About Us

History of NYCOS

1996:

NYCOS was founded by Christopher Bell

The National Youth Choir of Scotland met for their first summer residential course in July and 24 of those singers were invited to form NYCOS Chamber Choir.

1997:

NYCOS Training Choir was established, joining the summer residential course and directed by Gordon Jack.

1998:

The first Regional Choirs (then children’s choirs) were formed in Edinburgh and West Lothian.

1999:

The Singing Games and Rhymes for Early Years Book was published, eventually leading on to many further publications and resources developed by NYCOS.

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National Youth Choir of Scotland at their first residential course at Glenalmond School, Perthshire (1996)


2000:

NYCOS Falkirk, Dumfries, Dundee and Stirling Choirs were established.

NYCOS secured office accommodation in the Mitchell Library, Glasgow.

2001:

National Youth Choir of Scotland had its first international tour to Sweden.

2002:

National Youth Choir of Scotland performed in during the half time break at the Scotland v England Rugby International at Murrayfield in February.

NYCOS National Boys Choir was founded, with 60 boys meeting at Gartmore House for a five-day residential course in April.

The very first Mini Music Makers sessions were held in Edinburgh.

National Youth Choir of Scotland performed the first NYCOS commission – a piece by David Paul Jones.

The first National Youth Choir of Scotland CD entitled There’s a Lilt in the Song was released.

2003:

NYCOS Renfrewshire Choir was established in Paisley.

National Youth Choir of Scotland performed with the BBC SSO at Proms in the Park to a crowd of 7000 and a live TV audience at the Glasgow Science Park in September.

National Youth Choir of Scotland accompanied Christina Aguilera at the MTV Europe Awards Ceremony in Edinburgh in November.

2004:

NYCOS began to run activities in West Lothian and Glasgow as part of the Youth Music Initiative, with additional support added to seven other authorities throughout the year.

Members of National Youth Choir of Scotland, NYCOS Edinburgh and West Lothian Choirs took part in the official opening of the new Scottish Parliament Building.

National Youth Choir of Scotland travelled to Chicago, USA to perform Walton Belshazzar Feast, Britten War Requiem and independent concerts as part of the Grant Park Music Festival.

NYCOS National Boys Choir sang Britten War Requiem as part of the Edinburgh International Festival with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Ilan Volkov.

NYCOS ran its first Kodály Musicianship Training weekend in Glasgow with 210 delegates attending.

2006:

National Youth Choir of Scotland performed with BBC SSO in Glasgow and Aberdeen in April (the concerts were subsequently broadcast on BBC radio).

National Youth Choir of Scotland and 80 of its alumni sang alongside the Royal Scottish National Orchestra in the 10th Anniversary Gala Concert on 17th September at the Edinburgh Usher Hall.

NYCOS National Boys Choir undertook its first tour in May when it performed in Derry and Belfast.

800 members of NYCOS Regional and National Choirs took part in Songs of Praise at Glasgow City Halls with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, which was broadcast on 26 November.

NYCOS Dundee Choir was the first Regional Choir to perform abroad when it visited Dundee’s twin city of Orleans in France in October.

2007:

NYCOS National Girls Choir was established with 60 girls attending the first residential on 10-15 April, Musselburgh, and first concert at Queens Hall, Edinburgh.

NYCOS Midlothian and Isle of Lewis Choirs were established.

National Youth Choir of Scotland toured to Hungary in August, performing a repertoire of Whitacre, Chilcott, Kodály, Seiber and Mawby in Budapest, Eger, Debrecen and Nyiregyhaza.

2008: 

The following NYCOS Patrons were appointed: Howard Goodall (National Youth Choir of Scotland), Billy Boyd (NYCOS National Boys Choir), Lord Provost of Edinburgh (NYCOS Edinburgh Choir).

NYCOS Inverness Choir was founded.

2009:

Karen Cargill became Patron to NYCOS National Girls Choir.

NYCOS Aberdeen Choir was established.

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National Youth Choir of Scotland at the Preston Bradley Hall, Chicago Cultural Center (2004)

NYCOS National Boys Choir visit the Antrim Coast (2006)

NYCOS National Girls Choir at their first residential course in Musselburgh (2007)

National Youth Choir of Scotland in Budapest (August 2007)


2010:

NYCOS Angus Choir was established.

Lord Provost of Dundee became Patron to NYCOS Dundee Choir.

NYCOS National Girls Choir recorded Britten Ceremony of Carols and Poston An English Day Book, released in September.

National Youth Choir of Scotland toured Germany, giving concerts in concerts in Potsdam, Berlin, Brandenburg, Dresden, Leipzig and Herrnhut.

NYCOS took part in an 8-week programme at the Young Offenders Institute Polmont, forming a small choir was called Voicemale. The project encouraged both singing and songwriting and culminated in an emotive performance at the prison in June.

2011:

NYCOS celebrated its 15th Anniversary with a concert at the Usher Hall with the National Youth Choir of Scotland and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra.

NYCOS Perth and East Dunbartonshire Boys Choirs were established.

2012:

The first annual Kodály Summer School in Edinburgh was held.

NYCOS National Girls Choir sang Midsummer Nights Dream at the Edinburgh International Festival with Scottish Chamber Orchestra.

National Youth Choir of Scotland sang at the BBC Proms as part of the newly formed Proms Youth Choir.

2013:

National Youth Choir of Scotland toured central Europe and performed Durufle Requiem at the Edinburgh International Festival with Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Robin Ticiatti.

2014:

NYCOS National Boys Choir performed Britten War Requiem at the Edinburgh International Festival with the Philharmonia Orchestra, conducted by Sir Andrew Davis.

National Youth Choir of Scotland performed Mozart Requiem at the Proms with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Donald Runnicles.

National Youth Choir of Scotland performed at the Opening Ceremony of Commonwealth Games with Eric Whitacre.

NYCOS Regional Choirs joined together to perform as part of the Commonwealth Games celebrations.

2015:

NYCOS hosted the International Kodály Symposium.

2016:

National Youth Choir of Scotland toured to the USA, performing in Chicago and at the Grant Teton Music Festival under Donald Runnicles on 4th July.

2017:

National Youth Choir of Scotland performed at the Passchendaele Centenary broadcast live on BBC One.

National Youth Choir of Scotland performed at the BBC Proms alongside Monteverdi Choir, Trinity Boys Choir and Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique under Sir John Eliot Gardiner.

2018:

NYCOS was in residency at the Edinburgh International Festival with performances at the Usher Hall from the National Youth Choir of Scotland and NYCOS National Girls Choir.

NYCOS National Boys Choir released the album, All Those Men Who Marched Away, with music by composer Ken Johnston and lyricist Jim Maxwell.

A pre-recorded NYCOS Dundee Choir performance was broadcast on BBC One Scotland Christmas Celebration.

National Youth Choir of Scotland performed Berlioz Lélio at Carnegie Hall, New York, alongside Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique under Sir John Eliot Gardiner.

2019:

National Youth Choir of Scotland performed Berlioz Lélio at the Philharmonie de Paris with Les Siècles orchestra and conductor François-Xavier Roth.

NYCOS Chamber Choir performed at the twentieth anniversary of the first sitting of the Scottish Parliament.

NYCOS Edinburgh Choir took part in a concert of Mahler Third Sympony alongside Edinburgh Royal Choral Union, Edinburgh University Chamber Choir with Prague Symphony Orchestra at the Usher Hall.

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National Youth Choir of Scotland performing at the Usher Hall for the 15th Anniversary celebrations (2011)

NYCOS Regional Choirs performing as part of the Commonwealth Games celebrations, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall (May 2014)

National Youth Choir of Scotland photographed for their residency at the Edinburgh International Festival (2018)

National Youth Choir of Scotland at Carnegie Hall, New York City (15 October 2018)


2020:

All NYCOS activity was pivoted online due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

NYCOS TV was launched with Christopher Bell interviewing Donald Runnicles and Sir James MacMillan.

NYCOS had several albums and digital releases: Cantos Sagrados (National Youth Choir of Scotland, RSNO, Christopher Bell); Independence Day and St Andrew’s Day singles (National Youth Choir of Scotland, RSNO, Christopher Bell); Re-release of Until We Meet Again (National Youth Choir of Scotland, NYCOS Children’s Choir, Christopher Bell)

2021:

NYCOS re-released A Burns Sequence (National Youth Choir of Scotland, RSNO, Christopher Bell).

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NYCOS National Choir members taking part in online courses (July and December 2020).