“Eminently appealing, McKenna could almost have carried the piece by himself.” Exeunt Magazine.
De Turkheim Scholar Tom McKenna is recent graduate who earned a distinction in PGdip vocal studies at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance under the tuition of the Head of the Vocal Department Dr Linda Hirst and Helen Yorke. Tom has been selected to perform in Masterclasses with Christian Gerhaher at the Wigmore Hall and Matthew Rose at Trinity laban.
In March 2016 he played Noye in Noye’s Fludde by Benjamin Britten with Streatham & Clapham High School and performed as a Soloist in Gerald Finzi’s Let us Garlands Bring conducted by Nic Pendlebury as part of Shapeshifter season; he also took part in the Easter workshop with BYO under the direction of Elaine Kidd and David Gowland.
He was a finalist in the recent Elizabeth Schumann Lieder competition at Trinity and competed in the Rosenblatt Recital Singing Prize where he was highly commended. Tom was cast as Sarge in Stephen McNeff’s Banished, which was written for Trinity Laban, where he created the role for the premiere. He was highly praised for his portrayal of Sarge in several publications including Opera Magazine. In the Summer of 2016 he sang as a chorus member for Opéra de Baugé as part of their summer season in La Perichole by Offenbach and L'incoronazione di Poppea by Monteverdi. In November of 2017 he was cast again by Stephen Mcneff to create the role of The Farmer for his most recent children’s opera The Burning Boy that was premiered in several venues in Cornwall and received good praise in The Times.
Recent recital engagements included Bass soloist in Mozarts Requiem with the Chipping Campden festival chorus and Baritone soloist in Vaughn Williams Fantasia on Christmas Carols with North Camden Chorus. As well as the role of Jesus and the Bass soloist in St. John´s passion by by Bach with the Southend Bach choir.
In March 2013 Tom joined the chorus in Eugene Onegin, with a solo as Company Commander with Bury Court Opera. In October 2013 he performed as a soloist in Gregory Rose’s Danse Macbre and in December he sang as a soloist at the annual Corsely Hall Christmas Festival concert. In the summer of 2014 he was a chorus member in the Trinity Laban annual opera, Handel’s Belshazzar. In December 2015 he played the part of Masetto and The Commendatore in Don Giovanni for his college’s post-graduate opera scenes and in December of this year he played Papageno in Die Zauberflöte as part of the autumn term opera scenes.
In 2010, in his first year of BMus at Trinity, Tom was selected to sing in the Kathleen Ferrier Bursary for young singers. He is currently an active member of the Trinity Laban Chamber Choir, headed by Stephen Jackson, which included a performance of Rossini's Petite Messe Solennelle at The Saville Club as the Bass Soloist, other performances include singing at the British Composer Awards and with the Kronos Quartet at the Hackney Empire in 2012. He was also a member of the Trinity Laban Jazz Choir headed by Pete Churchill performing at Blackheath Halls and The Albany Theatre in Deptford as part of the London Jazz Festival. He created the role of Sam Greenwood in The Trial of Jean Rhys a short, preview opera performed at the 2012 Tête-à-Tête Opera Festival at Riverside Studios alongside Dr Linda Hirst as Jean Rhys.
Tom is set to record on his first studio album in a collaboration with his friend, multi-award winning classical guitarist Tom Gamble on his second studio album. They plan to play a selection of Finzi pieces from various song-cycles, arranged for guitar by Tom Gamble. They also plan to form a duo and play round various venues in London with a unique blend of classical/jazz on voice and guitar.