National Youth Choir Alumni

Welcome to the National Youth Choir Alumni community! 

If you are a former member of any National Youth Choir ensemble or emerging professional artist programme, then you still part of our National Youth Choir family! We’d love you to stay connected to our work and the ever-growing community of talented National Youth Choir graduates across the UK and abroad. Whether you’ve recently been a member or were involved back in the early years – you are very welcome. 

We are so proud that our alumni have gone on to achieve such wonderful things. National Youth Choir alumni are graduates from across the choir’s 40-year history, including doctors, nurses, teachers, conductors, CEOs as well as professional singers from The Swingles, BBC Singers, The Sixteen, Tenebrae, Gabrieli Consort, Monteverdi Choir, Glyndebourne, Scottish Opera and Royal Opera House Choruses and come together from as far afield as America, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Germany. 

Whatever your journey, we’d love each and every one of you to stay in touch.

There are a number of ways you can choose to get involved. To be part of our supportive online network, join our Alumni Facebook Group; come together to sing with other alumnus by taking part in concerts and events or be part of the National Youth Choir's future by getting involved in fundraising initiatives to support more young people to be part of its life-changing programmes.

Join our alumni communities on on FacebookInstagram and Twitter

Rob O'Connell pictured on the National Youth Choir's 1999 World Tour. Image: George Poppe

13 August 2018

We are deeply saddened to learn of the death of Rob O’Connell (National Youth Choir 1997-2002) after a courageous battle with cancer. His close friend and NYC contemporary George Poppe has written the following tribute.

"We have very sadly lost one of our own. I met Rob in the Surrey County Youth Choir 23 years ago and we both started our NYC careers on the same residential course at Sedburgh School in 1997. Through NYC we shared so many amazing musical experiences and sang in some of the world’s best concert venues (also some of the worst). We travelled throughout the Southern Hemisphere on the 1999 World Tour, when we were often paired for home-stays; the memories from these will always stay with me. 

After completing his music degree at Huddersfield University, Rob become a regular fixture with ensembles including the William Byrd Singers, Canzonetta, the BBC Daily Service Singers, the St Endellion Summer Festival Choir, Manchester Chamber Choir, Manchester Consort, and both Manchester and Southwark Cathedral Choirs. His solo work included operas, oratorios and even a tour with the band ‘James’.  Rob was also a tutor to a number of private singing pupils over the years. 

Rob was truly a gentleman, a warm and witty friend, and so modest about his talents. A dreadful disease took him in his prime. He is fondly remembered and dearly missed."

Rob’s funeral took place at Southwark Cathedral, where he was a Lay Clerk, on Thursday 16th August at 2pm. His partner, Debbi, has set up a Just Giving page in aid of Bowel Cancer UK. Donations are still being accepted (as of 5 September 2018) at

Alumni who would like to contact Rob’s family directly can do so by emailing [email protected].