My Week at NYCOS National Girls Choir: Josie Bell

As a fifteen-year-old girl who loves to sing, National Girls Choir has been infinitely valuable and a very special part of my life. Every year the course provides an opportunity for me to sing my heart out and explore a wide range of styles and languages from all over the world. As well as this, I get to be with an incredible ensemble of girls, who have become very good friends over the years I have spent at the choir. This combination of companionship, commonality and spirit leaves a lasting impression on everyone involved and every time I leave filled with thoughts of next year.

One of the things I like most about the National Girls Choir is the feeling of taking a sheet of music and turning it into an audience performance. The sound that forms in such a short space of time is astounding; it never fails to exceed my expectations. By incorporating songs from varied backgrounds, composers and cultures, we are able to gain knowledge and build an inclusive, positive atmosphere for all audience and choir members.

The music staff generously provide lessons and sectionals, which build our confidence and help singers to improve their technique, singing style and vocal range. They help us to maintain the smooth running of the schedule and the house-staff are always friendly, understanding and on hand to distribute custard creams when required!

The thread sowing National Girls Choir together is Christopher Bell, who is able to find the perfect repertoire and over the week, the perfect sound to match. Christopher has helped me to push my voice and stretch for the very best.

This year, the National Girls Choir concert took place at the Perth Concert Hall. After a week of rehearsals, it is always good to hear the finished product and to know that all of our hard work and effort has paid off. The audience rewarded us with a fortissimo applause!

The further opportunities to sing throughout the year are highly anticipated and give the choir members the chance to sing in operas and festivals, helping us to gain valuable experience and expand our musical network.

I loved my week at National Girls Choir this year, just as I have loved it since I first came. I walk away every time with new memories, close friends and a better, more confident singing voice, as well as with a renewed will to return next year.