We’re proud to be longstanding partners of the National Youth Choirs of Great Britain (NYCGB). Here their Head of Communications, Tim Croall, reflects on NYCGB’s activities this year and looks forward to their 40th anniversary in 2023.
As the World Cup gets underway, it's good to remind ourselves that more people sing in a choir each week in Britain than watch football live - in fact it's the fastest-growing participatory art form. At NYCGB we already knew this, particularly as we come to the end of a jam-packed 2022. During the pandemic we adapted swiftly to develop online resources, activities and performances, but it has been fantastic to return to a full programme of 'in person' residential courses, concerts and learning and engagement work alongside our growing catalogue of film and audio releases.
As we continue to grow our inspiring, ambitious and inclusive musical community – crucially supported by industry partners such as ABRSM – it's great to reflect on the whirlwind of activity that has engaged young singers, musicians and audiences this year and look forward to our 40th birthday in 2023.
At the start of the year we welcomed our new cohort of Young Composers and Fellows and, with partners NMC Recordings, released the third Young Composers album featuring the wonderful new compositions by our outgoing composers. In fact, we have just welcomed our new cohorts for 2023 and will be releasing the next album early in the new year!
April saw the culmination of a two-year co-creation between the National Youth Choir and international a cappella group The Swingles, with the premiere of Until It's Gone at Woolwich Works in London, inspired by our 2022 artistic theme of 'environment'. Excerpts of the work were subsequently broadcast on Scala Radio on World Earth Day.
National Youth Choir & Swingles Concert at Woolwich Works
The National Youth Boys' Choir worked with Hazel Gould to create lyrics for a new commission during the summer and the National Youth Girls' Choir took part in recording sessions for our record label. We release new recordings each month so do check out our Spotify playlist or search for NYCGB on other platforms. We were particularly proud to release Forever, the track that resulted from an international digital collaboration between our Young Composers and songwriters from Ndlovu Youth Choir in South Africa, performed by Ndlovu and the National Youth Chamber Choir.
Meanwhile, our Learning and Engagement programme has been busier than ever, and included the North East Young Singers Intensive, our first taster programme since early 2020, culminating in a wonderful singing weekend and showcase in Sunderland with over 40 enthusiastic young singers from across the region.
Sunderland Young Singers Intensive Weekend
All this as we prepare for our 40th birthday in 2023. Plans are still under wraps, but the highlight will be a huge celebratory concert at the Royal Albert Hall on 11 April, featuring all our choirs, many alumni, over a thousand voices and the premiere of a new 40-part work by our Artistic Director and Principal Conductor Ben Parry. Tickets are on sale now!
To get a taste of what our young singers and musicians have been up to and for information about what we do, how to get involved and our latest releases, follow NYCGB on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.