NYCGB Young Composers Scheme

Digital partner: NMC Recordings

Are you aged 18-25? Are you skilled at creating imaginative music - in any tradition, style or medium - for groups of voices? The NYCGB Young Composers Scheme could help you take your craft to the next level, with professional mentoring, retreats, workshops - and close collaboration with brilliant young singers of your own age. Apply now!

The NYCGB Young Composers Scheme is a new initiative run with Digital Partner NMC Recordings which aims to annually identify and develop four talented composers aged 18-25 who are passionate about creating high quality, imaginative new music for vocal ensembles. Running over a whole year, it offers a rewarding programme of residential courses and retreats, workshops, peer and professional mentoring and performance showcases and outlets.  

Residential courses will be shared with the National Youth Choir and NYCGB Fellowship octet, allowing composers exceptional opportunities to collaborate with outstanding young singers of their own age. Professional mentoring will be led by NYCGB Artistic Director and Peters Edition composer Ben Parry, with guest mentor Anna Meredith.

Wide-reaching showcase opportunities will be offered for works completed during the programme, including concert performances and a professional recording and release on NMC Recordings. NYCGB and NMC Recordings will significantly raise awareness of composers and their work through publicity and profiling. Composers will be awarded a personal Innovation Fund of £500 to undertake their own creative initiatives.

Apply for the 2018-19 Young Composers Scheme

Applications for the 2018-19 Young Composer Scheme are now closed.

Shortlisted candidates will be invited to a half-day workshop and interview on Saturday 22 September 2018 with NYCGB Artistic Director Ben Parry and NMC Recordings Chief Executive Anne Rushton at Mulberry Rooms Hall in Bethnal Green, East London. The four successful composers will be notified by the end of September.


The scheme is open to composers aged 18+ on 1 September 2018 and under 26 on 31 August 2019 who demonstrate clear ability, potential, and a passion for creating high-quality, imaginative new music for vocal ensembles. You do not need to be a published composer, or to have a Music degree or A-Level. We actively encourage applications from those working in ways which are not traditionally choral or acoustic.


Candidates must submit a minimum of two and a maximum of four portfolio items.

  • At least one portfolio item must be a notated or otherwise visualised score*.
  • At least one portfolio item must be an audio or video recording.
  • At least one item must include vocal ensemble (two or more vocal parts occurring simultaneously), and at least two items must feature a voice or voices in some way.
  • Video items should be uploaded to YouTube or Vimeo, a personal website etc and links provided in your application form.
  • Audio items should be uploaded to YouTube, Soundcloud, a personal website etc and links provided in your application form.

*We do not wish to restrict applications by composers working in non-notated forms, for example beatboxing or sequencing. However, we will require you to demonstrate that you can communicate your musical ideas in some sort of written or diagram form. Please contact [email protected] if you are unsure.


This is a free training programme, with all expenses paid. Each composer will also receive a personal Innovation Fund of £500 which they may use to fund creative endeavours linked to their work on the programme.


If selected, you must be available for all scheduled programme activities.


The NYCGB Young Composer Scheme will offer as much creative freedom as possible. We want composers to experiment, and to be free to reject ideas as well as take them forward. 

NYCGB’s artistic theme for 2018-19, ‘Science and Discovery’, will provide a thematic framework and starting point for ideas and inspiration, although you will be free to develop your own ideas. The specialist backgrounds and expertise of the programme mentors will also inspire and influence you.

Finally, you will meet human creative influences in the singers who you will be writing for in the first instance – the National Youth Choir and the NYCGB Fellowship octet. Learning how to write effectively for these two very different groups will be at the heart of the scheme.


We hope that student composers will complete at least one piece for the National Youth Choir, National Youth Chamber Choir or Fellowship Octet to perform and record by the end of the programme. However, this is not mandatory, and we expect there will be occasions when composers decide their work is not complete to their satisfaction and that the process will be deemed as ‘work in progress’. Some composers may be stimulated to complete more than one piece for recording and/or performance and this too is welcomed, although performances of further pieces by the choirs cannot be guaranteed. 

If you want a work recorded in August, you will need to have completed performance-ready scores (or other performance reference material appropriate to your work) in time for these to be proofed, printed and distributed to the performing ensembles at the start of the course.


We are most grateful for the incredibly generous support from The Garrick Charitable Trust and the Lord and Lady Lurgan Trust who have kindly provided support towards the inaugural year of our Young Composers Scheme.

Digital Partner: NMC Recordings