A host of leading youth choirs from around the world will unite for a unique evening of performance, as young singers from as far afield as South Africa, Israel and Indonesia take to the stage of one of Britain’s most iconic venues next year.
A Celebration of World Voices, the climax to the inaugural International Youth Choir Festival, will take place at London’s Royal Albert Hall on 15 April 2017, and feature a glorious ‘mash up’ in which the choirs will spontaneously create their own brand new composition.
Boston Youth Choir, USA
Greg Beardsell, artistic director of the event, said: “This festival will open people’s ears and eyes to the amazing difference that youth choirs make to people and communities around the world, and offer a unique opportunity to hear eight of the world’s best youth choirs perform together in an incredible public concert.”
That special showcase is just one part of this major new festival, where talented singers from across the globe will join forces – and voices – to celebrate great music, and the changes it can bring, while trading stories and insights drawn from their vastly differing backgrounds.
Mzansi Youth Choir, South Africa
‘We’re incredibly proud to be part of this extraordinary event, showcasing the unique sound and incredible stories of these diverse and brilliant young choirs. We’re committed to fostering a love of music and making the arts accessible to all, and that’s what this festival is all about.’
Lucy Noble, Director of Events at the Royal Albert Hall
Prior to the evening concert, which is open to the public, the choirs will host workshops for one another – and for choral leaders, music teachers and aspiring singers from across the country – including an African choral music masterclass from South Africa’s Mzansi Youth Choir, and a chance to learn the secrets of great Gospel singing from Boston Children’s Chorus, based in the US.
The event was the brainchild of Greg Beardsell, Deputy Artistic Director of the National Youth Choirs of Great Britain, and put together in partnership by NYCGB and the Royal Albert Hall with principal media partner choral.ly.
Diocesan Boys’ School Choir, Hong Kong
‘We champion British choral excellence across the globe, with televised performances – including at the BBC Proms – and world tours, most recently to China this August. We also play a role in welcoming other cultures to the UK and building bridges to the worldwide choral community. When I had the idea of bringing eight of the world’s best youth choirs together, the Royal Albert Hall was the obvious partner, and I’m thrilled that the venue shares our vision for what this festival can achieve.’
Greg Beardsell, Deputy Artistic Director of the National Youth Choirs of Great Britain
In the run-up to the festival, primary schoolchildren across London will receive ‘Songs from Around the World’ workshops from Albert’s Band, the in-house musicians of the Royal Albert Hall’s education and outreach programme.
A second event on 17 April will bring the festivities to the Southbank Centre, for a day of informal mini-gigs, before the groups unite as one world-class ‘superchoir’ for a joint performance of Jonathan Dove’s There Was a Child in Royal Festival Hall.