2019-20 Young Composers Scheme:

Application Deadline: Friday 30 August, 5pm


The scheme is open to aspiring young composers aged 18+ on 1 September 2019 and under 30 on 31 August 2020 who demonstrate clear ability, potential, and a passion for creating high-quality, imaginative new music for vocal ensembles.

We want to support composers in the early stages of their career and who are committed to developing their potential as professional composers. In order to fully participate in this wide-ranging programme and experience its full benefits, applicants should not be in full-time formal education between the start of the programme and September 2020.

We don’t necessarily expect candidates to have undertaken formal education or training – and they don’t need to be a published composer, or to have music qualifications e.g. a Music degree or A-Level to apply.

We want to work with composers from a wide range of backgrounds and experiences and actively encourage applications from those working in ways which are not ‘traditionally choral’ or acoustic.

We will prioritise candidates who we think are at the right point in their development for the scheme to provide most benefit.  

If you have any questions about the scheme including around your eligibility to apply, you can contact us at any time by emailing: [email protected]


Applications for the 2019/20 scheme open on Friday 2 August 2019 at www.nycgb.org.uk.

Candidates must submit an application form, including details of two portfolio items, by Friday 30 August 2019 at 5pm.

Shortlisted candidates will be invited to a half-day workshop and interview with NYCGB Artistic Director Ben Parry and NMC Recordings Executive Director Anne Rushton in London on Saturday 14 September 2019. The four successful composers will be notified by email as soon as possible after the interview.


We want the scheme to be accessible to the widest possible range of creative approaches. If you are not sure whether your portfolio items are suitable, please contact [email protected] 

Candidates must complete an application form and submit it together with at least two and maximum four portfolio items.

  • At least one portfolio item must be a notated or otherwise visualised score*, and attached to the online application form.
  • At least one portfolio item must be an audio or video recording of your music.
  • Portfolio item 1 must include vocal ensemble (two or more vocal parts occurring simultaneously), and portfolio item 2 must feature a voice or voices in some way.
  • Video portfolio items should be uploaded to YouTube or Vimeo, and linked in the online application form.
  • Audio portfolio items should be uploaded to YouTube, Soundcloud, a personal website or other freely accessible platform, and linked in the online 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.

Download the application form.

Click here to download the equal opportunities monitoring form.


Shortlisted candidates will attend an interactive workshop where you will learn more about the choirs and the organisation, our approach to singing and, most importantly, the parameters for producing completed scores for the choirs to sing from. The interview will take the form of a short conversation in which candidates will be asked to give an overview of their composing portfolio to date, and to discuss their particular interest in writing for vocal ensembles. 


The NYCGB Young Composer Scheme 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 training programme. 


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

The 2019/20 programme will run in four phases.

Download the draft schedule.

If you have any questions about the scheme including around your eligibility to apply, you can contact us at any time a[email protected]

Find out what happens on the scheme