The National Youth Choirs of Great Britain has today announced that applications are open for its 2021 Fellowship Programme. Running since 2015, the programme offers four emerging professional choral leaders aged 20-27 an outstanding year of development from January 2021 – January 2022.

NYCGB Fellowship 2021 provides a comprehensive all-round offer and opportunities, with strands of activity focussing around the four key areas of career, educators, performers and leaders. 2021 Fellows will perform as a standalone NYCGB Fellowship Ensemble and form the core part of the National Youth Chamber Choir.

The programme invites applications from outstanding young choral musicians who want to develop their skills as performers, educators, leaders and professionals. Applicants must be aged 20+ on 1st September 2020 and under 28 on 31st August 2021, must be resident in the UK for the duration of the programme and eligible to train/work in the UK. NYCGB is keen to encourage applications from individuals from a broad range of backgrounds and particularly welcomes applications from those who are currently underrepresented in choral leadership, including people of colour, disabled people and those from low socio-economic households. There is no fee to apply.

The programme has been redeveloped in a move to offer enhanced opportunities to a smaller number of participants, moving from eight to four Fellows and with a greater focus on developing ambitious and creative young musicians who want to become part of the professional choral network, as well as to shape and reinvest in it. The programme is now open to an older age range of candidates to attract those who are already emerging choral leaders in these fields.

NYCGB Fellows have the unique opportunity to develop a portfolio of professional opportunities and skills. This will include observing, mentoring and working with NYCGB staff and members across the range of its choirs (National Youth Girls’ Choir, Boys’ Choir, Training Choir and National Youth Choir) as well as being part of its Learning & Engagement programme. The NYCGB Fellowship will also share a close alignment with the NYCGB Young Composers Scheme. The aspiration of the programme is for Fellows to be engaged with professional NYCGB opportunities following on from their Fellowship year.

Ben Parry, NYCGB Artistic Director said:

“We’re very excited to unveil new plans for the NYCGB Fellowship 2021 which now offers even greater opportunities for Fellows to develop as performers, educators, leaders and professionals and to really shape the choral music landscape of the future. Given the current challenges faced by arts and cultural organisations and practitioners nationally, we need to find innovative and adaptive ways of working, and to inspire the next generation of choral leaders. There is no other training programme in the UK that offers young people aged 20-27 a comparable range of experiences and NYCGB Fellows have the unique opportunity to work across the breadth of our organisational reach – with our choirs, Young Composers Scheme and Learning & Engagement Programme.” 

The NYCGB Fellowship perform at high-profile venues including the Royal Albert Hall, Saffron Hall, Southbank Centre, Cadogan Hall, Snape Maltings and the Royal Concert Hall Nottingham. Recent performance highlights include the BBC Proms, Three Choirs Festival and a nationally televised appearance from Amiens Cathedral in France in the presence of HRH Prince William and other dignitaries to mark the end of World War 1. NYCGB Fellows have been part of broadcasts and recordings for the BBC (radio and television), DCINY at Abbey Road Studios, Heart Radio, NMC Recordings professional recording label and NYCGB’s own digital release label. They have had masterclasses with, and been mentored by industry professionals including Dame Sarah Connolly, Roderick Williams, Jacob Collier, David Clegg, Roxanna Panufnik, Toby Young and Benji Merrison and work with professional groups such as VOCES8, The Swingles and The Tallis Scholars. The Fellows also take part in workshops and performances at conservatoires and music education hubs across the country. 

The NYCGB Fellowship scheme 2021 is open for applications until 5:00pm on Friday 16 October 2020. More information and details of how to apply are available at: Shortlisted candidates will be invited to attend auditions on either Friday 23 or Saturday 24 October in central London. Applicants that are unable attend an in-person audition (due to ongoing COVID-19 or travel restrictions) will be offered an online interview over Zoom.