NYCoS 2018

The National Youth Choir of Scotland, led by Christopher Bell, is an outstanding choir for young people aged 16–25. One of the UK's leading choirs, it was recognised in 2012 with the Ensemble award from the Royal Philharmonic Society.

Celebrated recent performances include appearances with the BBC SSO, SCO, RSNO and Public Service Broadcasting, and at events including Edinburgh International Festival, XX Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony, Passchendaele Commemorations in Ypres and Grand Teton Music Festival in the USA. Every three years, NYCoS embarks on an international tour. Previous destinations include Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Slovakia, Sweden and the USA.

The Choir has received world-wide critical acclaim for its exceptional performances at the BBC Proms under the batons of Donald Runnicles, Sir John Eliot Gardiner as well as its many performances conducted by Artistic Director, Christopher Bell.

“One of the best choral ensembles in the world” - Donald Runnicles, OBE

“They rose magnificently to the challenge” - Sir John Eliot Gardiner

Joining the Choir involves:

  • attending an audition
  • attending the residential course
  • performing at engagements throughout the year


Members of the National Youth Choir of Scotland are amongst the most promising young singers in the UK and admission to the choir is by audition. Preparation is key; it's never too early to start practising. After hearing you, Christopher Bell will decide whether singers are ready for membership of the National Youth Choir of Scotland or NYCoS Training Choir.

Read our Audition Guidlines for more information.

What to sing at the audition

You will be invited to come to an audition where you will be asked to sing a song you have prepared, sing at sight and sing some scales to establish your range. Whilst the ability to sing at sight is desirable, you should not be deterred from applying if your sight-singing is currently weak. Your singing teacher or class teacher should advise you on your choice of song. We strongly suggest you avoid songs from musicals as often do not show your full vocal potential.

Audition Locations and Times

Depending on numbers, auditions may be held in Aberdeen, Birmingham, Dumfries, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness, Manchester and London. The opportunity to audition for NYCoS Training Choir by video link may be available to island dwellers.

Time and location of your audition will be confirmed by late October 2017.

Residential Course

The activities for the year all stem from the residential course, where the repertoire is learned. The days are full of intense musical activity, vocal coaching and full choir rehearsals mixed with recreation time and informal concerts. NYCoS Training Choir members receive individual singing lessons from top-class professional singers and teachers.

The school has full sports facilities and a swimming pool. There is also a formal dinner where members dress up and dance the night away.

Concerts and Additional Engagements

The course finishes with a concert for NYCoS Training Choir which takes place on 15 July 2018 at Merchiston Castle School, Edinburgh.

Members of each choir will have the chance to take part in exciting additional engagements, including a residency at the Edinburgh International Festival, a world premiere to commemorate the end of World War I and prestigious international performances.

Costs and Financial Assistance

Costs are inclusive of 2018 membership, full-board accommodation, provision of music, additional engagements and all activities for the residential course:


5 instalments of £100 5 instalments of £110

Don’t be put off if the cost is an issue as there is financial assistance available for both fees and travel. For more information see the Funding Information page or contact us.


Application Deadline

Applications for National Youth Choir of Scotland 2018 are now closed. Register your interest and we'll let you know when applications for 2019 open.

Audition Dates

Late October - November 2017

Residential Course

9 – 15 July 2018
Merchiston Castle School, Edinburgh

Glasgow City Council