21 January 2020

National Youth Choirs of Great Britain (NYCGB) announces 2020 Programme

NYCGB has unveiled plans for its 2020 programme to friends, supporters, music industry professionals and music press at the second prestigious Annual Showcase Event, held at The Royal Albert Hall, London.

NYCGB will deliver a performance programme of 25 concerts in 2019-20, including 7 showcase concerts in Bristol, Yarm, Coventry, Bolton, Saffron Walden and Edinburgh – the latter forming part of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival – and 18 national touring concerts across its choirs. 

The flagship National Youth Choir will perform in 9 concerts at the Royal Albert Hall as part of Christmas at the Royal Albert Hall, and the National Youth Chamber Choir will launch a performance partnership with the Tallis Scholars, providing members with the opportunity to share the concert platform with the internationally renowned ensemble.

The National Youth Choir will also undertake an international tour centring around performances at the World Symposium on Choral Music (WSCM2020) in Auckland, New Zealand, where they are one of only 24 of the best international choirs selected to take part. NYCGB’s artistic theme for the year, ‘Cultural Identity’, is inspired by the theme of the symposium, and will explore, through choral music, the relationship humans have with the land that supports them: the sense of identity they derive from it and the tensions that arise out of it.

Two new choral commissions are planned, connected to this theme: celebrated Scottish-American composer Thea Musgrave will compose a rare new piece for the National Youth Choir to perform and record and a further piece will be commissioned for the National Youth Training Choir, to be announced. Alongside this, NYCGB will continue to develop new virtual audiences for choral music by creating and releasing a regular programme of audio and video recordings across streaming platforms. 
Development programmes for emerging professional artists will continue for the fifth cohort of the Fellowship Programme for young choral leaders, and NYCGB will deliver a second year of its hugely successful Young Composers Scheme in partnership with NMC Recordings.

NYCGB's Learning and Engagement programme will see strategic activities taking place in Yorkshire, the North East and the West Midlands, with a pilot ‘legacy partnership’ being developed in Nottinghamshire. Alongside this a programme of outreach workshops and events will take place more widely across the country, reaching over 4,000 young people beyond the core choir membership.

NYCGB is committed to being an open and diverse organisation, championing high-quality singing opportunities for all young people and striving to support more young people to participate in its activity, including through providing Financial Assistance awards.

Anne Besford, Chief Executive, NYCGB Said:

2020 promises to be a busy and exciting year. Our artistic theme, Cultural Identity, challenges us to explore the ways in which music reflects and shapes us as individuals and our relationship with the world around us. It inspires us to innovate, so that our music is exciting, diverse and relevant, challenging perceptions of what choral music can be. We will continue our important access and inclusion work to engage with more young people from a wider range of backgrounds and develop our role as a truly national organisation at the forefront of artistic and educational practice.

Ben Parry, Artistic Director & Principal Conductor, NYCGB said:

This years’ theme is one that touches all of us in some way. It will run both through WSCM2020, interpreted freely and with flair by participating choirs from across the world and will continue through our own 2020 Spring and Summer concerts held in the UK. Each of our choirs and their Principal Conductors will interpret this in their own way, drawing from a broad range of repertoire and styles in programmes which offer new meaning and a fresh approach to each performance. We hope as many people as possible will enjoy hearing the UK’s best young choral singers perform at venues across the UK.


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Principal Supporters:

Funders & Supporters

NYCGB Fellowship: Supported by Principal Programme Supporter: ABRSM, with additional generous support from the Ofenheim Trust, and by programme partners Making Music and AOTOS (Association of Teachers of Singing).

Young Composers Scheme 2019/20: The NYCGB Young Composers Scheme is kindly supported by: NMC Recordings (Digital Partner), PRS Foundation’s The Open Fund, Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation, RVW Trust, The Leche Trust, The Michael Tippett Musical Foundation, The Garrick Charitable Trust, the Lord & Lady Lurgan Trust, and the Britten-Pears Foundation.

Young Composers Scheme 2020: The NYCGB Young Composers Scheme is kindly supported by NMC Recordings (Digital Partner), PRS Foundation’s The Open Fund, RVW Trust, The Michael Tippett Musical Foundation, The Garrick Charitable Trust, the Lord & Lady Lurgan Trust, and The Britten-Pears Foundation.

Learning & Engagement Programme: The NYCGB Learning and Engagement programme is kindly supported by the
Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, ABRSM, Peter Sowerby Foundation, The Samuel Gardner Memorial Trust, Holbeck Trust, Catherine Cookson Trust, Gillian Dickinson Trust and The Goldsmiths’ Company Charity.

Thea Musgrave Commission: Funded with the kind support of The Golsoncott Foundation. Dedicated in memory of Dr David Cohen CBE who, as Chairman of the John S Cohen Foundation supported the creation of new music which inspired thousands of young people and NYCGB members.