Launching our 10th anniversary season
Published 7 October 2022 / updated 21 November 2022
LONDON YOUTH CHOIRS LAUNCHES 10TH ANNIVERSARY SEASON
London Youth Choirs (LYC) has today launched its 10th Anniversary Season, ten years to the day since its first after-school choir rehearsal was held in central London.
From an initial membership of just over 100, LYC has developed into a city-wide network of choirs with over 400 members representing some 200 schools and colleges and 30 of 33 London boroughs. A total of more than 7,000 children and young people have benefited from LYC membership and outreach activities in the decade. LYC has also established itself as a remarkable engine of opportunity, raising a total of some £2.6m since 2012 to support subsidised places for all members, fully cost-free membership for 1 in 5 members, and free auditions for all since 2021.
Remarkably, there was no dedicated citywide youth choir for young Londoners until 2012, when co-founders Rachel Staunton and Suzi Digby OBE were inspired by the London Olympic Games to create LYC as a singing social enterprise in which the uniquely unifying power of choir would bridge class and community divides, and bring young Londoners together in song.
Highlights since 2012 have included a string of high-profile performance opportunities for members including appearances alongside the Rolling Stones, the London Philharmonic Orchestra, and Ellie Goulding, and on stage at the Royal Albert Hall, the O2 Arena and as part of the Platinum Jubilee celebrations in honour of Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. The weekly programme of musical training, increasingly unavailable in schools, is highly rated by LYC members. Surveyed in 2022, 75% reported improved musicianship, and 92% improved singing skills. 90% agreed that LYC had supported their mental health and wellbeing.
LYC’s 10th Anniversary Season will further build on the successes of the first decade by focusing on the three key themes of Access, Belonging and Excellence. Initiatives over the next 12 months will include:
- Launching two new regional choirs in South West and North East London;
- Doubling financial assistance to ensure access to more young people from diverse backgrounds, backed by a £1m anniversary appeal;
- Reaching 1,000 new schoolchildren from beyond LYC’s membership as part of a relaunched outreach programme;
- A renewed commitment to pastoral care and inclusion driven by a newly-appointed Head of Pastoral Care & Safeguarding, and a new Equality, Diversity and Inclusion action plan;
- Increased member participation through a new Youth Advisory Panel;
- Outstanding performance opportunities including a landmark residency for senior LYC members at Snape Maltings, and a gala celebration concert for all LYC choirs at the Royal Albert Hall on 9 May 2023.
LYC Artistic Director Rachel Staunton said:
“I want to celebrate the hope that has been planted in thousands of children across one city over a decade. Through making new choirs, we have filled many young lives with joy and insuppressible memories which I know will have an impact for generations to come. The coming together of different communities, cultures, backgrounds and lived experiences make our unique capital city. It is this beautiful mix that makes LYC such an inspiring place to be, a place where every voice matters.”