Learning & Engagement

Watch our short film about the Young Singers Intensive.

On 30 April and 1 May over 40 young singers aged 10-14 from across the North East came together at Sunderland City Hall for an intensive weekend of free activity led by NYCGB as part of the Gillian Dickinson Young Singers Programme. This activity would not have been possible without the support of the North East Music Mark group of Music Hubs who also helped connect us with the 20 local schools and individual music teachers who recommended their students to take part.

The aim of the Young Singers Intensive was to encourage talented young singers in the region to develop their skills and progress with their singing in a fun and supportive way. To prepare them for the intensive weekend, we also for the first time offered two online workshops in the weeks before the event, in which singers learnt some of the songs for the weekend and also, most importantly, worked with the NYCGB vocal leaders before coming to Sunderland.

All the activity was offered free of charge for all. We also provided lunch and refreshments for all participants and supported travel costs for those families who otherwise would not be able to take part. As the event was open to the whole North East region, we found that some families travelled quite a distance to take part.


  • 44 young singers took part from 20 different schools across the region
  • 2 online workshops and 2 days of intensive activity in person
  • 9 NYCGB staff members and 5 volunteers from National Youth Choir and Sunderland Youth Choir
  • 15 songs performed
  • Over 50% of participants had not heard of NYCGB before taking part.
  • After the weekend, 85% of participants felt the Young Singers Intensive had greatly helped them to improve their musical skills and the same number felt confident trying new things with music.

What impact has the Young Singers Intensive had on you? (selection of participant comments)

  • Made me feel more confident in singing in front of people.
  • It has made me want to pursue more musical endeavours and train my voice.
  • I’m going to look for a local choir.

Local National Youth Choir member and Young Singers Intensive vocal leader Charlotte Galloway:

It was so brilliant to see the young singers grow in confidence, musically and socially, across even just such a short space of time.

How did taking part in the Young Singers Intensive make you feel? (selection of participant comments)

  • Made me feel included.
  • It made me feel part of a community - gave me a great sense of teamwork, working together to make the songs sound great.
  • It made me feel like I was actually good at singing.

Songs learnt included:

Al Shlosha D’Varim – A. Naplan arr. M Wright

El Cascabel – trad. Mexican arr. L. Mather

E Malama – trad. Hawaiian arr. Nickomo

Shenandoah – trad. American

Ke nna yo Morena – trad. Sesotho

Break ‘Em On Down - Harmony Grisman

Someone You Loved – L. Capaldi arr. L Mather

The Water is Wide – trad. English arr. L. Mather

What happens next?

  • Targeted opportunities for participants to engage with NYCGB again in the autumn term
  • Wider range of region-specific activity in 2023