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2016–17 edition


Keith on Area Choirs

NYCoS in the USA

Summer School

The Herald’s Arts Editor, Keith Bruce takes a look at NYCoS Area Choirs P2

Flagship Choir enjoys successful Stateside tour P4-5

Revamped Kodály Summer School gets two thumbs up P6


National Youth Choir of Scotland performing at BBC Proms conducted by Sir John Eliot Gardiner © Chris Christodoulou

NYCoS Area Choirs singers performing in Glasgow Royal Concert Hall © Drew Farrell

By MORAG CAMPBELL Chief Executive A highlight of my job is attending the wonderful concerts performed by our Area Choirs and National Choirs throughout Scotland and beyond. And this past year really has been outstanding. From Stornoway to the USA, it’s all inside this newsletter, so

read on and discover what our choirs have achieved. Another highlight is spending time with the young singers, getting to know them and finding out about their interests – it’s a fabulously eclectic list! We have martial arts experts, swimmers, runners, lifeguards and dancers, to name but a few of their hobbies. You may think that the

NYCoS National Girls Choir performing in Caird Hall, Dundee © Drew Farrell

majority of singers in the flagship Choir, or ‘big’ NYCoS as we refer to it, would be music students but you would be wrong. Many are, but just as many study other subjects or are in full-time (nonmusical) employment. Again, it’s not an exhaustive list but we have members who are studying for PhDs in scientific subjects, students of French, Philosophy, Medicine,

Veterinary Medicine, Law, Art and Engineering. We also have sports coaches, teachers, shop assistants and IT specialists among the Choir. The list goes on, but they’re united in one thing: a love of singing. And that’s what they get from NYCoS: a love of singing and a gateway to a career or hobby for their future. The word which comes up

NYCoS National Boys Choir performing in Perth Concert Hall © Drew Farrell

most often in conversation with our members is ‘family’ – ‘the NYCoS family’ – and that’s how they perceive the organisation. How marvellous to be able to write that; we must be getting something right. You can find out more about ‘the NYCoS family’ and the highlights of 2016 in the pages that follow. Enjoy, and thank you for your continuing support.


A FLOWING STREAM CAREA HOIRS OF TALENT By KEITH BRUCE Arts Editor, The Herald NYCoS may be all about encouraging young people to sing and expand their musical abilities, but after twenty years of growth and expanding activities, it also has many of the attributes of a mature organisation. Chief among them is the presence of many alumni returning to encourage the next generation of young singers. Helen Teale, director of NYCoS Dumfries Choir, reports that three members of her staff are alumni of the choir. Having sung for ten years, they are now back in the ranks helping their successors develop their musicianship. That work was showcased in an evening presentation of the work of the Training Choir to parents and friends, a night that aimed to introduce the young peoples’ dedicated transport network to what goes on between drop off and pick-up. Audience participation was also part of the process. It is a model that choirs across Scotland are looking at as a way of letting supporters and friends of NYCoS see what goes on behind the scenes. Dumfries also held its customary annual Winter Concert, a non-date-specific title it has earned through having to be postponed on a number of occasions thanks to the vagaries of the weather. Proceeding as scheduled this year with both local MSP Finlay Carson and Dumfries Provost in attendance, the programme’s eclectic mix included Hebrew and African music alongside classical works and some trickier

contemporary pieces. “Music with parts in different rhythms gives the children great satisfaction when they get it right,” says Helen. “And me too! And I always include some reindeer and penguins for balance.” “It’s important to have the nitty-gritty stuff that takes a good bit of work, but also some songs that are more easily satisfying.” With the music of Benjamin Britten, Samuel Barber, and NYCoS songbook stalwart Ken Johnston on the agenda for the coming year, the Summer Concert will include every one of the Dumfries singers, somewhere over 140 at present from Primary 4 to Sixth Year. And to keep the stream of talent flowing there will be taster sessions for Primary 3 children, and “bring a friend to choir nights” for the young ones already there. NYCoS Edinburgh Choir’s Mark Evans now has 330 young people coming along each week, with five separate ensembles and repertoire that ranges from the refined abilities of its Chamber Choir to songs that work for everyone singing together. And, as in Dumfries, Mark is proud to have graduates of the Edinburgh musicianship programme now on staff, like trusted lieutenant Kimberley Dove, who has returned to the organisation following her musical studies. Not that he likes to boast, but the Edinburgh Choir supplies the largest proportion recruits to the National Boys Choir, National Girls Choir and “big” NYCoS, as young choristers the nation over call the senior choir. Mark also talks about the challenge of “balance” and “finding repertoire that is both different and challenging, keeps the singers engaged

Keith Bruce © Colin Mearns

and encourages them.” In Edinburgh’s case that has included the aleatoric games of the Native American Mi’kmaq Honour Song as well as the composition of cathedral composer Philip Stopford, now based in New York State. Mark also believes a little singing in Latin can be improving, so Haydn’s Little Organ Mass has been in the mix. Never short of invitations to grace events in the capital, the Edinburgh choir sang at the opening of the Scottish Parliament and at Maggie’s Culture Crawl last year, as well as performing in the Royal Bank of Scotland Building in St Andrew’s Square, whose modern annexe is currently being mooted as the site of a new concert hall in the city. Among plans for the coming year is a return visit to the Aberdeen International Youth

Festival. In Stornoway, Choir Director Cath Fish has her own measurement of the success of the Isle of Lewis Choir. “For the first time we had to put extra benches on the stage for the December concert,” she says. In percentage terms, the growth in the island choir has been phenomenal, from around 20 four years ago to over 60 children gathering on a Wednesday evening, from as far afield as Ness in the north and Uig on the Atlantic coast. Just getting to rehearsals represents a major commitment. With plenty of material from the Bronze, Silver and Gold NYCoS songbooks, Cath also has a taste for some Latin in the mix (Panis Angelicus) and likes to keep classical music (Handel recently) in the Stornoway book. The choir does tackle some

Scots songs, but with Lewis regularly sending competitors to the Mod, traditional music has its own local champions. The December concert featured the choir’s two S2 boy trebles, giving them a chance to shine while their voices remained in that register, and the choir also joined up with an adult ensemble, the Stornoway Singers, for a pre-Christmas Carol concert in Stornoway Town Hall. Other landmarks in the past year included a trip to the mainland to combine forces with NYCoS Inverness Choir and share experience with NYCoS Artistic Director Christopher Bell, while the coming year will include participation in a special summer concert on the island that will feature the premiere of some newly-commissioned music. Although Stornoway is a long way from the National Choirs, the Isle of Lewis is well represented, with five young people successfully auditioning for those and making the journey to participate. And with the choir’s first bass voice now among their number, both the options to work with the extended NYCoS family and the repertoire choices for Cath continue to grow apace.

A NYCoS Area Choir presenting its annual winter concert © Rami Shaya

NYCoS Area Choirs singers performing in Glasgow Royal Concert Hall © Drew Farrell

Choir members having fun with boomwhackers




By CHRISTOPHER BELL Artistic Director “Forgive me, compañero.” These, the last words of James MacMillan’s Cantos Sagrados echoed around the RSNO Centre and I realised that I’d closed my eyes as I conducted my last gesture. Feeling quite emotional, I opened my eyes to find members of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra looking at me as if to say “oh my, that’s powerful.” Earlier that session, the strings had played the opening of the last movement so quietly and beautifully, and the National Youth Choir of Scotland had responded with such intense and intimate singing that it almost felt like the room was going to implode, the atmosphere was so highly charged. Later that day, a member of the orchestra stopped me

National Youth Choir of Scotland and RSNO recording session in the RSNO Centre, Glasgow (inset) World premiere of Cantos Sagrados orchestral version, Glasgow Cathedral (1994)

to say that the recording was “something really special.” Making a recording wasn’t in our forward planning. 2016 contained so much already – the USA Tour, BBC Proms, Lammermuir Festival and everything else – but as the Choir astounded audiences Stateside and made its impact in the Royal Albert Hall, we began to wonder, late in the

day, whether we could record and immortalise the outstanding sound that this Choir made. Cantos Sagrados was the key piece, for a variety of reasons: the Choir knew it and had sung it phenomenally well in its original version accompanied by organ; James MacMillan had heard us perform it and said “I have rarely been so impressed by a performance of this work”;

and I had a very personal link to the piece as well. Back in 1994, the RSNO commissioned James to orchestrate it for the 150th anniversary of the RSNO Chorus, which I premiered in Glasgow Cathedral. The orchestral version had never been recorded – it required a large orchestra and, hence, a large space. After New Year, when most

people were still on holiday, the Choir, the RSNO and its brand new rehearsal space were free. Together with Mike Hatch (engineer) and Alex van Ingen (producer), we began our two recording sessions. There’s still much to be done, but after a gap of sixteen years, the Choir has started recording again and the air is crackling with the energy of it all.


NYCoS National Girls Choir performing at Edinburgh International Festival conducted by Sir John Eliot Gardiner

In July 2016, the International Society of Music Educators’ World Conference came to Glasgow. We were honoured to receive an invitation for NYCoS National Girls Choir to perform for an audience composed of experts in their musical field at the opening day concert. The Choir, conducted on this occasion by Mark Evans, earned a huge round of applause.

In August, the girls were in demand again, with two appearances at Edinburgh International Festival. On both occasions, they rose to different ‘staging’ challenges. A special stage was constructed for Sir John Eliot Gardiner’s performance of St Matthew Passion. With no time to rehearse in situ with the orchestra and Monteverdi singers, the girls had to come on stage to sing partway through the first half. When the doors opened, they acted

like true professionals, navigating their way through the orchestra and into position as if they had done so a dozen times! For the performance of Elgar’s The Apostles, conducted by Edward Gardner, the girls had to sound like angels in heaven. They were perched high up in the Usher Hall balcony and when they joined Edinburgh Festival Chorus for the glorious climax to the piece it did indeed sound like heavenly voices drifting down from on high.


By CHRISTOPHER BARR Producer, Glasgow Life NYCoS Alumnus

There are over 150 choirs in the Glasgow area singing music ranging from Gregorian chant to David Bowie. Rarely will you find these choirs performing on the same stage together, unless at a competition event. Voice@TheBandstand was a free event designed to provide a platform to showcase the quality and diversity of choirs in the Glasgow area. The Kelvingrove Bandstand (built in 1924) is an open air venue and the focus of many events throughout the year including the 2014 Commonwealth Games. For 2016, I wanted to create a festival atmosphere, where anyone could come and feel welcome. I had one day to programme as many choirs

as possible and managed to source 10 choirs including NYCoS National Boys Choir (specifically NBC and Changed Voice Section). Watching this army of young men take to the stage and perform was a sight to behold. Their fresh and well-executed sound filled the arena, capturing the audience and bringing them to their feet at the end of the performance to show their appreciation of this fine ensemble. Over 2000 people attended the event to listen to over 700 performers throughout the day. The venue was bustling with families, adults sitting in the sunshine sipping wine from the bar – it felt like a miniature ‘T in the Park’ for choirs! Plans are being made for the 2017 Bandstand event, so watch this space.

NYCoS National Boys Choir performing in Kelvingrove Bandstand © Martyna Maz



By CHRISTOPHER BELL Artistic Director After almost three years of planning, NYCoS finally arrived in the United States to fulfil seven engagements in nine days in two locations. Check out the image above this article! There couldn’t be more contrasting images of the two parts of the USA that NYCoS visited in July 2016: the skyline of Chicago and the mountains of Wyoming. The topography might be very different, but the reaction to the flagship Choir’s performances over the nine days was unanimous: the superlatives flowed. As with the BBC Proms, these were performances where there would be no concession to youth. The audience at the Grant Park Music Festival in Chicago is used to hearing its own 80-100 voice choir. The musicians in the Grand Teton Music Festival Orchestra play in some of the finest orchestras in North America, and the Teton Festival audiences are accustomed to very high level performers and performances.

“The debut of the National Youth Choir of Scotland last week in two performances of the Ninth Symphony of Beethoven was simply sensational. The musicians, many versed in and aware of the huge choral challenges in this symphonic masterpiece were astonished at the perfection, the professionalism, the visceral sound, style and discipline of this chorus.” – Donald Runnicles, Music Director, Grand Teton Music Festival. “The professionalism on display throughout NYCoS’ five-day Chicago residency and the outstanding musicianship of your choristers represented the very best of your organisation. The Choir’s amazing artistry and discipline were tested in a variety of venues throughout the tour… each concert left a positive and lasting impression on all of our audiences and cultural partners.” – Paul Winberg, CEO, Grant Park Music Festival. So to have the plaudits from Donald Runnicles and Paul Winberg, above, is to recognise that the National Youth Choir of Scotland once again was holding its own on the world stage. In the weeks that followed the tour, multiple audience members in Chicago stopped me to compliment the quality of the Choir, and Donald communicated his pleasure and delight a number of times over the summer. We’d made our musical mark, and departed with invitations to return. It wasn’t all hard work: NYCoSians are famed for squeezing the last ounce of

companionship, adventure, hijinks and shopping out of their tours, topping it all off with a rather fine party. Whether swimming in Lake Michigan, exploring Grand Teton National Park or ascending in a gondola to the top of the Teton mountains, every opportunity was taken to make the most of their free time. And inevitably, at the final party, the tears flowed as some singers realised this really was their last hurrah. As I said in last year’s newsletter, this was a tour that money couldn’t buy; we had to have the invitations from the promoters who knew us, trusted us, and were able to put some

money our way to help with the costs. Of course, it took a lot more money to get us there so sincere thanks go to Dunard Fund, Creative Scotland, Morton Charitable Trust, Bacher Trust, Binks Trust, Come and Sing Scotland, and a number of private donors. After enjoying such success, it’s already time to plan the 2019 Tour, and then we’ll almost be on top of our 25th Anniversary! Where to next?

National Youth Choir of Scotland after live TV performance on ABC7 Chicago’s morning programme © Norman Timonera

The Choir performing at the Grant Park Music Festival with Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras © Norman Timonera

Christopher’s Independence Day attire at the Grant Park Music Festival



The Choir performing with the Grand Teton Music Festival Orchestra, conducted by Donald Runnicles © Jeffrey Kaphan (inset) Singers and staff enjoy the view at the top of Rendezvous Mountain in the Teton Range during some free time

#WITHOUT NYCoS By DONALD FEIST NYCoS Alumnus In my twelve years singing in NYCoS, I don’t think I’ve ever seen such an instant and uniform standing ovation from any audience as we had in our last two performances – Beethoven Symphony No 9 at the Grand Teton Music Festival. As the final chord rang out around the concert hall, as if by some force guiding them, the audience lifted to its feet and applauded, cheering for over five minutes as the fantastic soloists, our phenomenal chorus master and conductor all took their bows. In twelve years of having audiences similar, larger, smaller, more generous and less, I’ve never felt desensitised to the awe and emotion that comes from having performed to such an audience and to see the

reaction, their response to your gift. Maestro Donald Runnicles put it so eloquently when he said that we “touched the lives of each and every person in that room, in some way.” This is my last tour with NYCoS as a singer. Never once did I take my place for granted, as it’s a truly incredible organisation with some of Scotland’s finest and most talented singers. But similarly, never did I underestimate the impact that it had on my life: #WithoutNYCoS I wouldn’t have found singing. #WithoutNYCoS [National Boys Choir] I wouldn’t have developed my musicality to a point where I could successfully audition for a music scholarship at Lomond School. #WithoutNYCoS I wouldn’t have auditioned for the RSAMD and graduated with an honours

The Choir performing at the Grand Teton Music Festival (inset) Donald in NYCoS National Boys Choir (2004)

degree in singing. #WithoutNYCoS I wouldn’t have started working with choirs and adjudicating at music festivals – trying to inspire others to find experiences like I’ve had. #WithoutNYCoS I wouldn’t have made the friends that I hold dear today.

#WithoutNYCoS I wouldn’t be. I’m so lucky to be helping others find singing in NYCoS now as I work with talented young boys in the NYCoS East Dunbartonshire Boys Choir, but I can only do that because of what I’ve learned through

NYCoS. Thank you for twelve years in NYCoS and also for three years in the Boys Choir prior to that. I was in tears before singing our final a cappella song together, I Have Had Singing, as it’s true – I have had singing, but I wouldn’t have had it #WithoutNYCoS.



Voicemale singers in Perth Concert Hall © Drew Farrell

By CHRISTOPHER BELL Artistic Director Visit every primary school in Perth & Kinross (that’s 73!). Twice. Some perhaps three times. Teach five brand-new songs to P4–P6 boys that can and will sing. Then, get them all together to perform the songs in Perth Concert Hall with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra.

Too tall an order? Not when we have the blessing of Perth & Kinross Education Department, as well as a talented team of workshop leaders from NYCoS working in partnership with the RSNO and Horsecross Arts with funding from The Gannochy Trust and Bank of Scotland Foundation. Voicemale@Perth was a large-scale vocal project for

boys, inspired by the Only Boys Allowed project that ran in Horsecross in 2009. The aim was to find boys who can sing and give them the chance to fulfil their singing potential, developing confidence and selfesteem, as well as giving them a rare opportunity to perform on stage with their peers and a professional orchestra. The initial workshops identified

those with potential and, thereafter, in a very quick and effective manner, the new songs written by composer Tom Cunningham and librettist Derek Roberts were taught. The music, with superb orchestrations from Paul Campbell, was titled Tartan Terrors: An Imaginary Menagerie of Mythical Monsters – a collection of five songs about mythical Scottish creatures (the Loch Ness Monster, the Wild Haggis, the Bogle, the Wee Gigelorum and the Kelpie) – and it was interesting to see which schools liked which song the most. In the end, The Wee Gigelorum was the universal favourite. I’m pretty sure that, almost one year on, if you stop a boy in Perthshire and play him the introductions, he’ll burst into song on the spot! On 29th March 2016, the 450 boys were bussed to Perth Concert Hall for their first rehearsal and performance all together and with the RSNO. To round the concert off, we sang and acted the much-loved Penguin Song.



While the project was a stand-alone success, the real triumph came from the 30 boys who wanted to continue their singing journey with us and joined NYCoS Perth Boys Choir. Thanks must go to my team of workshop leaders – Andrew McTaggart, Andrew Nunn, David Norris, Leon Reimer, Moira Morrison, Phil Gault, Raymond England and Robert Allan – and for the support and partnership of both the RSNO and Horsecross Arts. By working together, we were able to use the funding from The Gannochy Trust and Bank of Scotland Foundation effectively to give these boys an experience we hope they’ll always remember.


The Gold Honour Choir

Conducting course with Christopher

By CAROLE ALLEN Head of Education & Outreach “Can’t wait till next time – five days is too short.” “Good for the brain, the ear, the heart and the soul.” We were worried. Our hosting of the International Kodály Society’s biennial Symposium in 2015 had been such a success, bringing people to Edinburgh from all over the world, that we were concerned people might not come to our more ‘regular’ Summer School. We had to do something different to draw in new people. Thankfully, our colleagues from the Colourstrings network in Scotland asked if we could join forces and run an Introduction to Colourstrings Kindergarten course aimed at early years practitioners. The renowned Colourstrings approach is based on the Kodály philosophy, and participants wanting to find out more could also benefit from our progressive musicianship classes – a core part of the week. Another unique element was the Colourkeys methodology aimed at piano teachers working with small groups of

children. For both strands, we were fortunate to have fabulous tutors from Finland, Scotland and South Africa. We introduced a conducting course designed by Christopher Bell to give not just technical advice but the chance to participate, using real choral groups in progressive stages up to the SATB Gold Honour Choir. We had great feedback from these: “to have Christopher de-construct a rehearsal and have choirs to work with was a wonderful opportunity.” Our renowned staff James Cuskelly, Lucinda Geoghegan, László Nemes and Anne Murphy delivered courses in Primary and Secondary methodology, as well as Singing and Movement in Music Education. Participants flocked from Canada, Netherlands, USA and across the British Isles to take part, so we needn’t have worried. We were thrilled that so many people were interested in following up the intensive week with final musicianship or methodology sessions in order to fulfil the criteria for undertaking the RCS Kodály modules – at the time of writing, the assessments

are still to go to the exam board but we’re hopeful of all passing. Of course, it’s not just about the learning and professional development, it’s about the networking and exchange of ideas, meeting new people, old friends and having a jolly good time. Many of the delegates said they wished the Summer School could be longer, so we’re adding an extra day this year to extend the joy! The 2017 NYCoS Kodály Summer School will run from Saturday 29th July to Friday 4th August at Merchiston Castle School, Edinburgh. New strands for this year include the next phase of training to become a certified Colourstrings Music Kindergarten Teacher, plus the first phase of the Colourstrings Violin Teacher Training Course led by Professor Géza Szilvay, a violin pedagogue who’s had a huge impact on music education worldwide. We will also have another conducting strand or two, and lots more. For more info, keep an eye on Facebook (@NYCoScotland / @NYCoSEducation) or email

(from left to right) Andrew Nunn, Anne Murphy, László Nemes, Lucinda Geoghegan, James Cuskelly

‘SINGING GAMES’ GOES GLOBAL By DAVID FETTES Marketing & Communications Officer Over the past 6 months, we’ve been delighted to see a boost in international sales of our Singing Games and Rhymes publications, owing to activity in Australia and Taiwan. We recently secured a deal to have the series printed and sold Down Under, thanks to our friends at Sound Thinking Australia and the Cuskelly College of Music. Director of the organisations, Michael Muller reported “phenomenal sales for the launch” of the books at their annual Summer School in January 2017. In August 2016, NYCoS Education Director, Lucinda Geoghegan travelled to

Taiwan to deliver workshops on ‘Music Games for Children and Adults’ at the Asia Kodály Symposium. Since then, NYCoS has sold more than 300 publications from the ever-popular series to customers in Taiwan. Long may it continue.

A young Taiwanese girl with the NYCoS publications



By DAVID FETTES Marketing & Communications Officer Former National Youth Choir of Scotland singer, Becky Fisher is not only a gifted singer but a brilliant, young aspiring surgeon. Here, she tells us about her time in the Choir and how NYCoS has changed her life. Q. Which NYCoS choirs have you been part of? A. I came directly into the National Youth Choir of Scotland. Most of its singers have been part of other NYCoS choirs from a young age – that’s what’s so wonderful and unique about the Area Choirs system – but I’m originally from England so it wasn’t available to me growing up. I auditioned for the Choir during my first year studying Medicine at Edinburgh Uni. I found that university choirs weren’t compatible with my academic timetable, but NYCoS

Becky during ‘NYCoS at the Fringe’ rehearsals in St Giles’ Cathedral, Edinburgh © Sally Jubb (inset) Becky on stage at Grant Park Music Festival, Chicago © Norman Timonera

offered me a way to do this without a weekly commitment. When I first arrived, I found that almost everyone knew each other. However, they were very keen to welcome a new face. Indeed, by the end of my first summer in the Choir I felt like I’d been there for years. Q. What are the highlights from your time in the Choir? A. A big highlight is the friends I’ve made. It’s been amazing to work with like-minded students and young professionals, and spend time together between NYCoS commitments. As a medical student, it’s fantastic to have a broader range of friends outside of my studies; my NYCoS friends have encouraged me to continue embracing my passion for singing. The most moving experiences include walking onto the stage

at the Royal Albert Hall on three separate occasions, singing Mozart Requiem in Vienna, singing to an audience of thousands in Chicago (I cried!), and the countless moments of spine-tingling musical perfection that are so rare in other choirs but are experienced regularly in this choir. Q. What are you doing now? A. I’m currently a final year medical student, and will qualify as a doctor this summer. I’ve recently started lessons with a new singing teacher and hope to audition for new choirs in England in the autumn. Q. What’s your ultimate goal and is your time in the Choir helping you towards it? A. My ultimate goal is to become a surgeon. NYCoS has inspired me to consider

specialising in surgery of the vocal cords and working with singers in the future, so I’ve recently shadowed an Ear, Nose and Throat Surgeon who does exactly that. Enjoying any hobby at a ‘national’ level is a major asset for doctor job applications, even when I’m applying for surgical training jobs 5 years from now. In fact, singing will be so valued that it could have as much impact on my job application as if I had an additional degree! Outside of my career, my time in the Choir has helped me gain experience in choral singing at a high level, which has given me the confidence to audition for choirs in the future. After NYCoS, I feel I can keep up with anything thrown at me and am more aware of my own skills and what I can bring to the table. Although I’m not planning to

pursue a career in music, I hope to continue singing throughout my life. Seeing older members of the Choir pursue other professions whilst maintaining their interest in singing has inspired me to do the same, and to keep enjoying music even alongside a demanding career. Q. Sum up NYCoS in 3 words. A. Inspiring; Synergy; Family. Q. Anything else you’d like to add? A. For me, NYCoS has been a way to gain an insight into the world of professional music. In exchange for our discipline and hard work, we get a backstage pass to see what it’s like to perform at a national and international level. I feel my life has been made richer for being part of this organisation.

THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN By MORAG CAMPBELL Chief Executive As I looked around the National Youth Choir of Scotland during the recording session in January, I realised that seven of the current choir members are also employees of NYCoS. Carla Page is Coordinator for NYCoS Dundee Choir, Kimmy Dove works as Music Staff for NYCoS Edinburgh Choir, both Kathryn Alexander and Rory McLatchie work with NYCoS Dumfries Choir, Brendan Glen with our West Lothian YMI project, and Donald Feist and Daniel Walsh are Directors of our Boys

Choirs in East Dunbartonshire and Perth respectively. As you know, NYCoS is all about singing, but it’s not all about singing really. It’s about training the all-round musician and that’s why musicianship plays such a large part in our programme. Because this ‘Magnificent Seven’ have been through the ranks of NYCoS and understand this philosophy and the balance between singing and musicianship, they’re ideally placed to guide the next generation and to spread the NYCoS word. It’s great having you on board!

(from left to right) Kathryn Alexander, Daniel Walsh, Kimmy Dove, Carla Page, Rory McLatchie, Brendan Glen, Donald Feist

YOU TAUGHT MY MUM! By CHRISTOPHER BELL Artistic Director Scanning the list of the National Choirs auditionees this November, a name I recognised stood out: Louise Marryat. A NYCoS singer from 2001 to 2004, Louise had brought her son Callum to audition for NYCoS

National Boys Choir. It was great to meet them in the foyer of St Mary’s Music School, Edinburgh. And, thankfully, Callum made it through his audition successfully. It’s wonderful that these circular relationships happen a lot in NYCoS life. We’ve had children of former NYCoS members in our Mini Music

Makers classes and Area Choirs, and now, for the first time, in our National Choirs. It’s a great moment when we find that former members are trusting us with the education of their own children. Of course, it’s frequently accompanied by the very levelling line “You taught my mum - she was in NYCoS!”

Christopher with Louise and her son, Callum





NYCoS IN NUMBERS NYCoS had an income of over £1.4m in 2015/16, which came from a range of sources:



Mini Music Makers, Area Choirs, National Choirs



Creative Scotland



Being part of a choir gives a sense of belonging, self-worth and reward. It is no exaggeration to say the experience is lifechanging. On a weekly basis, we hear about the impact singing with a NYCoS choir has on the lives of many of our singers. For some whose young lives are chaotic and challenging, it is the stability and routine of attending an Area Choir on a weekly basis; for others, NYCoS is the spring board to a career in music. NYCoS offers opportunities to sing to the highest standard throughout Scotland and to progress to performing on international stages. The National Youth Choir of Scotland is asked to sing internationally because of the power and beauty of its sound and the intensity and commitment the singers bring to their


4% 10%

Donations, Friends, Trusts & Foundations



TRADING (4%) CDs, Publications

Christopher with a member of NYCoS National Girls Choir

performances. It is also a great ambassador for Scotland and the high quality of music making that NYCoS, as an organisation, strives for. All of what we do requires financial support and, although we receive public funding as one of Creative Scotland’s Regularly Funded Organisations, we rely on the generosity of charitable trusts, individual donors and companies to meet our additional annual fundraising target of £125,000. Donations of all amounts, large and small, are received

and all make a difference to the organisation. Our Education Partner NASUWT, the teachers’ union, is proud to have a partnership with NYCoS, sharing the same values of improving the life chances of children and young people. We receive support from fundraising carried out by our Area Choirs at their end-of-term concerts; NYCoS alumni donate to give back to an organisation they have gained so much from; our Friends support us year after year for which we are supremely grateful; charitable trusts enable

us to undertake projects such as Voicemale and the USA Tour, as well as to support our bursary fund. Four years from now, NYCoS will celebrate its 25th Anniversary and as we move towards 2021 your support will be ever more important. Our funding priorities are: a Bursary Fund to enable more talented young people from all backgrounds to fulfil their potential; a Future Fund to secure the core activities of NYCoS for future generations of singers and teachers; a Performance Fund to purchase sheet music for our choirs and to

record and preserve the best of choral singing. You can donate to any of these by visiting NYCoS is most grateful to all the charitable trusts, individuals, organisations and foundations that continue to support us. To develop and safeguard the future of this wonderful organisation, we aim to increase our network of donors and so if you, or someone you know, would like to discuss supporting young singers in Scotland, please contact Katherine Shaw: e: t: 0141 287 2856

NYCoS is incredibly grateful to the following organisations and people whose support makes our work possible: Trusts & Foundations Aberbrothock Skea Trust The Alexander Moncur Trust Bacher Trust Bank of Scotland Foundation Barfil Charitable Trust The Binks Trust Community Schools 2008 The Cross Trust Cruden Foundation The Daisy Chain Trust DC Thomson Charitable Trust Dunard Fund The Gannochy Trust

The Gordon and Ena Baxter Foundation The Gordon Fraser Charitable Trust The Hugh Fraser Foundation Incorporation of Bonnetmakers and Dyers of Glasgow The Jennie S Gordon Memorial Foundation John Mather Charitable Trust JTH Charitable Trust Len Thomson Charitable Trust The Leverhulme Trust The Margaret Murdoch Charitable Trust The McGlashan Charitable Trust The Merchants House of Glasgow The Miss Jean Stirrat Charitable Trust

Morton Charitable Trust MV Hillhouse Trust Northwood Charitable Trust The RJ Larg Family Trust RKT Harris Charitable Trust Saint Andrew Society (Glasgow) Charitable Trust Scottish Secondary School Teachers Association The Stevenston Charitable Trust The St Katharine’s Fund The Turtleton Charitable Trust WA Cargill Charitable Trust

Area Choirs Partners Angus Council City of Edinburgh Council Comhairle Nan Eilean Siar Dumfries and Galloway Council Dundee City Council East Dunbartonshire Council Falkirk Council Highland Council Midlothian Council Perth & Kinross Council Renfrewshire Council Stirling Council University of Aberdeen

West Lothian Council

Fortissimo Friends Joanna Baker Christopher Bell Mary Bennett Roger & Craig Chalmers-Lang Tom & Alison Cunningham Christopher Dearie Dr & Mrs J Going Charles & Catherine Leeson-Payne Graham & Liz Mackenzie In memory of Walter McCandless Norrie & Eleanor McKay Katie & James McNeill Susan Meiklejohn David & Kathy Miller The Offord Family Audrey Ogilvie Rob & Anne Walter Andrew Williams Mr & Mrs R Williamson

Neil & Jacqueline Craig Pamella Dow Dr Elwyn Evans Sue & Kenny Fraser Valerie Gilchrist Victoria Sutro Graham Mrs Myra Grant Douglas & Julia Haddow Sarah & Paul Hagerty Elizabeth Halliday Aline Harris Morag Hayes Anne-Marie Higgins Jennifer Hopgood Dr David A Hughes & Dr Joyce E Davidson Rea Johnston David & Zoe Kemp Jenny Laidlaw Marion Lang Dr J & Mrs S Lauckner Carol Leddy Jan Livesley Angus & Elizabeth Mackay Sue & Roy Macnaughton Francis McCafferty Linda McColl Iain McGregor Linda McLauchlan George & Catherine McLean John & Karen McLeod Andrew McNeill Archie McPherson Ian & Margaret Mills Graham Mitchell Dr Morag Mitchell Mr More Alexander Mulholland Keren Nicol Richard Nixon Dr Lynn Noble Derek Ogston

Kate Pangbourne Nella Parker & Family Prof & Mrs K R Paterson Pauline Perry Ms N Pritchett-Brown Pat Reed Judith Robertson Mr I M Roper-Caldbeck James & Lorna Rudden Terri Rusca Heather Smith Kay Smith Marion & James Stevens Malcolm & Maureen Stewart Robert & Christine Tait Graham Taylor MBE Mrs Aline Watson Dr & Mrs C Watson Karen Watt Johnathan & Elspeth Waugh Finlay Williamson Chris & Ros Wilson Jeannette Wilson Ruth Woodburn

Gillian Crosier Wendy & Mike Davidson Jean Duncan Elizabeth Easdon Miss Anne Farquhar Ann Firth Janey & Leslie Fleming John L Fulton Gillian Gardiner Maureen Garrity Lady Gibson Sheena Glover Louise Goodlad Nuala Gormley Mr & Mrs Norman Gray Anne Grindley Moira Hamilton Miss Margaret Harbison Jill Hardy Mr & Mrs F A Harris Valerie Hobson Muriel Holroyd Alison B Hunter L Inglis Nancy Johnston Lochlann Kelly Olive Kinnear Joan & David Lacy Mrs V M Langston Mrs Josephine Leighton Dr C E Lennox Rhona & Andy Lyle Euan Macdonald Eleanor & Marshall MacKillop Kirsteen Grant & Iain Maclean Jane MacLeod Lynsey MacMillan-McColl Jean Macnab Helen Macpherson Veronica Mair Susan McArthur

Catriona McDonald Brenda McFarlane Christine McMurray Geraldine McNeish Christina Melville Richard & Morag Michael Mrs Kathleen Munro Simon & Rachel Murphy Mrs Christine Neale Karen Nicoll Margaret Oliver Mrs Ruth Orr Claire Owen John Page Tom Pate Mr & Mrs Beau Pettinger Nicola Pickavance June Pringle Jan Raitt Jan Rayner Jane & Tamlin Roberts Mrs Anna Robertson Ian Rolfe & Family Wilma Ruxton Hamish & Christina Scott Katherine Shaw Marie Smit-Williamson Norma Speirs Joy Taylor Ken & Margaret Taylor John Thomson David Titterington Allan & Roslyn Todd Mrs Edna Wands Jackie Westbrook Susan & John Wexler Susan White Carol Young Ian Young

Forte Friends Mr Ken Allen Moira Allingham Mrs Sheila Anderson John Anderton The Ball Family Canon & Mrs J C Bell Caroline & Martin Bell Dinah Bourne Frances & Mike Bousfield Rosemarie Bremner Margaret & Eddie Briggs Dorothy Buchanan & Ian Watson Joan Busby Ian & Wendy Callion Morag & Stuart Campbell Kathryn & Phil Cartwright Alison Chambers Derek Clark Donald MacDonald Cowan

Principal Supporters

Education Partner

Friends Georgina Anderson Mrs D Batchelor Graham Boyce Rosanne Brackenridge Christine Brannan Mrs Morag Burton Paul & Jane Capell Richard Chester Claire Christie Aisling Clark Eleanor Clark Eilidh Cochrane Wendy Colquhoun Theresa Coulter Lucinda Coulthard

Contact us:

Follow us:

NYCoS e: The Mitchell t: 0141 287 2856 North Street w: Glasgow G3 7DN

Bursary Providers The Agar Trust Comhairle Nan Eilean Siar East Ayrshire Council East Renfrewshire Council Falkirk Council Fife Council Inverclyde Council North Ayrshire Council Notre Dame High, Greenock

This newsletter is printed on


recycled paper

National Youth Choir of Scotland (NYCoS) is a company limited by guarantee, registered in Scotland with company number SC165149. NYCoS is a charity registered in Scotland, No: SC024899. All details correct at the time of going to print.

NYCoS Newsletter 2016-17  
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