LYC is ten years young – we’re only just getting started!
It doesn’t seem possible that there was no such thing as London Youth Choirs until 2012. Fast forward ten years and LYC is a singing family for hundreds of young people from across the capital. Our membership, music and mission reflect and draw their energy from the incredible diversity of the city we share.
There’s loads to celebrate, which for us means looking forward. Because after ten years, we’re only just getting started!
Read on to find out more, and how you can celebrate with us.
How we’re celebrating
To celebrate hitting double figures, LYC is doubling down on our founding promises to unlock young people’s potential through the power of choral singing, and to be a singing home for all young Londoners.
Throughout 2022-23 we will celebrate and champion three themes which will also set the tone for our next 10 years: Access, Belonging, and Excellence.
Celebrating the 10th anniversary of LYC’s first ever choir rehearsal, 7th October 2022
What we're doing
- Deepening our reach into communities by launching two new regional choirs for young people and their families in SW and NE London, growing the LYC family to 10 choirs in total, with 6 central and 4 regional choirs.
- Doubling financial assistance to ensure musical opportunities to more young people who usually do not have the chance to take part because of financial and geographical barriers.
- Led by our newly-appointed Head of Engagement, our relaunched schools outreach programme LYC Experience will make new engagements with 1,000 children from 16 schools beyond our current membership, in a singing programme culminating in an exciting performance as part of our 10th anniversary concert at the Royal Albert Hall on 9 May 2023.
- Creating more opportunities to get a taste of LYC membership through free Come & Sing family events held in communities, and new termly open evenings across our family of choirs.
What we're doing
- Led by our newly-appointed Head of Safeguarding and Pastoral Care, and responding to new pressures on young people’s health and mental wellbeing, we will further upgrade our dedicated pastoral support programme with new resources and activities to support specialist and additional needs, ensuring a welcoming environment for all to thrive, feel safe and included.
- A new Equality, Diversity and Inclusion action plan will see LYC bring a renewed commitment to these areas throughout our organisation, including staffing and training, programme and participant development, pricing and marketing and fundraising, building on principles of accessibility, anti-racism, respect and difference.
- Increasing LYC members’ sense of belonging with a new Youth Advisory Panel offering eight senior members opportunities to take a share in LYC’s development and directly represent member voice at board level.
- Ensuring that LYC belongs to London more by extending our performance activities into shared and community spaces, building on our successful ‘Singing in the City’ pilot in 2022.
What we're doing
- Maintaining weekly musicianship training to ensure skills development in this crucial area at a time of retreating music provision in schools.
- Modelling best practice in youth composition and championing new and underrepresented voices, we will engage a diverse range of composers to work collaboratively with LYC members in creating new music for young people to sing.
- Ensuring exposure to the widest-possible repertoire and representation of choral music, offering members of all ages the chance to sing in multiple genres and languages.
- Offering outstanding opportunities through partnership, including a landmark residency for senior LYC members at Snape Maltings, mentoring from leading professional vocal consort Tenebrae, and joint performances with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir.
- Proactively signposting opportunities for members to continue their singing journeys beyond LYC, including auditions for the National Youth Choirs of Great Britain, university scholarships and conservatoire training.
Making it happen
To support all this work, and to ensure that we remove every possible barrier to LYC for all young Londoners, we’ve launched our biggest-ever fundraising appeal.
Between 2022 and 2024 we’re aiming to raise a grand total of one million pounds.
We’ve currently raised £588,520.
LYC 10th anniversary £1m appeal
Celebrate with us
A tenth anniversary is the best possible excuse for a party!
Throughout our anniversary year, we invite all Londoners to celebrate with us by joining, supporting and representing LYC. Together, we can reach even more children and young people across our great city, transforming more lives and unlocking potential through the power of choral singing.
LYC is a charity and receives no regular public funding. We have ambitious plans to expand LYC’s reach to bring the joy of singing to more young Londoners than ever before, but we need your help!
Can you make a donation to help us achieve our ambitious music education goals for young people?
To make a donation to LYC, just follow the link to our secure online appeal page.
Or, if you’d like to discuss in more detail how you can support, please email our Head of Development, Alice Beverley.
Can you shout about LYC to your networks? We’re a year-round good news story representing the best of London.
Can you connect LYC to existing great work in London communities? We love working in partnership – and singing makes everything better!
Can you represent LYC where you work or live? We can give you information and resources to suit your needs.
If you can represent LYC in any of these or other ways, we’d love to hear from you.
Please email our Head of Engagement, Ishani O’Connor.
Do you love singing? Do you live and/or go to school in London? Are you aged 7-23?
With two new choirs launching in 2022-23, there have never been more opportunities to join LYC and to enjoy amazing tuition and performances.
We hold auditions three times a year – and they’re always free!
We know that people have a lot of questions and things they want to know about joining LYC, so we put everything on one single page of our website.
The Story so far…
LYC launches five choirs: Boys’ Choir, Girls’ Choir. Training Choir, London Youth Choir and Chamber Choir. The first rehearsals take place at St Saviour’s Pimlico and Pimlico Academy.
Youth Music funds enable LYC’s first major schools workshop project, reaching 66 state primary and secondary schools across London.
We also commission new music for the first time: ‘Reflections’, based on the ‘Friday Afternoons’ songs by Benjamin Britten.
LYC members perform live on stage at Wembley Arena with Ellie Goulding as part of We Day Festival.
LYC makes its TV debut in broadcasts with Honorary Patron Gareth Malone OBE (Who Do You Think You Are? – BBC) and Jamie Oliver
(Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution).
LYC features on the soundtrack of Channel 4’s Christmas TV broadcast animation of ‘We’re Going On A Bear Hunt‘ based on the book by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury.
Our choirs make two Royal Albert Hall appearances as part of the Royal British Legion Festival of Remembrance and My Great Orchestral Adventure.
LYC Aspire, an ambitious outreach programme involving primary schools in disadvantaged areas of London, is launched with generous support from the John Lyon’s Charity.
LYC Chamber Choir members work with Dame Kiri Te Kanawa as part of Sky Arts’ ‘Passions’ documentary on the life and music of Leonard Bernstein.
Choir members are filmed singing ‘Air that we breathe’ for the Mayor of London’s Clean Air Campaign, and perform at the premiere of Patrick Hawes’ ‘Great War Symphony’ at Classic FM Live at the Royal Albert Hall.
Our first collaborative concert with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir is of Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 at the Royal Festival Hall, conducted by Vladimir Jurowski.
A packed pre-Christmas schedule includes performing at ICAP Charity Day, Coutts Bank, Mansion House, and on the Zoe Ball Radio 2 Breakfast Show to 8 million people.
LYC goes online within weeks of the Covid-19 lockdown, moving all choir rehearsals to Zoom.
We launch LYC Live, a new members’ website with resources to support mental health, waive all membership fees for the Summer Term, produce 2 virtual concerts, 600 hours of online rehearsals and public online workshops attended by 600 – and launch our 8th choir, LYC West.
LYC returns to live rehearsals following many lockdowns. We run a singing competition adjudicated by Louise Marshall and Gareth Malone.
Twenty LYC members perform onstage with Jason Donovan at the Platinum Party at the Palace as part of the Jubilee celebrations for Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. This is our second Royal performance in a matter of months, after LYC Chamber Choir performed at the Commonwealth Day celebrations at Westminster Abbey in March.
The full LYC family of choirs, now 10 choirs strong with the creation of LYC North East, comes together with over 1,000 guest singers from London schools for RISE UP – our 10th Anniversary celebration showcase – at the iconic Royal Albert Hall.