2010 was a bumper year for National Choirs, including two NYCoS choirs, NYCoS Germany and NYCoS Scotland.

NYCoS Germany had been selected the previous year for a tour to Germany in July/August 2010. The Choir, with 100 singers, came together for a rehearsal weekend and performed a concert of the tour repertoire in St Aloysius Church, Glasgow. Then between 29th July and 5th August they gave concerts in Potsdam, Berlin, Brandenburg, Dresden, Leipzig and Herrnhut. It was a most successful tour with capacity audiences throughout. Their final performance of the tour programme was at Dunblane Cathedral as part of the Gala Concert at ABCD Convention to great acclaim.

NYCoS Scotland was no second fiddle to the older group. Its musical sophistication in a varied programme was regularly remarked upon. Post the residential course, concerts were given in St Cuthbert’s Church, Edinburgh and the Caird Hall, Dundee reconvening in September to give two concerts, one in Dunbar as part of the first Lammermuir Festival and one at City Halls, Glasgow. Later that month they also performed with BBCSSO on the live Radio 3 programme ‘In Tune’ as part of the BBCSSO’s 75th birthday celebrations. NYCoS Training Choir met again under the baton of Michael Kibblewhite and in August gave concerts at St Andrew’s Blackadder Church in North Berwick as part of the Fringe by the Sea Festival and then at St John’s Church, Edinburgh.

The NYCoS National Boys Choir incorporating NBC and Changed Voices met at Loretto School, Musselburgh in April 2010 for a residential course, which culminated in a successful concert at City Halls, Glasgow. The BBC recorded the concert for future transmission. NBC gave a concert at St Michael’s Church, Linlithgow along with NYCoS West Lothian Choir in May. In August, Changed Voices took part in a workshop led by Christopher Bell at ABCD Convention in Stirling and then gave a recital as part of this conference.

The NYCoS National Girls Choir’s residential course was also held at Loretto School, Musselburgh later in April 2010. This year saw the inauguration of the National Girls Choir Training Group for girls aged 12 years upwards, this year conducted by Charlotte Jackson. The end of course concert took place at Greyfriar’s Kirk, Edinburgh. At the beginning of May NGC reconvened to make a recording of Benjamin Britten’s Ceremony of Carols and Elizabeth Poston’s An English Day Book in the Caird Hall, Dundee. The Choir was accompanied by Claire Jones, harpist to HRH the Prince of Wales. The CD was then launched in September on the Signum label. In August, as part of the opening concert of Edinburgh International Festival, the National Girls Choir joined Edinburgh Festival Chorus and BBCSSO in a performance of El Nino by John Adams. NGC finished its 2010/11 season with two live performances of the CD recording repertoire at St Mary’s Cathedral in Glasgow and then at Greyfriars Kirk, Edinburgh.

In the NYCoS Area Choirs it was a case of hello and goodbye. Hello was to the new area choir in Angus, with its Director Shona Morgan, and also to Gillian and Gordon Jack as joint directors of the Aberdeen Choir.  The sad goodbyes were to Choir Directors in both the Dumfries and Galloway choirs – Audrey Brockett and Nikki Junor departed after ten and nine years respectively. Charlotte Jackson arrived in Dumfries and Sue St Joseph transferred to Galloway.

All the Area Choirs usually give regular concerts in June and December, however all but two of the choirs (Isle of Lewis and Galloway) postponed their December concerts due to the extraordinarily poor weather in December 2010. These concerts were rescheduled and took place in January except for the West Lothian and Midlothian Choirs who were unable to secure alternative dates.

  • NYCoS Edinburgh Choir performed at the opening ceremony of Scottish Flavour, a Conference at Edinburgh Conference Centre, and at a fundraising Concert for the Samaritans and YMCA at Central Halls, Tollcross.
  • NYCoS Dundee Choir performed with Dundee Choral Union in the Caird Hall, Dundee as part of a Christmas concert.
  • NYCoS Renfrewshire Choir performed at a concert organised by the Tannahill/McDonald Club to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the death of Robert Tannahill, Paisley’s Weaver Poet, and at a fundraising concert for Kilbarchan Church and at Glasgow City Chambers for the Douglas Memorial Fund. Later in the year the Choir gave a concert in Paisley Abbey, as part of the Paisley Festival and then with Hayley Westenra at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall.
  • NYCoS Stirling Choir gave a Christmas concert in the Royal Chapel of Stirling Castle for Historic Scotland.
  • NYCoS West Lothian Choir took part in one of the West Lothian Council Spring Series Concerts.

The Mini Music Makers network of activities for parents with babies/toddlers continues to grow with nearly 500 pre-school children attending. Four new venues were introduced during 2010/11and now regular classes take place in Ayr, Bathgate, Busby, City Halls Glasgow, Dalkeith, East End Glasgow, Edinburgh, Giffnock, Grangemouth, Kelvinbridge Glasgow, Killearn, Lamancha, Leith, Linlithgow, Livingston, Paisley,
Pollokshields, Stirling and Tramway Glasgow.

NYCoS Educational programmes continue to be a very important part of our work. YMI work continues much as last year, as does our extensive running of training courses for both outside and internal staff. An unusual project this year was as a result of
an invitation by Motherwell College to take part in an 8 week programme at the Young Offenders Institute Polmont funded by Creative Scotland’s Inspiring Change initiative. A small choir was formed called Voicemale. The project encouraged both singing and songwriting and culminated in an emotive performance at the prison in June 2010.

This year NYCoS Education Manager, Carole Allen, organised a bespoke Kodaly study tour to Hungary for 16 delegates. This took place over a week in October and included both observational and practical sessions at the Kodaly Institute, Kecskemet and the Liszt Academy, Budapest. The trip was a great success and strengthened the developing relationship with the Kodaly Institute.

The catalogue of Publications by NYCoS continues to grow and during this year the NYCoS Go For Bronze, Silver, Gold Musicianship programme was completed – no really, it was! (Check previous years history for the timeline on this one). And so onward to the Fifteenth Anniversary year….

Glasgow City Council