Wednesday, 18th May 2022

Young singers from the North East Young Singers Intensive performing at their mini concert alongside Jason Ching (NYCGB Fellow) in April 2022 - Photography: Gary Aggett 

More than 40 young people aged 10 to 14 came together recently at Sunderland City Hall for a free weekend of singing, led by Durham-based National Youth Choirs of Great Britain as part of the Gillian Dickinson Young Singers Programme.

The two-day Young Singers Intensive event gave an opportunity for singers from across the North East to develop their skills in a fun and supportive way.

Following online introductory sessions, the young singers came together to learn new music, develop their music skills and make new friends, culminating in a performance to friends and family. The weekend was led by Luke Mather, Musical Director with Barnsley Youth Choir and former member and Fellow of NYCGB, supported by a team of NYCGB staff and volunteers from Sunderland Youth Choir.

The Young Singers Intensive is part of NYCGB's Learning & Engagement programme, which has been working with Sunderland Music Hub to offer singing opportunities and to support the new youth choir in the city.


Comments from some of the young singers included

“It was fun to learn to sing in new languages and work with other people who love singing as much as I do”

“It made me feel part of a community.”


Katie Lodge, NYCGB's Learning & Engagement Manager, said 

It was such a joy to be able to offer this opportunity to young singers in the North East and their enjoyment throughout the weekend was plain to see. They even won a standing ovation at the end of their mini concert from their families!  All the young singers and the staff worked really hard and the event was such a wonderful showcase for what our young people can learn and achieve together.

Alexander Dickinson, of the Gillian Dickinson Trust, said 

It has been wonderful to see these young singers enjoy the weekend so much and develop their singing skills, particularly as it’s been a while since shared music making events such as this have been able to take place. We are delighted to be supporting NYCGB’s work in the region and look forward to more events in the future.   

The Gillian Dickinson Trust offers support to charities in Northumberland, Tyne & Wear and County Durham, aiming to promote excellence in the arts in young people. The Gillian Dickinson Young Singers Programme offers workshops, training events and bursaries for young singers in the North East.