6 November 2020

New piece celebrates twenty-five years of the National Youth Training Choir

We’re delighted to announce the release of The Change We Need, a poignant new piece by Composer Shruthi Rajasekar, commissioned to celebrate twenty-five years of the National Youth Training Choir. NYCGB commissioned Shruthi to write the piece specifically for the Training Choir which consists of 140 members aged between 16-18, and which was designed to be learnt and recorded at home during lock down. Three members of NYCGB Fellowship - Loren Kell, Eleanor Bray and Ella Rainbird-Earley – perform solo vocals on the track. This is the first time the National Youth Training Choir and NYCGB Fellowship have collaborated on a recording. The new work explores the topic of Cultural Identity, in line with NYCGB’s annual theme for 2020.

Shruthi Rajasekar is an Indian-American composer and vocalist whose work explores identity, community, and joy. Shruthi creates intersectional music that draws from her unique background in the Carnatic (South Indian classical) and Western classical idioms. In 2019, whilst residing in London, Shruthi took part in NYCGB’s inaugural Young Composers Scheme. As part of this scheme Shruthi wrote several new works, which have been recorded and performed by NYCGB choirs. One of these Numbers, has already received widespread praise in the music press and been played several times on BBC Radio 3 and Classic FM.

Each year, NYCGB commission between 2-3 established composers to create a new work for its choirs; one for its flagship National Youth Choir and the other commission rotates between the National Youth Girls’, Boys’ and Training Choirs. In July 2020 Steinberg - well-known for their innovative, leading Dorico music notation software - became ‘Principal New Music Sponsor’ for NYCGB. Their sponsorship is supporting two new pieces released on NYCGB’s digital record label in 2020; a second piece ‘Just Being Me’ composed by Ben Parry Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of NYCGB and a highly sought-after composer, performed by the National Youth Girls’ and Boys’ Choirs, will be released in December. Both pieces will receive their world premieres in front of a live paying audience at one of NYCGB’s public concerts in 2021, following easing of the lockdown.

Greg Beardsell, NYCGB Training Choir Principal Conductor said:

This new work, The Change We Need by Shruthi Rajasekar, encourages us to think more deeply about our cultural identity and to consider the challenges which face all minority communities. As we mark the choir’s 25th anniversary, we hope that we can carry the powerful message of this piece within our mission to inspire people to broaden their perceptions of choral music and what it can achieve. This new recording, created by the Training Choir members in isolation, represents a small but determined step towards equality, and we look forward to the day when we can perform it for live audiences.

Composer Shruthi Rajasekar said:

The Change We Need is a reflection on reconciling our unique identities to come together in a way that celebrates our differences and our unity of cause. This summer, we witnessed a collective movement advocating for equity that was largely driven by adolescents and young adults. They are the ones that will usher forward change that our world needs, which is why it was so special to work with the National Youth Training Choir to create this piece, a choir that has, for twenty-five years, made the path for young people to go out into the world to create art and foster goodness. The singers and conductor Greg Beardsell have embraced the message of the piece;  I am deeply moved by what they’ve created. Their performance is all the more astounding because they recorded in isolation; because of their sense of community as a choir, we hear a complete performance, made possibly through the technical wizardry of Artistic Director Ben Parry.

Daniel Spreadbury, Dorico, Product Marketing Manager:

We are delighted to be able to support NYCGB’s new music programme, and to know that Dorico has played a small part in bringing Shruthi’s new piece to the Training Choir is very gratifying. We are very much looking forward to the live premiere in 2021.

The Change We Need is now available on Spotify, Apple Music and other music platforms.

Listen to The Change We Need

Principal New Music Sponsor