Alexander Gebhard

I chose to come to Teddy Hall for two reasons. Having spoken to some current students, I was particularly intrigued by the somewhat elusive-sounding, yet as I was soon to discover very tangible so-called “Hall Spirit”. Indeed, this aspect of Teddy Hall’s incredible atmosphere became a defining facet of my time at the Hall, but more about that later. Secondly, I was keen on joining a vibrant graduate community in a central Oxford college and Teddy Hall offered precisely this.

I have very fond memories about my time at the Hall. I came here as an MPhil student in European Politics & Society and found it to be an excellent home, not only for my studies, but also for my extracurricular involvements and as a social hub. My graduate tutor, Karma Nabulsi, was an excellent point of call for helping me tailor my degree course to my specific needs and interests, in particular with regards to my MPhil dissertation. I am also indebted to her for some of the best espresso, this side of Magdalen Bridge! Politics aside, my main extracurricular passion was and always has been opera and classical singing, and I couldn’t have asked for a more supportive environment than the one afforded by the Hall. The then Director of Music, Chris Watson, was particularly helpful in organising concerts through the Teddy Hall Music Society and putting me in touch with various ensembles and opera groups in Oxford. Perhaps most importantly though, the extremely generous Teddy Hall’s Masterclass Award scheme provided an invaluable source of funding that enabled me to receive regular singing lessons and pursue my passion to the highest level.

Although I arrived at the Hall as a politics student, I left the Hall having decided to dedicate myself to full-time singing. This rather unexpected turn of events would not have been possible without the fantastic support I was given during my time at Teddy Hall. On the back of this, I have now gained a scholarship to study classical singing at the Royal Academy of Music in London. This is but the first step of what will hopefully turn into a long and varied career as a professional opera and concert singer.

If I could give any advice to my former self, I would say: be bold and just go for it! Teddy Hall provides such a wonderfully supportive environment and it is truly committed to empowering each and every individual student to be the best version of themselves. This is what the aforementioned “Hall Spirit” is all about: Teddy Hall is a place where an eclectic group of people from a variety of backgrounds come together and jointly they embolden each other through intellectual curiosity, emotional empathy, and social integrity.