NYCGB Fellowship – update June 2022

Update from Nicki Kennedy, June 2022

The NYCGB Fellowship and Young Composers’ Schemes are well underway this year now, and I had the pleasure of meeting and getting to know most of the cohort in the Spring at the National Youth Choir course.

2022 NYCGB Fellows

AOTOS member Richard Edgar-Wilson joined me in April to deliver a discussion with all eight members of the new cohort to explore and talk about subjects such as how singing works, what is useful in a warm-up, challenges that singers might face in rehearsals or engaging with new writing, and much more besides. We also offer the Fellows and Young Composers an informal mentoring programme, where they can be teamed up with an experienced singing teacher from our membership and can feel free to ask questions or observe someone else at work.

All four of the Fellows have taken up the AOTOS informal mentoring programme this year with enthusiasm. We are delighted, too, that Claire Roberts, one of the Young Composers, has taken up the mentoring programme as we believe that for composers engaging with choral or vocal writing, good contact with experienced singing teachers can be hugely valuable. Our mentors are volunteers, and the emphasis of the programme is very much an informal engagement that can consist of a few conversations and observations, or be taken much deeper and to a much more involved level, depending on the individuals concerned. We try to match the pairs carefully, to reflect specific interests, which this year have ranged from working in an inclusive environment, to an interest in the lifecycle of the voice, to singing and working in genres that are unfamiliar to the individuals. They all think hard about what they are looking for and we are looking forward to hearing how they get on!

Of course, our partnership is a reciprocal relationship, and you will remember we had the pleasure of hearing from NYCGB Boys’ Choir at our last conference in the Autumn. This summer we can look forward to seeing some of our Fellows performing at workshops and masterclasses at the Summer Conference, as well as representation on our ‘Brave Space’ panel by Shivani Rattan, who was on the Fellowship programme last year. Do look out for them and give them a warm welcome to AOTOS!

We are so grateful to our volunteer mentors this year, who are Helen Porter, Veronica Veysey Campbell, Ian Massa-Harris, Richard Edgar-Wilson and Ali Ponsford-Hill.

The Fellows (pictured) are Timothy Peters, Olivia Shotton, Jason Ching and Florence Price, with Claire Victoria Roberts also joining our mentoring scheme from the Young Composers’ cohort of 2022.

Nicki Kennedy
AOTOS Partnership Co-ordinator