24 June 2020

National Youth Choir of Great Britain to Join Stay at Home Choir for New Recording of The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace

NYCGB were hugely proud to be involved in the world premiere performance and recording of Sir Karl Jenkins’ popular classic choral work, The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace in 2000. We have now teamed up with Stay at Home Choir in a special online project to mark its 20th anniversary.

The Stay at Home Choir, formed since lockdown in March 2020, is a global musical community of more than 14,000 people who come together to interact with and perform alongside some of their favourite artists. More than 4000 singers from 54 countries around the world have now come together to rehearse their parts (in a ‘mute and sing’ format), interact with the rest of the Stay at Home Choir community, and meet featured artists such as The Swingles and the King’s Singers.

Saturday 25th April 2020 marked the 20th Anniversary of the world premiere of Sir Karl’s The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace. The work was premiered at the Royal Albert Hall in London to mark the millennium in 2000, featuring The National Youth Choir of Great Britain with Julian Lloyd Webber as the cello soloist. The piece has gone on to receive close to 3,000 performances worldwide to date, and the recording (available on Decca Classics) has had a record-breaking 930 weeks (over 17 years) in the official UK Classical Chart.

This exciting next Stay at Home Choir project, a collaboration with Boosey & Hawkes the World Orchestra For Peace and World Choir for Peace, gives singers the opportunity to participate in a virtual performance, conducted by Sir Karl Jenkins himself. The performance and recording will once again feature voices from the National Youth Choirs of Great Britain. NYCGB Fellowship are also involved in a special solo recording of Karl’s beautiful motet, Locus iste and many NYCGB Alumni are also taking part, some of whom were involved in the original recording.

The final product of this project will be a global virtual choir recording of over 20 minutes of highlight movements from The Armed Man accompanied by live orchestral footage performed by the World Orchestra for Peace, making it their most ambitious virtual choir project since lockdown. Enrolment in the project will give participants access to ten weeks of rehearsals with interactive content, learning resources including a ‘conductor cam’ of Sir Karl himself and webinar rehearsals with a host of professional musicians, alongside the chance to meet the composer himself online. 

Tori Longdon and Jamie Wright, Co-founders of the Stay At Home Choir said:
It’s been an amazing experience to connect to lovers of choral music from all over the world, from Burkina Faso to Sydney, Uzbekistan to China, and we’re proud to have the National Youth Choirs of Great Britain flying the flag for the UK. We’re very much looking forward to the project and we see a bright future for online communities to continue thriving after lockdown becomes a thing of the past.

Ben Parry, NYCGB Artistic Director & Principal Conductor said:

We are delighted that members of our NYCGB choirs, Fellowship and Alumni are taking part in this new exciting project from the excellent Stay at Home Choir, especially given our special historic connection to Karl Jenkins and this incredibly popular piece. We can’t wait to hear the final result!

NYCGB Members

If you're an NYCGB member and you'd like to sign up you should have received an email from NYCGB with instructions on how to take part. For any enquiries please email: [email protected]

NYCGB Alumni

If you are a member of NYCGB alumni, Stay at Home Choir would love you to be involved and would specifically like to feature people who were part of the premier / are on the original recording in the video during the final movement. To take part sign up for the Global Armed Man at www.stayathomechoir.com and when submitting your video, enter your name and add _NYC-ALUM or _NYC_ORIGINAL if you sang at the premier/original recording. For full details, join the NYCGB Alumni Facebook Page.

Anyone aged 13 and over can get involved, and no prior singing experience is required. The deadline for sign up is Friday 3 July.  Click to Sign Up