Wendy Nieper sang with the National Youth Choir from 1988-1992. She now lives in Worcestershire.


When were you in NYCGB and what part did you sing?

I was in the National Youth Choir from 1988-1992. Alto 4 or lower!

Where do you now live, and what do you do?

I'm living in Evesham, Worcestershire, with two very under-aged kids for someone my age. Currently a Soprano (getting higher in the world), still singing and also now lecturing in contemporary music at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire.

Do you still sing, and if so, in what capacity?

Yep! Still hanging in there as a pro - a classical and jazz singer, session singer, voice overs… whatever you want! I’m currently in Dresden and tonight (19 April 2018) enjoyed a fab gig with the Dresden Staatskapelle orchestra in the glorious Semperoper with seven other singers, two of whom I know to also be ex-NYCGB-ers: Jo Goldsmith and Chris Neale.

What is your standout moment from your time in NYCGB?

So many stand out moments, in the choir of life! Friends, more friends, and glorious music to a standard that my
little school at that time could only dream of.

What is the one piece that if you heard it again would remind you of NYCGB?

Mendelssohn’s 'Hora Est': four separate choirs from four corners of Grace Cathedral in San Francisco. Roof-lifting stuff, and right through to your soul.

If you were to design a tour for the current National Youth Choir where would you take them?

My niece Ella (who has a fabulous voice) has been recently singing with NYC - and continuing the Nieper tradition! Perhaps I’d design the tour for her to include Japan (for culture), Lebanon (for history), Brazil (for parties) and always ending up for a festival in a small sleepy village in Italy for fine cuisine and atmosphere.

What skills did you gain in NYCGB that you still use in everyday life?

Shortly after leaving NYC I learned that the Swingle Singers' 'Bach Organ Fugue' was quite a useful thing to know when auditioning for... the Swingle Singers! Yes, they asked for that very one and being a Swingle was certainly a career-changer, especially after I'd failed my NYC Chamber choir audition (bad nerves i’m afraid). In NYC I fell in love with singing the inner harmony parts (Penderecki) and have spent a career doing so, those crunchy, tasty, clashy notes that come in contemporary music. Love it! NYC was an amazing place to get a taste for excellence, and the rewards great quality music brings, I’ve always strived to meet those kind of standards ever since.

You are having a fantasy dinner party: who's invited? 

Luciano Berio - The finest contemporary writer for voice, though mind you he was a grumpy so and so. Probably not the best for dinner, he might sack the cook. On second thoughts my husband and kids would do nicely!

Your house is on fire. Your family and pets are safe, but you have time to save just one possession. What do you save?

A picture of my late brother.

What is the theme tune to your nightmares/ dreams?

Bam bam...

Wendy Nieper was speaking to Andy Farris.


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