2005 may be the year in NYCoS history that people look back on and wonder what we did in it. After all, in terms of obvious milestones, it was the year between 2004 (Chicago tour) and 2006 (the 10th Anniversary year). Yet this was no stop-gap year. Quite the opposite! 2005 contained its annual activities for the NYCoS National Boys Choir at Loretto School in April, with a concert in St Cuthbert’s Church, Edinburgh, and NYCoS and NYCoS Training Choir met at Merchiston Castle School, Edinburgh in July with concerts in St Andrews, Edinburgh, Ayr and Glasgow (including an appearance in BBC Proms in the Park.) Music for NYCoS included some Rachmaninov Vespers and Five Movements from Gloria Patri by Sisask. Audience reaction was positive throughout and confirmed the evolving artistic status of the choirs.

The NYCoS Chamber Choir performed at six very prestigious events: the International Kodály Symposium in Leicester; the Lamp of Lothian Concert Series in Haddington; a concert in Dunfermline Abbey sponsored by Dunfermline Building Society; a dinner in Stirling Castle hosted by the First Minister to mark the Wallace 700 celebrations; the Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy Awards Dinner (also hosted by the First Minister); a dinner for European Police Officers hosted by the Lord Provost of Glasgow.
One of the most interesting series of performances this year was the involvement of different groups of singers from various NYCoS choirs at the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland in May. Different groups of NYCoS singers (NYCoS Chamber Choir, NYCoS Area Choirs and NBC) performed on different days during the daily act of worship, which opens each session of the Assembly and received applause from the commissioners (which is apparently a rare occurrence!).

NYCoS Area Choirs involving around 1800 singers age 8+ in eight different locations across Scotland continued to provide a valuable experience for young singers. Choirs performed in their local areas - of special note being the first appearance by the NYCoS Edinburgh Choirs in the Usher Hall in a Gala Concert to mark the departure of their founding Choir Director, Elizabeth McColl, who was moving to USA. The Dundee Choir once again appeared with the Orchestra of Scottish Opera in a Children’s Classic Concert in the Caird Hall. Some concerts took place outside the local area. Members of the NYCoS Falkirk Choir took part in the Dunfermline Building Society AGM in Dunfermline, and members of NYCoS Dumfries Choir appeared in the NAYO Festival in Glasgow.

It’s in the realm of educational support that the most dramatic expansion in the NYCoS workload took place. With a full-time educational projects administrator and the Scottish Executive Youth Music Initiative really getting into its stride, an increasing number of local authorities established partnership projects with NYCoS. A diverse range of activities were delivered (out of school choirs, staff training workshops, providing resources) and, in Scotland’s largest local authority – Glasgow – weekly vocal tuition sessions based on Go for Bronze were delivered to P3 pupils in 100 Primary schools by tutors employed by NYCoS directly.

Glasgow City Council