I auditioned for the National Youth Choir back in 1985, when I was 14 - I was beyond excited to be accepted and can still remember the moment I found out! Over the next couple of years I had some of the most amazing experiences of my life, both musically and socially - performing Belshazzar at the Albert Hall, singing Spem for the first time (of many), travelling all over the West Coast of America and making amazing music with some very talented people. I was one of the lucky ones - I got financial support from a charity connected with my school which meant I could go on these courses and take full advantage of them. Having spent my formative years with NYCGB, unlike many of my peers I didn't pursue a career in music, but it's always been a serious hobby and my escape from the world. I owe NYCGB a massive debt of gratitude for the doors it opened for me musically.

As my children grow up and start singing for pleasure themselves, I am aware that I would love them to be able to have the opportunity that I did to be part of something like NYCGB. But more than that I would like ALL children who enjoy singing and pass the audition to be able to participate in NYCGB and have those experiences regardless of means and background.

So on 13 January 2019 I will be taking to the streets of London for the London Winter Walk, walking 20km along the Thames whatever (I mean WHATEVER) the weather with my old friend and fellow alumna Lizzie Spear (Nee Rowe) to raise money for the NYCGB Alumni Champions Fund, to enable talented young singers who would not otherwise be able to afford to attend courses to do so.

Please dig deep to support Lizzie and me as we approach this challenge - it is going to take a lot of mental and physical stamina to get us round, so we will need all the encouragement we can get!

Thank you!

Catherine (Katy) Byram-Wigfield (nee Harris)

*Each year, NYCGB directly assists one in five aspiring young singers with the cost of auditions, course fees and travel costs. Without this help they wouldn’t be able to participate in NYCGB’s life changing activities

The Alumni Champions' Fund is a new annual fund that has been established by NYCGB alumni to raise money in aid of current NYCGB members who require financial assistance to participate in NYCGB’s courses and concerts. This is a fund that has been set up and is managed by NYCGB alumni.*

Catherine Byram-Wigfield