Year-long artistic theme of ‘Environment’
World premiere of new commission with The Swingles at Woolwich Works, London
New community partnership with the Royal Northern College of Music
Festivals include London Handel Festival, Ryedale Festival & North Wales International Music Festival
New relationship with Ark Schools
Performances at the Southbank Centre, London and Coventry, UK City of Culture

The National Youth Choirs of Great Britain (NYCGB) has unveiled plans for its 2022 programme, focusing on the artistic theme of ‘Environment’. The plans were shared with friends, supporters and music industry professionals in a special online Showcase, streamed from the VOCES8 Centre in the heart of London.

Returning to a full programme of concerts, residential courses and community activity following the pandemic, NYCGB has more than 800 members aged 9 to 25 and annually reaches more than 3,500 young people through its Learning and Engagement activities.

The flagship National Youth Choir will perform with internationally renowned vocal group The Swingles at new East London venue Woolwich Works on 7 April, with a programme that includethe world premiere of their new commission, co-created with choir members, Until It’s Gone – music for our planet, as well as Earth Song by Rachel Portman and Nick Drake and Water by Anders Edenroth. 

As part of the PRS Foundation’s New Music Biennial 2022, celebrating composers pushing the boundaries of new music, the National Youth Chamber Choir will also perform She Who, by Jessica Curry at Coventry, UK City of Culture, in April and at London’s Southbank Centre in July.

The Chamber Choir will sing at the opening concert of the London Handel Festival at St George’s Church, Hanover Square, London on 23 March with a concert that includes the premiere of In Thy Beauty by Anna Clyne, alongside popular Baroque anthems.

The Chamber Choir will also perform in St Asaph Cathedral in October as part of the North Wales International Music Festival, with a programme that will celebrate Ralph Vaughan Williams’ 150th anniversary as well as his influence on British female composers including Imogen Holst and Grace Williams. 

Both the National Youth Choir and Chamber Choir will perform at the Ryedale Festival in North Yorkshire in July, where their summer residential course will be based. 

Meanwhile, as part of NYCGB’s Learning and Engagement activities, a new partnership with Royal Northern College of Music’s award-winning Pathfinder programme will see an expanding range of opportunities for young people across the North of England to reach their musical potential, working to remove financial, social and cultural barriers.

A further new relationship, with Ark Schools, will develop bespoke, new partnership activity and pathways for young musicians to engage with NYCGB.

The National Youth Training, Girls’ and Boys’ Choirs will enjoy residential courses in Bristol, Harrogate and Suffolk, with the Training Choir giving a performance in Oxford and the Girls’ Choir experiencing a professional recording session that will include A Short Story of Falling by Joanna Marsh. National Youth Boys’ Choir will work with writer and director Hazel Gould (Glyndebourne; Streetwise Opera; Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment), creating words for a new commission with composer Oliver Tarney around the theme of ‘belonging’ that will be premiered later in the year.

In 2022, Dorico (NYCGB’s Principal Innovation Sponsor) has also sponsored a new commission by a 2021 young composer for one of NYCGB’s choirs. This opportunity will provide a graduate of the Young Composers scheme with a professional paid commission to write a new work around the 2022 theme.

Meanwhile, development programmes for emerging professional artists continue for the seventh cohort of the Fellowship programme for young choral leaders, and NYCGB will deliver a fourth year of its hugely successful Young Composers scheme in partnership with NMC Recordings.

Alongside new projects, NYCGB’s Learning and Engagement programme will continue to develop its ongoing work in Sunderland, supporting a brand new Sunderland Youth Choir, and wider opportunities for young singers in the North East of England as part of our Gillian Dickinson Young Singers programme, as well as expanding NYCGB’s connections and pathways in the North West.

Anne Besford, Chief Executive, said:

2022 is already shaping up to be another very busy year. The huge challenges of the last two years have also provided opportunities for us to re-evaluate and develop how we engage with more people from as wide a range of backgrounds and locations as possible and build a truly representative community. Much of this online and digital work will continue, alongside our exciting programme of concerts, courses and engagement activities.

Ben Parry, Artistic Director and Principal Conductor, said:

This year’s chosen theme of ‘Environment’ seems particularly relevant to the young people at the heart of our work. As well as the urgency of needing to protect the natural environment around us, young people in particular have been more aware than ever about the places in which they live and share time together. Much of our work this year, including creating and commissioning new music, will focus on this theme, interpreted in many and varied ways. We can’t wait to share our music with audiences across the UK again, with a full programme of live performances.

For the full programme of performances and activities keep an eye on our What's On page

Media contacts

Tim Croall and Georgina Cocker

[email protected]

[email protected] 

NYCGB Fellowship 2022

Kindly supported by Principal Programme Supporter: ABRSM, with additional generous support from the Ofenheim Trust and Dorico (NYCGB’s Principal Innovation Sponsor), and by programme partners Making Music and AOTOS (Association of Teachers of Singing).

Young Composers Scheme 2022

Kindly supported by: NMC Recordings (Digital Partner), PRS Foundation’s The Open Fund, Dorico (NYCGB’s Principal Innovation Sponsor), Stainer & Bell (Publishing Partner & Innovation Grant Sponsor), Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation, RVW Trust, The Leche Trust, The Michael Tippett Musical Foundation, Finzi Trust, the Lord & Lady Lurgan Trust and the Britten-Pears Arts

Learning & Engagement Programme 2022

Kindly supported by: the Esme Fairbairn Foundation, ABRSM, Holbeck Trust, Schroder Charity Trust, Gillian Dickinson Trust and The Goldsmiths’ Company Charity.

The Swingles Commission 2022

Funded with kind support from Dorico (NYCGB’s Principal Innovation Sponsor) and the John S Cohen Foundation.

Joanna Marsh and Oliver Tarney Commissions 2022

Funded with kind support from Christine Evans and Dorico (NYCGB’s Principal Innovation Sponsor).

PRS Foundation’s New Music Biennial 2022 performances

Kindly funded by the PRS Foundation.