Launched in 2015, the National Youth Choir Fellowship Programme aims to create the most highly skilled and multi-talented choral singers in the UK. Each year, 4 singers aged 22-25 are selected from an intensive three round audition process to benefit from a comprehensive, remunerated training programme which develops outstanding skills in performance, education and leadership.

Graphic reads: Fellowship 2024, Deadline extended until Monday 9 October

Applications for Fellowship 2024 are now closed.

National Youth Choir Fellowship 2024

What is National Youth Choir Fellowship?

National Youth Choir Fellowship is an outstanding full-year development programme for four emerging young professional choral performers, educators, leaders and professionals

When does the programme take place?

January 2024 – January 2025

The National Youth Choir Fellowship will engage in an annual programme of performance, training, delivery and personal development. The 2024 Fellowship will first meet for the Introduction Weekend in January 2024 alongside National Youth Choir Young Composers. They will then come together throughout the year, culminating in the National Youth Choir Showcase in early 2025. 

Who can apply?

The programme invites applications from outstanding young choral musicians who want to develop their skills as performers, educators, leaders and professionals.

Applicants must be aged 20+ on 1st September 2023 and under 28 on 31st August 2024.

It is open to applicants who will be resident in the UK for the duration of the programme and who are eligible to train/work in the UK.

The Fellowship programme is fully open to those who have not previously been a National Youth Choir member as well as those who are current or previous members.

The National Youth Choir is striving to build an inclusive community and we want to help achieve meaningful and balanced representation in choral leadership. To this end, we strongly encourage young people of Black, Asian & ethnically diverse backgrounds to apply for this programme. We also welcome applications from disabled people as well as those from lower income households. National Youth Choir Fellowship is a free training programme and expenses are covered by the organisation.

In order to fully participate in this programme and experience its full benefits, applicants should not be in full-time formal education during the course of the programme. We would consider studying on a full-time degree or other higher education programme to be full-time formal education. We recognise that some education, for example a programme of research-based study may be organised on a part-time or more flexible basis, and if someone is taking part in this type of programme and can commit to the schedule of Fellowship activities, they would be eligible to apply.

We will prioritise candidates who we think are at the right point in their development for the scheme to provide most benefit.  

If you have any questions about the programme including around your eligibility to apply, you can contact us at: [email protected]

Will the programme cost me anything?

The Fellowship programme is a free training programme. Travel expenses for all activities within the Fellowship programme will be covered by the National Youth Choir and some engagements will attract a fee. This is all subject to funding.

How to apply

There is no fee to apply. Candidates must complete the electronic application form by midday on Monday 9 October 2023

On this form they will submit a recent headshot and video footage of them singing (solo, accompanied or unaccompanied). In addition, we would be really interested to see video footage of you in a music leadership position or role. This does not need to be a polished submission, what we want to see is the candidate leading a music session, rehearsal, workshop, concert, gig or similar to explore their conducting, teaching and facilitating experience. 

Shortlisted candidates will then be invited to attend in-person group workshops and auditions week commencing 16th October 2023. The exact location and timings will be provided to shortlisted candidates along with their invitation to audition. Results will be communicated to all applicants in the following week.

apply now via online form

If you have any questions about the programme including around your eligibility to apply, you can contact us at any time by emailing: [email protected]

What the Fellowship programme offers

The National Youth Choir will provide the four Fellows with a comprehensive all-round offer and opportunities, with strands of activity that will develop Fellows in these areas: Career, Educators, Performers and Leaders.   

  • CAREER: To assist emerging choral professionals with the skills, networks and opportunities to develop and launch their portfolio careers.
  • EDUCATORS: To develop confident future leaders who have the educational skills and ability to deliver high quality training to a broad range of abilities and ages.
  • PERFORMERS: To develop confident performers who have the skills and ability to lead and inspire with choral excellence across a broad range of choral activities and ages.
  • LEADERS: To cultivate choral leaders who will help define and re-shape the choral landscape for the future.

The Fellowship programme is for ambitious and creative individuals who not only want to become part of the professional choral network, but also to shape and reinvest in it. There is no other training programme in the UK that offers young people aged 20-27 a comparable range of experiences and opportunities.

What is the programme?

The Fellowship will focus on nurturing young choral leaders and has a close alignment with the Young Composers scheme. The four Fellows, who will be emerging young professionals, will engage in an annual programme delivered in four stages:

  • Discovery
  • Exploration
  • Realisation
  • Future

The four fellows will have the unique opportunity to develop a portfolio of professional opportunities and skills. This will include observing, mentoring and working with National Youth Choir staff and members across the range of our choirs, as well as being part of our Learning & Engagement programme.

In addition, the Fellowship will have the opportunity to:

Perform as a standalone Fellowship Ensemble. There is also the flexibility to augment this non-conducted ensemble with previous Fellows or National Youth Choir 18-25 Section Leaders when required.

Form the core part of the National Youth Chamber Choir with a vocal leadership role within the choir. The choir meet and perform throughout the year for exciting additional performances and opportunities.

Be working closely with our Young Composers 2024, building on the success of previous collaborations between our emerging professionals programmes. This will include commissions written for the Fellowship and professional recordings and releases of the works on NMC Recordings.

The aspiration of the programme is for Fellows to be engaged with professional National Youth Choir opportunities following on from their Fellowship year, on the understanding that they have completed all the stages of the programme, gained the required skills/attributes and shown an aptitude for these roles. 

The Fellowship are not formally a part of the National Youth Choir 18-25 Annual Programme. However, the Fellowship will join the National Youth Choir 18-25 by invitation, for certain activities, residentials and performances in their Fellowship.

What happens if I'm successful?

If you are successful, we will invite you to accept your place in the 2024 Fellowship. If you are invited to join the Fellowship programme 2024, you must commit to the scheduled programme of activities. We will be happy to discuss particular circumstances and clashes with you if these are pre-existing/known at the time of application. We will always be understanding of any unexpected circumstances which may arise.

What happens if I'm unsuccessful?

You may re-apply for the Fellowship in the following year as long as you still meet the criteria (see ‘Who Can Apply?’).

Click here to visit the Fellowship Introduction Page