National Youth Choirs of Great Britain (NYCGB) has announced the selection of its 2021 Young Composers and Fellowship programmes

In this, the NYCGB programme’s third year, the lucky Young Composers are Kristina Arakelyan, Alex Ho, Anna Disley-Simpson, and Derri Joseph Lewis. The new Fellows are Michael McCartan, Benedict Goodall, Shivani Rattan and Elizabeth Leather. The winners of each scheme will receive a fully-funded, year-long course to aid their professional development across a diverse range of musical genres.

The Young Composers are aged between 18 and 29 and benefit from a range of residential courses, creative retreats, workshops, peer and professional mentoring and performance showcase, along with expert advice and tuition from the programme’s distinguished line-up of composers. The resultant music they compose may also be performed by the NYCGB’s five choirs.

The organisation’s digital partner, NMC Recordings, will also provide training and a professional recording and release of their work. Steinberg Media, the scheme’s principal innovation sponsor, will give free licences and training in Dorico Pro notation software. Publisher Stainer & Bell will support the scheme as Innovation Grant Sponsor, providing a wide range of benefits to the Young Composers Scheme including publishing and promoting their new works by the composers as well as mentoring and a series of specialist workshops covering preparing scores for publication, publishing, royalties and copyright.

While restrictions remain in place, NYCGB will exploit the new modes of online interaction until it’s safe to meeting person, when an annual retreat will be provided at Benjamin Britten’s former home, Red House, with the support of Britten-Pears Arts.

The new Fellows will be given the opportunity to create a portfolio of professional skills thought observing, training and working with NYCGB staff and members of its choirs. They will have the chance to engage with the NYCGB’s Learning and Engagement Programme, opening opportunities for them to become future choral leaders. They will also be enrolled in the joint mentoring programme with the Association of Teachers of Singing and will perform as the 2021 NYCGB Fellowship Ensemble and with the National Youth Chamber Choir.

Among the guest mentors on both schemes are Dame Sarah Connolly, Roxanna Panufnk, Errolyn Wallen, Jacob Collier, John Rutter and The Swingles.

Ben Parry, NYCGB Artistic Director & Principal Conductor, said, ‘We’re delighted to welcome eight highly talented musicians to our 2021 Young Composer and Fellowship schemes. With their diverse backgrounds, unique talent, styles and influences we are confident they will all thrive on our programmes. Developing talent and enriching the choral music sector for the future has never felt more important.’

Antony Kearns, Managing Director of Stainer & Bell, said, ‘Following a tremendously successful and thoroughly enjoyable year working with the NYCGB young composers in 2020, we had no hesitation at all in signing a new long-term partnership and sponsorship arrangement in order to develop the relationship further. We’re really looking forward to collaborating closely with Kristina, Alex, Anna and Derri throughout 2021.’

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