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 with cutout photo of Imogen, a white woman with a short blonde bob, and the text 'Q&A' in large yellow letters

Photo credit: Belinda Lawley

Hi, Imogen here I'm taking over stories today for a Q&A! Ask anything about my job, the fellowship programme, the audition process, singing teaching, I'd love to answer your questions! 

Imogen, What is your favourite piece of music to sing and why?

Oo great question! I really love Mendelssohn's I waited for the Lord. It's such a beautiful duet and brings me happy memories of singing it with a great friend in my dissertation

What made you get into singing? Was there an initial inspiration for you?

I started having singing lessons from a young age and my love grew from there. I was always obsessed with musicals, choirs and performing in general! My music teachers were amazing and inspired me to pursue music further

How much experience in singing did you have before you started?

I did have quite a lot of experience in singing before starting the fellowship. I was always in choirs, ensembles and musicals at school, then went on to study a BA in Music Performance at university!

What's your best National Youth Choir memory?

It's got to be Carols at the Royal Albert Hall in 2019, singing the solo of Once in Royal David's City with my family watching to A very proud moment.

What's the best bit about being a Fellow so far? And what has been your favourite moment?

I've loved getting to know my colleagues and the further National Youth Choir community! Everyone is so kind and supportive and I'm really grateful to be a part of this organisation. I loved being a part of this concert with National Youth Choir (18-25 Years) at St John's Smith Square where we performed a programme of French choral music. It's been great to work with Nic Chalmers!

What reservations did you have about becoming Fellow and how did you overcome them? 

Great question! I didn't know if I had enough experience and I was really nervous before auditioning! I auditioned for the first time in 2022, and didn't get in, however I found the audition a really positive experience and knew I'd want to audition again! I would say the more experience you can get in choral leading (even just warm ups/a round) the more confident you will feel. The audition is great experience and there is nothing to lose but lots to gain by applying

Do you experience imposter syndrome & do you have any advice for dealing with it?

Definitely! Even the most experienced musicians still get imposter syndrome. A recent examples for me: this week I was asked to conduct the band for our school musical. I've never done anything like this and definitely feel like an imposter! However, I have spoken to friends and colleagues for advice and have realised that I'm only going to learn through doing it. My advice would be to know that you are not alone, speak to people you trust, deep breaths, and believe in yourself!

Acknowledgement of the supporters of the 2024 Fellowship scheme with logos for the Arts Council, Dorico, the D'Oyly Carte Charitable Trust and AOTOS