The National Youth Choirs of Great Britain (NYCGB) has announced details of its 35th anniversary season, which will celebrate the themes of ‘Women in Song’ and ‘Music and the Mind’ and offer 500 free concert tickets to first-time audiences.
Inspired by the centenary of women’s suffrage, ‘Women in Song’ is led by new commissions from composers, Kerry Andrew, Janet Wheeler and Errollyn Wallen. Andrew and Wallen’s works will be premiered by the National Youth Choir at the 2018 Snape Proms while Wheeler’s work, Imagine It, will be premiered and filmed by the National Youth Training Choir and percussion ensemble, O Duo.
More than two-thirds of all works performed by NYCGB choirs at their Spring and Summer concerts will be by women while the National Youth Girls’ Choir will present an all-female concert at the Royal Concert Hall in Nottingham with guest artists, Lulah and Hannah Peel. A programming resource for youth choirs curated by NYCGB Deputy Music Director, Esther Jones, will be released on International Women’s Day (Thursday 8 March 2018).
Inspired by collaboration with the Created out of Mind hub at Wellcome Collection, the second theme sees NYCGB’s choirs exploring links between music, the mind and memory. Andrew, Wheeler and Wallen’s new works will all engage with the theme and NYCGB Artistic Director, Ben Parry, is also writing a new, closely personal work, One Equal Music.
Highlights beyond this core season include a guest performance by the National Youth Boys’ Choir at the Association of British Choral Directors’ Convention 2018 in Leeds, the National Youth Chamber Choir’s Cadogan Hall debut as part of Choral at Cadogan and a concert by the National Youth Girls’ Choir at the Royal Albert Hall as part of Women and the Hall. The National Youth Choir will also take part in the recording and premiere of a major new work by Patrick Hawes, The Great War Symphony and appear at the Royal Albert Hall’s new Christmas carol concert series with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Choral Society and the Band of the Coldstream Guards.
NYCGB will also deliver more than 40 open events and activities for non-members in 2018 in partnership with music hubs, Music for Youth and schools and venues, reaching more than 4,000 young people and adults nationwide. Music hubs and other partners will also assist with the delivery of 500 free concert tickets to young people who are not members of NYCGB.
NYCGB Artistic Director, Ben Parry, said:
‘This is such a strong, artistically vibrant season for our 35th anniversary year. We are proud to be championing women in choral music so substantially by programming, commissioning and sharing resources and ideas. And it’s wonderful that what started out as a single project with the team at Created out of Mind has flourished across all our choirs and directly inspired new music which will in turn reach and inspire wide audiences.’
Header photo: The National Youth Training Choir