The 2017-18 NYCGB Fellows at Waddesdon Manor, July 2018. L-R: Emily Hodkinson, Nathan Harrison, Sarah Lucy Penny, Jacob Ewens, Eleanor Partridge, Luke Mather, Lizzy Humphries, Tom Brooke.


In a whirlwind final week of activity, the 2017-18 Fellowship release a music video and give a final recital in the stunning setting of Baron Rothschild's country estate.

TOM BROOKE

After nine terrific months of music-making, educational projects and generous contributions to the prosperity of J.D Wetherspoon (through healthy orders of crisps, of course), the time had come for our final performance together as the NYCGB Fellows of 2018-2019. We were all recovering from the excitement of releasing our video (which if you haven’t already seen, is an absolute must). Filming our debut music video in Berkeley Square actually felt less glamorous than expected, perhaps due to the 4am wake-up call. Nevertheless, thanks to the expertise of our filmmaker Elam Forrester, I think we all look pretty fresh…

Our final recital of the year took place at Waddesdon Manor. If you’ve never been before I can 100% recommend going. It is a beautiful country house in Buckinghamshire built by Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild between 1874 and 1885 to display his collection of arts and to entertain the fashionable world (Little did he know the heights of fashion would be stretched to their ultimate limits with the NYCGB Fellows – see photo above). The property was opened to the public in 1959 and is now a National Trust property – ideal for a family day out.

We had a line-up of some ‘absolute bangers’, from Harris’ 'Faire is the Heaven' to Smyth’s 'Laggard Dawn', and we also included some arrangements from our very own Luke Mather, Jacob Ewens and Lizzy Humphries. I have found working on arrangements written by my peers adds a unique quality to the performance, as it allows us to fully explore the group’s musical ideas without being influenced by previous interpretations.  

The only downside to the day was that we had to contend with the fact that our rehearsal clashed precisely with England’s quarter final meeting with Sweden. The stresses were exacerbated by England’s perpetual tropical temperatures. Fortunately, we were very well looked after by the staff at Waddesdon Manor, who made rehearsing in the sweltering heat that bit more manageable, and we still got to catch the occasional glimpse of the England game during breaks in the rehearsal. In the break between the rehearsal and the performance we were able to grab a quick bite to eat and explore the spectacular surroundings, including a prime spot for the group snap above – a potential future album cover perhaps?

The performance was greeted by a hugely appreciative audience and was a fantastic way to round off the year; exhibiting how much we have developed, not only as individual performers but also as a cohesive ensemble, all thanks to this fantastic opportunity offered by NYCGB.

Apply for the NYCGB Fellowship 2018-19

Applications for the 2018-19 NYCGB Fellowship programme are open now. To find out more about the programme and how to apply, CLICK HERE.