Emerging Professional Artist programmes

The National Youth Choir exists to provide exciting and inclusive creative opportunities for all young people. 

As part of this remit, our Emerging Professional Artists programme, supports young singers, composers and conductors as they emerge into the professional world. It aims to address inequalities in the music industry by creating professional development pathways for those who are under-represented in choral music. Participants in our Emerging Professional Artists programmes work closely with the National Youth Choir (18-25 years) and our other choirs.

Informal shot of young composers Millicent, Alex, Emily and Will in a recording studio

National Youth Choir 2023 Composers, Emily Hazrati, Alex Tay, William Harmer, Millicent James

Millicent James 

Millicent’s music intertwines colourful elements of gospel, jazz, soul, contemporary classical, ambient and afro futurism. She is a cellist and vocalist and continues to compose and perform her own works. She has always been interested in her Jamaican family heritage, African Mythology and other cultures. She has been awarded a scholarship to study composition at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire and has received music tuition from musicians such as Errollyn Wallen, Andrew Toovey and Richard Ayres.

Emily Hazrati

Emily Hazrati (b. 1998) is a composer and performer based in London. Her music is spacious, immersive, and environmental; with a focus on storytelling, collaboration, and global politics, as well as ideas around breath, ritual, and circularity. She has recently been developing her second chamber opera, TIDE (BPA commission), which received its first, sold-out performances at the Aldeburgh Festival 2022. Emily has worked with ensembles and organisations including the Royal Opera House, Psappha, BBC Singers, Oxford Philharmonic, The Choir of Clare College, Cambridge, and CHROMA Ensemble, amongst many others. Upcoming projects include commissions for Oxford Lieder, Ligeti Quartet, and Thames Philharmonic Choir. Emily was a Britten-Pears Young Artist 2021-22 and a Junior Fellow at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, where she learned with Julian Philips and Hollie Harding.

Alex Tay

Alex recently submitted his doctoral thesis in Composition under Julian Anderson CBE at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. His works have been performed at the Southbank Centre, Kings College Chapel and the Royal Albert Hall and he was Cambridge University Music Society Joint-Composer-in-Residence in 2014 which resulted in a commission for the Harrison Birtwistle 80th Anniversary Secret Theatres Festival. Alex is currently working on a Wigmore Hall commission to be premiered in 2025.

William Harmer

William writes instrumental and choral music inspired by various poetic and visual sources. It is often improvisatory and lyrical, with jazz-inspired harmonies and repetitive rhythms. In 2017 he was the BBC Proms Inspire Competition, with his composition The Whole Heaven on Fire. He was subsequently commissioned by the BBC Singers to compose Voyage of the Soul, commemorating the Apollo 11 Moon landings, broadcast on BBC Radio 3. Will sings with Genesis Sixteen and Keble College Choir, and works with Oxford Youth Choirs as an accompanist and conductor. He is currently working on song commissions for Oxford Lieder Festival and Ludlow English Song Festival.

NYCGB Young Composers scheme 2023 Funders & Supporters: We are most grateful to the following for their kind grant support, partnership and advocacy: Stainer & Bell, Steinberg Media Technologies, ABRSM, Britten Pears Arts, The DOyly Carte Foundation,