Emerging Professional Artist programmes

The National Youth Choir exists to provide exciting and inclusive creative opportunities for all young people. 

As part of this remit, our Emerging Professional Artists programme, supports young singers, composers and conductors as they emerge into the professional world. It aims to address inequalities in the music industry by creating professional development pathways for those who are under-represented in choral music. Participants in our Emerging Professional Artists programmes work closely with the National Youth Choir (18-25 years) and our other choirs.

Read the first of our 2022 cohort blogs by composer Rockey Sūn Kētíng. Rockey reflects on her first four months with NYCGB and discusses her experience of getting to know the choir members and staff through workshops, courses and concerts. A thoroughly honest, informative and contemplative piece which features some exquisite music!

It is an honour to be the first Composer to write this year's NYCGB (National Youth Choirs of Great Britain) Young Composer blog. This blog will take you through some of the key events that happened at NYCGB since January and will give you a little insight into what Composers do to get inspired before they start composing.  

29 January: First in-person introduction and meeting with Ben Parry and Jo Tomlinson 

How do we get to know each other quickly at the first meeting? WE SHARE MUSIC WE LIKE! During the first session with Ben Parry and Joanna Tomlinson, Composers and Fellows were asked to bring two choral music references in which one had to be centred around the theme of environment, and the other could be anything at all.  


Here are some pieces I really enjoyed listening to and found very inspiring: 

Snowforms - R. Murray Schafer  

GHOSTLIGHT Chorus: Meredith Monk - PANDA CHANT II 

Michael Harrison – Roomful of Teeth: Just Constellations, mvt. IV 

Eternity · Emily Hall 

 And pieces I brought to the meeting: 

The Forest (2020) 

Evening morning day - David Lang   

Story - Cage  

NYCGB Spring Residential Course with The Swingles 

Earlier this month, we joined the big family of National Youth Choir (NYC) at the Spring Residential Course. It was such a pleasure to meet members of the choir, the rest of the team and THE SWINGLES!  

During the pandemic, the choir worked with The Swingles on a brand-new collaborative commission UNTIL IT’S GONE, based on this year’s artistic theme of ‘Environment’ which was performed at their concert at Woolwich Works. The concert also featured Earth Song by Rachel Portman (text by Nick Drake), Water by Anders Edenroth and some classics by The Swingles. We were fully immersed with the Choir during our three-day stay and closely observed the rehearsal process. It was very helpful for me to learn different vocal exercises led by Ben and Nicki and to hear how music was notated, created, and discussed. I was also extremely impressed by how these young talents can make the most beautiful sound and the concert was just EPIC!  

I really cannot wait to start composing for NYCGB! 


NYCGB Girls’ Choir Spring Residential Course 

Shortly after the NYC course, I joined the Girls’ Choir spring residential course in Uppingham for a few days. The group was working towards a recording session and an end of course showcase which included pieces by Joanna Marsh, Oliver Tarney, and Andrea Ramsey. Introduced by the conductor Joanna Tomlinson, I was instantly sat in front of the choir upon arrival - words cannot describe the sound I was hearing! As the choir splits in Junior and Senior sections for the rehearsal, there was a whole team of nine music leaders to make the best sound out of every single member. During the day, I jumped in between sections and listened to different pieces. This was highly informative in both practical and musical aspects.  

These courses and meetings gave me not only the most practical knowledge of choral music but also the most sparkling inspirations. I am incredibly grateful to every staff member in NYCGB for their warmth and generous help. I am looking forward to the upcoming masterclass and Summer Residential Courses!