National Youth Choirs of Great Britain
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The National Youth Choirs of Great Britain (NYCGB) is the family of choirs for outstanding young singers, and those with outstanding potential, in the United Kingdom. It comprises a total of five choirs for around 750 young people between the ages of 9 and 25:
- The National Youth Boys' Choir (incorporating Cambiata Voices).
- The National Youth Girls' Choir
- The National Youth Training Choir
- The National Youth Choir
- The National Youth Chamber Choir (incorporating the NYCGB Fellowship Programme)
Background and performance history
Originally set up in 1983 as a single choir made up of 100 of the best young singers in Britain, NYCGB now comprises an educational structure of eight choirs: Boys' Choir for trebles and Cambiata Voices (for school years 5-10) which train together; Junior and Senior Girls' Choirs (for school years 6-10) which also train together; Training Choirs North and South, which are mixed boys and girls (for school years 9-13); the National Youth Choir (for school years 11 up to age 22); and the National Youth Chamber Choir for young professionals up to age 25.
Entry to the junior choirs, training choirs and National Youth Choir is by audition. Around 600 people aged 9–22 attend auditions which take place in venues across Britain in November each year. Usually, around half of those auditioning are offered places.
The National Youth Chamber Choir is formed of eight core members aged 22-25 selected by open audition for a Fellowship Programme. Forming a mixed-voice octet, they take part in a year-long programme of performance and supporting project work to develop skills, including choral leadership and profile development. Each Fellowship member is given £4k. Further members of the Chamber Choir are selected by audition from within the National Youth Choir to take part in performances.
NYCGB have collaborated with a wide range of musicians, been involved in various recordings and performed on tours as well as at many venues across the UK.
- NYCGB performed with George Shearing and the King's Singers at the Barbican Centre, and again with the King's Singers for their 25th anniversary and the National Youth Choir's 21st anniversary.
- The National Youth Choir performed on the recording of Karl Jenkins's The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace and gave a concert at the Royal Festival Hall in October 2010 to celebrate 10 years since the recording of the CD.
- They have collaborated with the National Youth Jazz Collective, with drum and bass star, Goldie, with SAMYO (the National Youth Orchestra for Indian Music) and with leading folk musicians Will Lang and Niopha Keegan.
- NYCGB also performed at Twickenham Stadium for the Rugby Football Union England internationals and Cardiff's Millennium Stadium for the 2006 FA Cup Final.
- The National Youth Choir performed Beethoven’s Symphony 9 with Daniel Barenboim and the East-Western Divan Orchestra in July 2012 and with Vasily Petrenko, the National Youth Orchestra, the Irish Youth Chamber Choir and Codetta in August 2013, both at the BBC Proms.
- The National Youth Choir sang Britten’s War Requiem with Marin Alsop, the Royal Academy of Music Symphony Orchestra and the Voicelab Choir in November 2014, at Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall.
NYCGB have also toured internationally and have visited New Zealand, Australia, USA, Singapore, Samoa, Rarotonga and South Africa, as well as destinations in Europe.
- Director: Ben Parry (musician)
- Deputy Artistic Director: Greg Beardsell
- Deputy Music Director: Esther Jones
- John Casken: Uncertain Sea (2014), recorded for release on iTunes
- Benjamin Britten centenary recording on CD featuring all eight choirs of the National Youth Choirs of Great Britain, including works such as "A Hymn to the Virgin", Te Deum in C , Jubilate Deo in E flat, “The Ballad of Little Musgrave and Lady Barnard”, “Rejoice in the Lamb” and ‘A Ceremony of Carols” (2013)
Notable former members
- Lucy Bailey of the Swingle Singers
- Rich Batsford - Pianist, composer and singer-songwriter
- Stephen Connolly of the King's Singers
- Karen Danzig - Singer / songwriter
- John Daszak - Opera Singer
- Karen England of Opera Babes
- Joanna Goldsmith of the Swingle Singers
- Rae Hendrie - Actress
- Andrew Johnston - Came 3rd in Britain's Got Talent
- Louise Marshall - Singer with Jools Holland's Rhythm and Blues Orchestra
- Chris Neale of the Swingle Singers
- Wendy Nieper - formerly of the Swingle Singers
- Jon Robyns - West End star of Les Misérables and Avenue Q
- Ben Thapa of G4 (band)
- Henrik Wager of the Flying Pickets
- Laura Wright of All Angels
- Quadros, André de (2012). The Cambridge Companion to Choral Music, pp. viii; 98. Cambridge University Press
- BBC Proms Performance Archive. National Youth Choir of Great Britain. Retrieved 10 November 2014.