Jojo Sagoe Scholarships

The Jojo Sagoe scholarships are named for John ‘Jojo’ Sagoe (1960-2013), to commemorate his life and pay tribute to his proud contribution towards The New Tottenham Singers until his untimely passing.

Jojo was an exemplary chorister who personified every positive aspect that membership of The New Tottenham Singers can provide.  Although untrained in a formal musical tradition, Jojo showed great joy and diligence in his preparation for and dedication to the choir, constantly using his rehearsal files to ensure he was always able to make an accurate and powerful contribution to the music.  Despite having two jobs to support his family and fund his children’s university educations, Jojo very rarely missed any rehearsal, and he was the first to volunteer to support practical aspects of the organisation such as recruitment events or equipment transportation.  He was exceptionally proud of being a ‘New Tottenham Singer’, frequently wearing his choir T-Shirt as everyday clothing, and being an effusive messenger to his friends, family and work colleagues about the choir.

Jojo failed to arrive at rehearsal on Tuesday 19th November 2013, and that evening we were contacted by his wife to inform us of the sad news that Jojo had died peacefully in his sleep that morning.  With his typical diligence, Jojo had left very strict instructions with her that she must make his apologies for missing rehearsal should anything ever happen to him.  We still keenly feel the loss of Jojo and his wonderful spirit, but we believe that these scholarships in his name will ensure his positive effect on the choir lives on and his memory is permanently preserved within our organisation.

The scholarships are therefore open to people of any voice type (soprano, alto, tenor or bass) between the ages of 16 and 30 from any social or ethnic background, which reflects both Jojo’s investment in younger people and the organisation’s commitment to inclusivity.  He was a passionate advocate for education, not only for his own children and all young people regardless of background, and he strongly believed that the younger members of the choir were its future.  The scholars themselves should represent Jojo’s commitment to the choir in terms of attendance, and should reflect his love for the choir in terms of their positive attitude and contribution to the life of the organisation.

The scholarships are offered for one season (September to July) and the choir is in a position to offer up to four scholarships each year.  Existing scholars are welcome to reapply, and the three choir terms per season are roughly in line with local school terms.

PLEASE NOTE: Due to the choir’s projects and programming, the scholarships being offered this season will run from April/May 2018 to July 2019 (4 terms in total).

The qualities sought in prospective Jojo Sagoe scholars are:

  • Either an ability to read sheet music through traditional musical tuition, or an ability to learn and retain melodic and harmonic musical lines by ear through more popular or Musical Theatre-based training;
  • A commitment to attend all termly Tuesday evening rehearsals and occasional Saturday rehearsals, reasonable absences by arrangement with the Musical Director notwithstanding;
  • An ability and willingness to support other members of the section during rehearsals and performances in addition to being a positive role model within the choir, both musically and in terms of attitude;
  • The confidence and ability to hold the correct musical line, thus acting as a musical leader within the section where appropriate;
  • Dedication to high-quality musical performance within a community/amateur context.

In return, the choir, its Directors and committee will:

  • Waive all and any subscription fees for scholars;
  • Provide all necessary sheet music free of charge;
  • Cover all reasonable travel expenses for or provide transport to events and concerts outside of London;
  • Cover all travel and accommodation costs or provide travel and accommodation for any concert tours or residential events within the UK or abroad;
  • Provide the scholars with any educational advice or support they may require, and provide positive, supportive references or personal recommendations where appropriate.

Interested parties should write to Gemma Waring, who can also provide any further information required, at by Friday 30th March 2018, outlining their experience and reasons for interest in the Jojo Sagoe Scholarships in addition to confirming their eligibility.  Successful applicants will primarily be asked to attend an audition (Saturday 14th April 2018) and then, if appropriate, be invited to a rehearsal with the choir before a scholarship offer is made (Tuesday 17th or 24th April 2018).  Although no guarantee can be made to make alternative arrangements, if you are unavailable on any of these dates please continue to submit your application with details of any such unavailability.

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