The National Youth Choirs of Great Britain (NYCGB), Nottinghamshire Music Hub (NMH) and the Theatre Royal & Royal Concert Hall Nottingham (TRCH) have joined forces to create new opportunities for choral excellence in secondary schools across Nottinghamshire.
A programme of workshops and events for children and teachers will develop choral skills, create vocal ensembles, and encourage outstandingly talented and promising students to develop their abilities to national standard through auditions for NYCGB’s five choirs. The partnership will be officially launched with a workshop and performance on Thursday 12 May at the Royal Concert Hall by children from local schools and members of the NYCGB Fellowship Programme.
Starting in September 2016, the initial stage of the partnership will work with students from four schools across four districts of Nottinghamshire with more schools joining in subsequent stages. The partnership will challenge the schools to create high-quality, teacher-led a cappella ensembles which will perform regularly and establish themselves as a vital part of their school’s artistic culture. Working with the NYCGB artistic team and the NYCGB Fellowship, the partnership will ignite a choral culture within secondary schools which will change students’ expectations of singing, encourage individual and collective excellence and create a pathway for talented singers to progress to further opportunities regionally, and nationally via auditions for NYCGB’s five choirs. The Theatre Royal & Concert Hall will provide a high-profile stage for key performance and education events throughout the programme.
The partnership has been informed by NMH and Arts Council England data showing ‘cold spots’ of low arts participation among 13-18-year olds in the county.
Lucy Reid, Vocal Lead for NMH, said:
“With the establishment of the National Plan for Music and the Music Hubs we’ve been able to create Nottinghamshire’s first vocal strategy. Over the last five years we’ve developed that strategy with great success at primary school level. This is now an amazing opportunity for the Hub and the county to enable students to continue on their journey to achievement at national level.”
Nina Camilleri, NYCGB Director of Development & Planning, said:
“As a national youth music organisation we need to be accessible to promising young singers throughout the UK. With committed local partners and clear evidence of low participation at secondary school age, Nottinghamshire offers a great opportunity to work together to nurture talent and inspire development.”
Neil Bennison, Music Programme Manager at TRCH, said:
“In our capacity as a major regional performance venue, we are keen to support and champion excellence in learning and performance and to provide really inspiring opportunities for young people through our partnership with the Nottinghamshire Music Education Hub. Being able to work with NYCGB and the Hub really opens up a huge range of possibilities.”