2 August 2019

Calling all talented young composers interested in innovative new approaches to choral music to apply for NYCGB Young Composer Scheme 2019/20.

Run in partnership with Digital Partner NMC Recordings.

The NYCGB annual Young Composers Scheme offers four composers aged between 18 and 29 a fully-funded, year-long programme of professional development, including the unique opportunity to write music for NYCGB’s choirs. 

Now entering in its second year, it aims to challenge perceptions of, and support the development, innovation and diversity of new choral music.

The scheme is open to composers who demonstrate clear ability, potential, and a passion for creating high-quality, imaginative new music for vocal ensembles. We're looking to attract young people from diverse musical and cultural backgrounds, including those who may not have previously considered composing for ensemble voices. It aims to support composers in the early stages of their career, who are committed to developing as professional composers. In order to fully participate in this wide-ranging programme and experience its full benefits, applicants should not be in full-time formal education during the course of the programme.

Running across a whole year, the scheme comprises residential courses, workshops, peer and professional mentoring and performance showcases including a high-profile launch event at the Royal Albert Hall in London. Working with the National Youth Choir, the composers will have an unrivalled opportunity to collaborate with 100 of the best young voices and future choral professionals in the UK. Professional mentoring will be led by NYCGB Artistic Director, OUP and Edition Peters composer Ben Parry, and there will be expert advice and tuition from distinguished composers such as Errollyn Wallen, John Rutter and Roxanna Panufnik. Professional training and insights, and a professional recording and release for their work will be facilitated by NMC Recordings, the scheme’s digital partners.

NYCGB Artistic Director Ben Parry said:

There is currently no other scheme in the UK that specifically supports young choral composers to develop their craft and unique style of writing for massed voices and youth choirs. Following a massively successful first year, we’re now looking forward to working with the next group of talented composers, to take their music to exciting new levels. We’re keen to work with young people from a wide range of backgrounds and experiences and actively encourage applications from those working in ways which are not ‘traditionally choral’ or acoustic.

NMC Recordings Executive Director Anne Rushton said:

The priorities in NMC’s programme to 2021 are artistic development, under-represented areas of the catalogue and partnership projects and our collaboration with NYCGB perfectly demonstrates all three aspects of our ambition. The first years' scheme has introduced us to a varied group of really talented young composers and we can’t wait to release the results of their time working with Ben and the wonderful singers of NYCGB. Our aspiration for Year Two is that we encourage composers from a large and diverse range of musical styles and backgrounds to engage with the joy of writing for voices.

2018/19 Young Composer Lillie Harris commented:

I've been completely enthused by being around such passionate, engaged, and committed musicians. By the end of my time on this scheme, I will have written three choral pieces: all really different but all unlocking different parts of myself. This scheme has strongly encouraged me to embrace all kinds of musical styles, reminded me of my love of words and language and made me very keen to write more choral music. I feel a lot more confident in myself and as a musician.

Award-winning composer Benji Merrison, and resident professional composer for the NYCGB Young Composer Scheme 2018/19, is perhaps best known for scoring David Attenborough’s BBC series ‘Dynasties’. He said:

I really enjoyed working with the Young Composers – they had so much to contribute and so much energy. I enjoyed seeing their eyes being opened to different ways of thinking. This is a very good opportunity to grow and learn in a stimulating environment and I’d really encourage young people from all walks of life to apply.

Applications for the NYCGB Young Composer Scheme are open now.

The closing date is on Friday 30 August 2019, 5pm.

The scheme is open to composers aged 18+ on 1 September 2019 and under 30 on 31 August 2020. Shortlisted candidates will be invited to workshops and interviews in London on Saturday 14 September.

Click here for information about how to apply

Run in partnership with Digital Partner NMC recordings.  


Supported by the Garrick Charitable Trust.