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

David Ireland sang with the National Youth Choir and National Youth Chamber Choir from 2008-14. He now lives in Kent.

When were you in NYCGB and what part did you sing?

I was in the National Youth Choir from 2008-13 as a Bass 2, and was also section leader from 2010, and social sec from 2012. I was in Chamber Choir from 2010-14, and have been working on courses as a staff member since 2010.

Where do you now live, and what do you do?

I live in Kent with my fiancee Jess Blease (TC/Main Choir/Staff 1852-3028) and our puppy Mabel. And as for what I do...

Do you still sing, and if so, in what capacity?

Yes! I’m an opera singer now, at the time of writing (November 2018) rehearsing for English National Opera's production of 'La Boheme' ahead of performances in London and Avignon.

What is your standout moment from your time in NYCGB?

It has to be every moment of our 2009 tour to the west-coast USA. What an amazing few weeks, in particular singing at Disneyland: what a surreal experience…!

What is the one piece that if you heard it again would remind you of NYCGB?

‘Meguru’. I was just a little too late for the ‘Shenandoah’ generation, but this was our version of that. It brings a tear to my eye every time I hear it or sing it to this day, as we always ended concerts with the leavers last on stage.

If you were to design a tour for the current National Youth Choir where would you take them?

Both coasts of the USA, with concerts in the biggest halls possible. We got treated so well while we were out there and it would be an unforgettable experience for them all...on the one proviso that I got to go along for the ride.

What skills did you gain in NYCGB that you still use in everyday life?

I was a nervous kid before I started in NYCGB, and the training, social development and overall sense of fun in music-making I got from being part of the organisation gave me the confidence and know-how to choose my career now. I wouldn’t be doing it without my time in NYCGB.

You are having a fantasy dinner party: who's invited?

Assuming a small-to-medium sized table: Stephen Hawking for a bit of science chat, Stephen Fry to correct grammar and to read me the Harry Potter novels, Mozart for toilet humour, Gandalf the Grey for after-dinner card tricks and, obviously, Jackie Chan to teach me some of those sweet moves. Food cooked by Colonel Sanders, served by a front-of-house team made up of Alfred Pennyworth, Edwin Jarvis and Geoffrey Butler (butlers to Batman, the Avengers, and the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air respectively).

Your house is on fire. Your family and pets are safe, but you have time to save just one possession. What do you save?

I still have a toy rabbit (now a rag) called Baa (yup.) that I’ve had from birth. I’d save him.

What is the theme tune to your nightmares/ dreams?

Nightmares (and dreams): the dinner scene from Don Giovanni. Dreams (and nightmares): 'Bat Out of Hell'.

David Ireland was interviewed by Louise Laprun.

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