founded in 1988 as The De Costa Academy of Singing by international operatic baritone Michael De Costa. It has trained hundreds of pupils from the ages of six to those over eighty, and has a strong reputation for developing singers to a very high standard. By concentrating on developing a solid and secure technique, pupils are able to apply that to whatever genre of music they enjoy performing, and singers of all styles are warmly encouraged. Academy pupils perform as soloists and ensemble singers with choirs and bands, and on stage in musical theatre and operatic productions; many have gone onto further education colleges and conservatoires and had professional careers. We also put on our own regular concerts in the area to showcase the pupils, in which all students are encouraged to participate if they so wish.

To learn more about the various aspects of York Singing Academy, follow the links below!

Marygate Tower studio
Singing lessons

Lessons are conducted by a singing teacher and accompanist. They last for 50-minutes incorporating vocal warm-ups and technical exercises followed by songs in whichever style and genre the pupil wishes to develop.

Marygate Tower, or St Mary's Tower, York
St Mary's Tower

The Academy began on Holgate Road, York, before moving to overlook The Shambles.
Since 1995, the Academy has enjoyed use of the historic 14th-century St Mary's Tower which has perfect acoustics in which to sing.

Valerie Parker, Matthew Collins teaching staff
Teaching staff

Mezzo soprano Valerie Parker has been with the Academy for over 30 years, first as a student, then teacher. Accompanist Matthew Collins joined in 2005 and performs across Yorkshire as a pianist and organist.

Hattie Talbot in York Minster choir
Developing young voices

York Singing Academy takes great pleasure in developing young voices, setting singers up for a future singing career. We have singers in York Minster choir, those who perform in theatre productions, and pop artists.

Steven Jobson, singer and actor
Adult singers

The Academy teaches adults both amateur and professional. Some want to develop a singing career, others to join local companies, and pupils who want to sing for pleasure or to learn in their retirement years. 

Lee Pashley, Robbie Williams tribute

The Academy has taught many pupils who have had professional singing careers. Pupils have sung with major opera companies such as ENO, Scottish Opera and Glyndebourne; others go to the West End or have pop careers.

Michael De Costa, baritone, founder
Michael De Costa, founder

The De Costa Academy of Singing was founded by operatic baritone Michael De Costa in 1988. Michael had an international career specialising in the Italian Romantic repertoire and the operas of Giuseppe Verdi.

Michael De Costa, baritone, founder

Here you can read some reviews and testimonials given to us by some of our current and former pupils.

FAQs about York Singing Academy

Find answers to some of our frequently asked questions, such as 'How often can I have lessons?, 'Do I have to audition?', 'What music can I sing?', 'Do I have to be able to read music?'... 

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