Launched in 2015, the National Youth Choir Fellowship Programme aims to create the most highly skilled and multi-talented choral singers in the UK. Each year, 4 singers aged 22-25 are selected from an intensive three round audition process to benefit from a comprehensive, remunerated training programme which develops outstanding skills in performance, education and leadership.

Fellows 2023

Group shot of 4 fellows, two men and two women

Emily Varney

Emily is a choral leader, soprano and actor based in London. She is a Music Specialist for the Artis Foundation, Course Tutor for the Hallé Youth Ensembles, and resident Teacher of Singing at Esher College. A former scholar at the Manchester Oratory and Salford Cathedral, she is a Genesis Sixteen alumnus, singing regularly with Kantos, and is in demand as a soloist of operatic and oratorio repertoire. She is passionate about theatrical performances of choral music, training at Gary Condés Acting Intensive and alum of The Inspire Acting Studio, and Orange Tree Theatre’s Young Company. Emily is a first-class graduate from RNCM and is looking forward to starting her master’s in September at RAM.

Chris O'Leary

Born and raised in Glasgow, Chris first moved to England to study music at the University of Oxford where he was a choral scholar with Christ Church Cathedral Choir, directed numerous student ensembles, and was awarded the Clifford Smith Prize for Music. Now based in London, he recently completed his Masters in Musicology and Ethnomusicology at King’s College London, receiving the Hilda Margaret Watts Prize for graduating top of his year. Since graduating, he continues to perform regularly with the KCL Chapel Choir where he was the Ouseley Trust Scholar and featured as the soloist on a recording of Rachmaninov’s Vespers. He frequently sings with professional choirs and ensembles across the country and freelances as a conductor, and has been selected for masterclasses with Sir Thomas Allen CBE, Peter Stark, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, and the Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra. Chris is currently a Lay Clerk at St George’s Cathedral, teaches and directs the choir at a prep school, and is thrilled to be working with NYCGB this year to develop as a choral leader.

Antonio Oliveira

Antonio is a singer, choral leader and teacher from London. He was a founding member of the youth choir Inner Voices in 2011, and went on to study music at the University of Hull. He has performed with the London Youth Choirs, University of Hull Chapel Choir, One World Freedom Chorus, BBC Proms Youth Choir, Thomas Tallis Society Choir, London Handel Festival and the St John the Divine Choir. Antonio is passionate about providing opportunities for quality music making and singing to young people, and does this through his work with the London Youth Choirs, Ark Academies and Southwark Music Service.

Sarina Rattan

Sarina is a British-Indian musician who grew up in London. She is a recent music graduate of The University of Birmingham where she specialised in choral conducting. She is currently working as a music teacher and keyboard tutor with Brent Music Service and is the director of a workplace choir for Merkle, an advertising agency.

Fellows 2022

NYCGB Fellowship 2022. Photography: Rich Hardcastle

Our Seventh Fellowship cohort:

  • Jason Ching
  • Timothy Peters
  • Florence Price
  • Olivia Shotton

Fellows 2021

NYCGB Fellowship 2021. Photography: Ben Tomlin

Our Sixth Fellowship cohort:

Fellows 2019-20

NYCGB Fellowship 2019-20. Image: Ben Tomlin

Our Fifth Fellowship cohort:

Fellows 2018-19

NYCGB Fellowship octet 2018-19. Image: Louise Cowley

Our Fourth Fellowship octet completed their programme in Autumn 2019:

  • Ailsa Campbell
  • George Cook
  • Sam Gilliatt
  • Jack Harberd
  • Ben Munden
  • Gabriella Noble
  • Danni O'Neill
  • Clare Sutherland

Fellows 2017-18

NYCGB Fellowship octet 2017-18. Image: Ben Tomlin

Our third Fellowship octet completed their programme in August 2018:

Fellows 2016-17

NYCGB Fellowship octet 2016-17. Image: Andy Staples

Our second Fellowship octet completed their programme in October 2017:

Fellows 2015-16

NYCGB Fellowship octet 2015-16. Image: Graeme Robertson

Our first cohort of Fellowship holders completed their programme in August 2016: