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BBC Proms Youth Choir and Academy

As part of its commitment to nurturing new talent, the BBC founded the BBC Proms Youth Choir in 2012. This multi-year project was designed to bring together the best young singers from across the UK and create a massed youth choir with opportunities to perform at the highest level with professional symphony orchestras at the BBC proms. The BBC Proms Youth Choir Academy, piloted in 2017 in London, is a scheme that aims to discover new voices from all musical backgrounds and develop them in a choral setting.

BBC Proms Youth Choir and Academy FAQs

The BBC Proms recruits up to 350 young singers from various choirs and music hubs from every corner of the UK, who rehearse in their local areas with their own leaders across the year. As the performance approaches, the BBC holds a four-day intensive rehearsal residency led by chorus director Simon Halsey. The residency is an opportunity for participants to immerse themselves in singing, meet other young singers from across the UK whilst developing their vocal skills to new levels. During the residency, rehearsals focus on the chosen concert repertoire and the week culminates in a Proms performance at the Royal Albert Hall. Highlights include Simon Rattle conducting Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius and Marin Alsop conducting Verdi’s Requiem. and last year’s performance of John Adams's Harmonium at the First Night of the Proms with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, conducted by Edward Gardner. This year the Proms Youth Choir will perform the world premiere of a specially commissioned work composed by Eriks Esenvalds, conducted by Simon Halsey, and Beethoven’s Symphony No.9 with the World Orchestra of Peace, conducted by Donald Runnicles.

In 2018 the Proms Youth Choir includes singers from the University of Birmingham Voices, the University of Aberdeen Chamber Choir, the North East Youth Choir and the Proms Youth Choir Academy.

We’re always looking for new and exciting choirs who are keen to be part of the BBC Proms Youth Choir. The best way to find out whether your choir would be eligible for consideration is to contact the Proms team at getinvolved@bbc.co.uk.

The BBC Proms Youth Choir Academy aims to find undiscovered voices from all musical backgrounds and develop them in a choral setting. The Academy offers young singers the chance to develop their voice, explore classical choral singing and work alongside professional classical singers. In 2017, the BBC Proms Youth Choir Academy took place in London, with singers rehearsing regularly in the lead up to their performance at the First Night of the Proms.

In 2018, the Academy is being run in partnership with Sage Gateshead and North East Music Education Hubs, working with over 50 young singers aged 16 to 25 from the North East of England.

The structure of the Academy programme will be designed to best support singers, starting from the basics of classical choral singing, developing as a team in a supportive and friendly environment. Singers will take part in regular rehearsals led by conductor Grace Rossiter, and members of the BBC Singers (the BBC’s full-time professional choir) and whole group, small group and 1-1 sessions will be tailored to support musical and vocal development in preparation for performance at the Proms. Singers don’t need to be able to read music to be part of the Academy; all we look for is a love of singing and a voice with potential.

Please note that applications for the 2018 Proms Youth Choir Academy are now closed and the choir has been selected.

We are always looking for new partner organisations who work with potential academy members. The best way to make sure your organisation is part of our recruitment process is to get in touch with the team at getinvolved@bbc.co.uk.

The age range for the Proms Youth Choir and Academy is 16 to 25.

The inaugural BBC Proms Youth Choir concert in 2012 featured a performance of Tippett’s A Child of Our Time with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and David Robertson. The choir then joined forces with the BBC Symphony Chorus to open the 2013 Proms season – in Sakari Oramo’s first concert as Chief Conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra – with a much-acclaimed performance of Vaughan Williams’s A Sea Symphony. In 2014, as part of the centenary of the start of the First World War, the choir performed Britten’s War Requiem with the very orchestra which performed the world première of the piece at the consecration of Coventry Cathedral in 1962 – the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. The BBC Proms Youth Choir performed Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius with Sir Simon Rattle and the Vienna Philharmoniker on three occasions in September 2015 including the penultimate night of the 2015 Proms season. In 2016, the BBC Proms Youth Choir Performed Verdi’s Requiem with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment with Marin Alsop. The BBC Proms Youth Choir opened the First Night of the Proms 2017 with a performance of John Adams's Harmonium, alongside the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, conducted by Ed Gardner.

Proms Youth Choir 2017

Proms Youth Choir 2017

Proms Youth Choir perform John Adams’ Harmonium at the First Night of the Proms 2017

BBC Proms Youth Choir Academy 2017

The BBC Proms Youth Choir Academy rehearsing for the First Night of the Proms 2017.