CBSO Youth Chorus Alumni
I joined the CBSO chorus family at the age of 11 and have a great many memories of my seven year association; the first two with the Children’s Chorus and then the Youth Chorus for a further five.
Being part of the CBSO Youth Chorus is a wonderful experience, and what I enjoyed most was performing great music at great venues. From the dozens of concerts I performed in over seven years, particular performances that are firmly fixed in my mind are Duruflé’s Requiem at Symphony Hall, and two performances of Britten’s War Requiem. The first of these, at Coventry Cathedral, marked the 50th anniversary of the consecration of the new Cathedral, and was an extremely humbling and moving concert. I was then fortunate to sing the work again, in an extraordinary performance with the CBSO at the 2014 BBC Proms with Andris Nelsons and the BBC Proms Youth Choir.
In addition to our Proms performance last summer, I was also fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to tour with the CBSO Chorus. I sang in Mendelssohn’s Elijah at the finale of the Schleswig-Holstein Festival, and in two performances of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony; firstly at the Beethovenhalle in Bonn and then, the following night, at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris.
The CBSO Christmas concerts always provided exciting performing opportunities for the choruses and it was always good to hear new arrangements and pieces performed by the orchestra. It was also great fun and really interesting to sing on the recording of Karl Jenkins’ composition The Peacemakers in 2011, which the Youth Chorus recorded for EMI.
I learned so much from my time with the CBSO choruses, and am enormously grateful to have been given the opportunity to perform with so many world-class conductors and orchestras. I must also mention the wonderful work of the Youth Chorus’ conductor, Julian Wilkins, whose charismatic approach to choral training has really inspired me and provided me with a deeply embedded knowledge of choral singing and technique. Indeed, when performing now it can be easy to take the venues, orchestras, soloists and conductors for granted, and looking back I can appreciate just how unique my experiences have been – the CBSO really is in a league of its own!
I am currently studying for a Music degree at Royal Holloway, University of London and continue to enjoy my singing with one of the college choirs. I also sing with the Rodolfus Choir and take part in as many concerts as my undergraduate schedule permits.
The CBSO Youth Chorus will celebrate their 20th anniversary with two performances of Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream with CBSO Principal Guest Conductor, Edward Gardner. Tickets are still available – book now
If you are interested in joining the CBSO Youth Chorus, why not come along to the open rehearsal on Monday 20 April at CBSO Centre (7pm – 9pm)? For further information, please contact Lucy Wickens at firstname.lastname@example.org / 0121 616 6508