John Barnett

New Music series: a history and announcing the 2021 partnership

6:44, 6th December 2020

Watch our virtual celebration of Choir & Organ‘s New Music series, as we mark 15 years of commissioning new works from young composers and launch our 2021 partnership with the National Youth Choirs of Great Britain.

The online event – broadcast on our website, Facebook and YouTube channels – includes music and presentations by five past and present New Music composers, and by Ben Parry (NYCGB artistic director and principal conductor) and Andrew Nethsingha (director of music at St John’s College, Cambridge, Choir & Organ’s first New Music partner), as well as reflecting on some of the 87 composers who have written for the series since it began in 2006.

Choir & Organ‘s 2021 New Music series is to be held in partnership with the National Youth Choirs of Great Britain (NYCGB). Over the course of the year, Choir & Organ will commission participants on the NYCGB Young Composers Scheme to write six new works, either for choir or for organ as a solo instrument.

Ben Parry, who initiated the NYCGB Young Composers Scheme two years ago to give participants a chance to interact with the various choirs, commented: ‘I’m particularly delighted Choir & Organ got in touch with us with the possibility of collaborating together, because it’s another wonderful opportunity for young composers to upskill and become better composers, [and to develop their] understanding of how to write for singers and for organ as well.’

Maggie Hamilton, editor of Choir & Organ, said, ‘We’re excited to be joining forces with NYCGB and their Young Composers Scheme in 2021. Under Ben Parry, NYCGB have encouraged unparalleled numbers of young people to participate in choral singing at the highest level. This is the first time we have teamed up with youth choirs, and the range of ensembles within NYCGB means that the composers will be writing for singers with varying levels of vocal and sight-reading ability – a challenge in itself. Two composers will also have the opportunity to write for the organ for the first time.’

Each composer will be featured in Choir & Organ and the scores will be available for free download for six months on the New Music page of the Choir & Organ website; the world premieres will be given by NYCGB.

Find out more about Choir & Organ‘s New Music series, and download scores from this year’s scheme, on our New Music page.

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