24 November 2020


A vibrant video of a new piece, Just Being ME written by Ben Parry and performed by members of the National Youth Girls’ and Boys’ Choirs of Great Britain, has been released today. It uses words written by the choir members themselves to celebrate the central theme of cultural identity, as they explore what this means to them.

NYCGB commissioned composer and NYCGB Artistic Director and Principal Conductor Ben Parry to create the piece, which was designed to be recorded by the members from their homes, as part of NYCGB’s online summer course in August.

Ben Parry is one of the UK’s most exciting choral music composers. His compositions and arrangements are published by Peters Edition, Oxford University Press and Faber Music, and he has made over 100 recordings. His music can be heard throughout the world on radio and TV and he has conducted on the soundtracks of many major films such as The HobbitAvengers and Harry Potter.

This is a unique collaboration between the National Youth Boys’ and Girls’ Choirs, who joined together to create this piece under the leadership of Joanna Tomlinson, Principal Conductor of the Girls’ Choir and Lucy Joy Morris, Boys’ Choir Principal Conductor. Not only are the words themselves an expression of identity, but the video content that members recorded at home or remotely in other locations, celebrate the theme through the activities and experiences they have chosen to share.

The piece has been made possible through the kind support of Steinberg ‘Principal New Music Sponsor’ for NYCGB. Well-known for their innovative, leading Dorico music notation software their sponsorship has supported two new pieces released on NYCGB’s digital record label in 2020. A second piece The Change We Need by former NYCGB Young Composer Shruthi Rajasekar and performed by the National Youth Training Choir and Fellowship, was released in November.

Ben Parry said:

This video is a wonderful representation of the theme of cultural identity through the eyes of our young people. It’s fantastic to see how our members responded to the challenge of creating this recording and video, which they have done in a way which is both highly impressive and deeply moving. The words reflect a high level of thought and engagement with the theme and the piece presents their very personal take on what it means to them. We hope Just Being ME will be enjoyed far and wide by many, and hope it brings a sense of joy and celebration to all who experience it. This has been a huge team effort, well done to all involved!

Daniel Spreadbury, Dorico, Product Marketing Manager said:

One of the most exciting aspects of the first year of our partnership with NYCGB has been supporting the commissioning of new works for the choirs, and we hope the young singers have enjoyed working with Ben on his new piece as much as we can all now enjoy listening to it.

Videography and percussion by Graham Instrall. Audio and piano by Dan Moriyama. 

Just Being ME is due for release on NYCGB’s digital record label on Monday 7th December, and will be available on Spotify, Apple and other music platforms.

Click here to watch the video

Principal New Music Sponsor