TALENTED young singers Edward Birchinall (13) and Isaac Bateman (13) have successfully auditioned to become members of the National Youth Choir.
The Year 9 classmates are both former Ely Cathedral Head Choristers and join fellow King’s Ely Senior students Lucy Green, Emma Jones and Fern Ashby, who are also members of the choir.
Originally set up as a single choir of 100 of the best singers in Britain, the National Youth Choirs of Great Britain (NYCGB) now consists of eight choirs to provide the widest musical experiences for over 750 young people aged between nine and 28. Both Isaac and Edward have been invited to join at intermediate level.
The NYCGB choirs meet twice a year for intensive residential courses to work on vocal technique and rehearse for concerts in major musical venues.
As it is the choir’s 30th anniversary this year a special anniversary concert will be held in the Royal Albert Hall on Sunday April 14th, when all sections of the choir will meet to perform the Monteverdi Vespers with international soloists. The concert will also feature a new commission, Exile by Mark Simpson.
The concert will be conducted by the NYCGB‘s new director, Ben Parry. Ben is well known to Edward and Isaac as the Ely Cathedral choristers gave the first performance of his Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis in 2010. In the same year, Ben also led a Choral Day at King’s Ely Junior. Both boys will be attending courses in the Easter holidays to prepare for the concert.
The boys’ singing teacher, Vanessa Scott, said: “This is an excellent opportunity for Isaac and Edward to perform with some of the UK’s keenest young singers.”
King’s Ely Senior student Emma Jones (17) auditioned for the NYCGB when she was 12 and did not expect get through because of the tough competition.
“I am pleased that Isaac and Edward are following in our footsteps,” said Emma. “It is a great experience and I would recommend it to anyone.”
Lucy Green (15), who joined the NYCGB in 2011, added: “It is really good to hear that Isaac and Ed have got a place. It is as much fun as it is hard work and I am sure that they will have a great time and learn a lot.”
Fern Ashby (18) enjoys the NYCGB because it gives her the chance to make new friends with young people who are interested in the same music, and allows her to learn new and amazing pieces which she has not sung before.
Emma, Lucy and Fern look forward to seeing the boys at the joint rehearsals and singing with them in the Royal Albert Hall in April.