An upbeat and uplifting concert performed by the UK’s finest young voices as the National Youth Choir and the National Youth Girls’ Choir join forces, along with special guest choir Warwickshire Choristers, in celebration of music inspired by the theme of cultural identity.
Presenting a programme that focusses on what it means to be human, this concert celebrates heritage, tradition, innovation, development, possession and dispossession. The National Youth Choir will perform music from Scandinavia, Europe and America, choral works connecting to the idea of human endeavour to create an identity, whether religious, secular, traditional or contemporary.
Highlights include Francis Poulenc’s Chansons Françaises, original compositions now so well known that they are embedded into France’s traditional culture. Joanna Marsh Griffiths’ Thou hast searched me out and known me is a setting of personal and visceral Psalm texts acknowledging the frailty of humanity. Music performed together with the National Youth Girls’ Choir includes two impressive pieces written especially for NYCGB: the award-winning who we are by Kerry Andrew, commissioned for a gala concert at the Royal Albert Hall in 2016 and Jonathan Dove’s Antiphon, and commissioned for the National Youth Choir and the National Youth Girls’ Choir in 2015.
The Girls’ Choir will perform a range of music that includes two well-known traditional English folk songs, Scarborough Fair arranged by Michael Higgins and The Oak and the Ash, arranged by Philip Lawson. Sarah Quartel’s This we know, is a text by Native American, Chief Seattle about cherishing and sharing our earth.
In his piece To Agni, Gustav Holst sets the Indian Sanskrit hymn praising the Hindu God of Fire in a thrilling and passionate song with hints of Eastern harmonies.
Contrasting with this Andrea Ramsey’s Truth is a piece about how women really feel in a society which imposes strong images they’re expected to conform to.
“This is a great opportunity to witness young singers’ enjoyment and passion of singing and performing together. You will come away feeling stimulated, inspired and enthused – there’s nothing more exciting than witnessing music being performed live particularly by talented, young people.” Ben Parry
“All of this music has a great an energy and vibrancy about it. There’s music by contemporary composers as well as folk tunes that you might recognise with a beautiful or imaginative twist. It’s going to be an upbeat and uplifting programme.” Joanna Tomlinson