Audition booking for the National Youth Girls', Boys' and Training Choirs has now closed. 

Please note that the next round of auditions for the National Youth Choir (age 18 and over by 31st August 2020) will take place in May 2021. Join our mailing list to stay informed of audition booking announcements.

What happens at an audition? 

Information for candidates

The big day! We want to assess your ability, potential, enthusiasm and your readiness to learn. Our friendly NYCGB staff will help put you at ease on the day.

  • Your parent or carer will receive a ‘Zoom’ invitation via the registered email address on the ‘My NYCGB’ account. This will include a link to log onto Zoom, the meeting ID and password. 
  • For guidelines on how to use Zoom: Click here
  • Together with a supervising adult or carer, log onto Zoom and join the meeting 5 minutes prior to the audition slot, where you will be greeted by the administrator.
  • We recommend you warm up your voice before your audition; please watch this helpful video from Girls’ Choir Principal Conductor Jo Tomlinson, and have a glass of water to hand.

  • The administrator will admit you to the online audition room once you are ready, where you will meet the two staff members on our NYCGB audition panel.  
  • The panellists will lead you through the audition process so you'll always know what to do next. They want you to feel confident and at ease.
  • Your audition will last between 10 and 15 minutes. Once you have completed your audition, you can click on the ‘Leave Meeting’ button on the bottom right hand side of the screen. 

We will send an email to your parent or carer with your result, once all auditions have taken place.

The Audition Process

Watch this short video from our Artistic Director Ben Parry and former NYCGB member, opera singer Fizz Buckland who explain what happens at an audition.

Your audition will last between 10 and 15 minutes, and include the following four stages:

  1. Getting to know you

We’re keen to recruit singers who are passionate about music and singing in choirs. We would like to find out why you love singing and why you have decided to audition for NYCGB.

  1. Getting to know your voice

To help us to get to know your singing voice, the panel will lead you through some simple vocal exercises. This will help us to get a clear understanding of where you could be placed in one of our NYCGB choirs. There’s nothing to prepare here, but do make sure you’re warmed up and ready to sing (see video above).

  1. Song (unaccompanied)

At NYCGB we’re passionate about all styles of music. You’re welcome to sing any song you like in your audition. We welcome songs from all genres and enjoy discovering new music through the audition process. It could be a song you’ve learnt with a teacher, music from your own culture or something by your favourite artist or composer. 

We’re looking for great singers, so make sure you pick a song that shows off your voice and that you love to sing. We’d like you to sing your song from memory and without accompaniment or backing track. If you need a starting note our audition panel will help you. When considering what song to sing, make sure it’s something you feel comfortable singing on your own.

  1. Musicianship

There are lots of elements that combine to create a good musician, which we will explore in this part of your audition. This part of your audition will vary depending on your age and experience. We are not trying to catch you out! We just want to see what you know, how you think, how developed your musical ear is and how much musical potential you have. Below are some examples of what we might ask you to do:

School Years 5-10 (England & Wales), P5-S3 (Scotland) and P6-Year 11 (Northern Ireland):        

  1. Clap or vocalise a simple call-and-response rhythm
  2. Sing back pitches played on the piano
  3. Sing back the higher, lower or middle of two or three notes played together on the piano
  4. Sing notated musical pitches on the screen and clap/vocalise notated rhythms
  5. Identify musical symbols such as dynamics (e.g. loud, soft, crescendo), accidentals (sharps, flats), key signatures and clefs

From School Years 11 (England & Wales), S4 (Scotland) and Year 12 (Northern Ireland):

  1. Sing a simple call-and-response melody
  2. Read some notated pitches and melodies
  3. Identify regular key signatures
  4. Identify musical symbols such as clefs, accidentals (sharps, flats), dynamics (e.g. loud, soft, crescendo), tempo and articulation (e.g. staccato, accent)
  5. Sing a named note from a given note played on the piano
  6. Sing a named interval from a given note played on the piano

Depending on your age and experience, reading music and sight-singing are not an essential requirement for the audition, but we may explore this to assess your ability.  

We have some really helpful NYCGB musicianship resources here, which you can watch and work through before your audition.

Meet Our Audition Panel!

From top, left to right: Joanna Tomlinson (NYCGB Principal Conductor – Girls’ Choir), Peter Brathwaite, Caroline Jaya-Ratnam, Katie Thomas, Veronica Veysey Campbell, Liz Swain, Lucy Joy Morris (NYCGB Principal Conductor – Boys’ Choir), Greg Hallam, Greg Beardsell (NYCGB Principal Conductor – Training Choir), Felicity Buckland, Neil Ferris, Joe McHardy, Felicity Hamilton, Adam Hope and James Slimings.

For more information visit our other pages

Audition! National Youth Girls’, Boys’ and Training Choir

How to book