National Youth Choirs of Great Britain (NYCGB) has unveiled ambitious plans for 2020, including a programme of concerts, artist development and choral commissions, stressing a commitment to additional learning and engagement work and a commitment to building diversity within the organisation.
NYCGB will deliver a performance programme of 25 concerts in 2019-20, including seven showcase concerts in Bristol, Yarm, Coventry, Bolton, Saffron Walden and Edinburgh – the latter forming part of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival – and 18 national touring concerts across its choirs.
The flagship National Youth Choir will perform in nine concerts at the Royal Albert Hall as part of Christmas at the Royal Albert Hall, and the National Youth Chamber Choir will launch a performance partnership with the Tallis Scholars, providing members with the opportunity to share the concert platform with the internationally renowned ensemble.
Exploring the relationship between humans and the land that supports them
The National Youth Choir will also undertake an international tour centring around performances at the World Symposium on Choral Music (WSCM2020) in Auckland, New Zealand, where they are one of only 24 of the best international choirs selected to take part. NYCGB’s artistic theme for the year, ‘Cultural Identity’, is inspired by the theme of the symposium, and will explore, through choral music, the relationship humans have with the land that supports them: the sense of identity they derive from it and the tensions that arise out of it.
Two new choral commissions are planned, connected to this theme: celebrated Scottish-American composer Thea Musgrave will compose a rare new piece for the National Youth Choir to perform and record and a further piece will be commissioned for the National Youth Training Choir. Alongside this, NYCGB will continue to develop new virtual audiences for choral music by creating and releasing a regular programme of audio and video recordings across streaming platforms.
Development programmes for emerging professional artists will continue for the fifth cohort of the Fellowship Programme for young choral leaders, and NYCGB will deliver a second year of its Young Composers Scheme in partnership with NMC Recordings.
NYCGB’s Learning and Engagement programme will see strategic activities taking place in Yorkshire, the North East and the West Midlands, with a pilot ‘legacy partnership’ being developed in Nottinghamshire in partnership with the music hub. Alongside this, a programme of outreach workshops and events will take place more widely across the country, raiming to reach over 4,000 young people beyond the core choir membership.
Access and inclusion
Anne Besford, Chief Executive, NYCGB, said:
‘2020 promises to be a busy and exciting year. Our artistic theme, Cultural Identity, challenges us to explore the ways in which music reflects and shapes us as individuals and our relationship with the world around us. It inspires us to innovate, so that our music is exciting, diverse and relevant, challenging perceptions of what choral music can be. We will continue our important access and inclusion work to engage with more young people from a wider range of backgrounds and develop our role as a truly national organisation at the forefront of artistic and educational practice.’