We had decided that we really needed to have something to look forward to post our 10th anniversary. There was the possibility that after the hype and buzz of the 10th anniversary year, we might feel low. So we saved up a good card to play, and formed the NYCoS National Girls Choir. The first residential course was held at Loretto School, Musselburgh from 10th – 15th April 2007. 60 girls aged 13-15 years attended the course.  NGC gave its inaugural performance at Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh on 15th April to critical acclaim. Shock horror – the girls wore red!

A new thing for all the national choirs this year was the possibility of auditions by video link. The expense of travelling for audition from the outer isles, or even from Wick is huge, and with the latest technology singers can be viewed and heard down high speed phone lines that have been installed recently in all schools. This can be backed up by sending a CD recording. A number of singers were recruited for all four national choirs in this way. 

The NYCoS National Boys Choir (150 members in total) continued to develop, especially the changed voices. NBC toured to Kendal and Dumfries (4-6 May) and the Changed Voices performed in Glasgow and Edinburgh during the British Festival of Youth Orchestras in August 2007.  NYCoS Training Choir also expanded its activities. In addition to the usual concerts in Stirling Castle, and Edinburgh and Glasgow with NYCoS, they also performed at the BFYO Festival in August and had singing days, a residential weekend and sang as part of the Children’s Classic Concerts Christmas shows.

The main event of the summer period was the NYCoS tour to Hungary in August. The choir sang to large and enthusiastic audiences in Budapest, Eger, Debrecen and Nyiregyhaza (where NYCoS  members were guests of the Cantemus Choir). The repertoire of Whitacre, Chilcott, Kodály, Seiber and Mawby showed the choir off magnificently in Kodály’s homeland. The hospitality given to NYCoS by the Cantemus Choir was reciprocated when the choir visited Glasgow in October. In September NYCoS took part in BBC Proms in the Park.

In September 2007 new Area Choirs started in Midlothian and on the Isle of Lewis bringing the number of area choirs across Scotland to ten.

NYCoS Educational programmes continue to be in great demand. The Youth Music Initiative mentioned in years past, has involved NYCoS working in partnership with many local authorities supporting a variety of programmes of vocal education. Successful Kodály Musicianship Training Weekends took place in Edinburgh and in Inverness. Mini Music Makers network of activities for parents with babies/toddlers expanded during the year with ten groups running across the country.

Within the office, there was expansion and change. A PR and Marketing Officer took up post in June 2007 and started implementing a new Marketing Strategy. In November the General Manager, Ian Mills, stepped down after six successful years in post. His enthusiasm for meeting just about anyone, anywhere, at any time, to talk about NYCoS really helped put us on the map. Ironically, although the 5-year business sponsorship relationship with Dunfermline Building Society was concluded at 31 December 2006, NYCoS and DBS won the Arts & Business Arts and Young People Award, which was presented at the Annual Awards ceremony held in Edinburgh on 19 September 2007. Ian’s smile could probably be seen in space!

Ian was succeeded by Joan Gibson as Chief Executive in recognition of the expanded role the job now enjoys. For a few days the talk was consolidation. We couldn’t really keep expanding as we had. Time to rein in. We all agreed. And then you get one of those enthusiastic phone-calls from someone who wants to start another Area Choir. We’d have to say no... wouldn’t we?

Glasgow City Council