We are very excited to finally be able to start the process for our 2021 courses and are really looking forward to seeing everyone. I would like to say a particular welcome to those who are new to NCCGB.
Many of you will know Harriet Smith as she was previously the Assistant Conductor for Blue Choir. Harriet was appointed to the new post of Head of Pastoral Care last January and has been working alongside me, preparing for 2021. She will be leading our wonderful pastoral team and will be the main contact for parents/carers should you need to contact us during a course. Harriet is also now our Safeguarding Lead. She brings a wealth of experience from her role as Teacher of Music, Head of Year and Safeguarding Officer at a secondary school.
Dan Ludford-Thomas continues in his role as Musical Director and will be leading the Music Team, bringing his renowned vision and expertise to the repertoire and musical experience of our choristers. He has also been working alongside me throughout the break this year.
The three of us will work together in leading the whole team to ensure that your children have the best experience they can from their time at NCCGB, both musically and pastorally. I am of course always pleased to hear any feedback, so please do feel free to contact me at any point.
Our trustees have reviewed the current guidance and have taken the decision to run our Easter course online. We need to take the decision now to ensure that we can plan properly and offer your child the best experience possible under the circumstances.
Current guidance states that residential visits are not allowed. This will be reviewed in due course, but the decision will be taken too late for us to able to get everything in place in time for Easter.
We have really missed not being able to get our choirs together, and whilst an online course is by no means a full substitute for a residential course, we want our young people to have the opportunity to sing together again, see their friends and have fun.
Please rest assured that we will do our very best to make this a proper NCC experience!
ONLINE COURSE CONTENT AND PLANS
The online course will run from Monday 5th April – Friday 9th April, inclusive. We have decided to shorten the week slightly to try to prevent online fatigue.
We are offering sessions for all choirs on all days.
We are still finalising the schedule. We anticipate that the core day will run from 10am-3pm with some breaks, and on some days with additional social sessions in the afternoon/evening. We will tailor the schedule for each choir.
Each child will have at least two rehearsal sessions each day. They will rehearse at least three pieces from the repertoire. During the week they will have one singing lesson on a one-to-one basis with a singing teacher. We will also teach musicianship and do sectional work.
The schedule will include the opportunity to attend talks and workshops from professionals from the music world.
At the end of the course, the children will be asked to record themselves singing their part and submit it to us. We will then use a professional producer to put everything together to produce a virtual choir.
The schedule for the week will also include at least one daily social/recreational session, and the opportunity for choirs to mix to learn from one another.
We are hoping that we may be able to run a residential course in the summer but are very aware that the situation with Covid-19 is constantly changing. It is impossible to predict what the situation will be in August, and what we will be allowed to do. There are currently tough restrictions on choirs, when it is not lockdown, which if not lifted, would mean we would be unable to offer our normal course, even if residential trips were allowed.
For this reason, the trustees have decided to review the situation again in February.
If we can meet as normal, the summer course will take place at Shrewsbury School.
2021 COURSE DATES
All choirs Monday 5th – Friday 9th April
All choirs Sunday 1st August – Saturday 7th August
2021 CHOIR REGISTRATION
2021 Easter course registration is open now; to register a choir member, please click here… Registrations are due by Friday 12th February, together with a non-refundable registration fee of £75
I would be very grateful if payments and registration forms could be submitted on time. It makes things very complicated and time-consuming when registrations are received late. Your child’s place cannot be guaranteed if registration is received after 12th February.
All new starters must attend the Easter course.
Summer registration will open at a later date, once we know what format the course will be taking.
I appreciate parents/carers’ understanding that this is not going to be a normal choir year and I have to manage the administration slightly differently this year as a result.
2021 COURSE FEES
2021 EASTER COURSE FEE PAYMENTS
Easter course Registration fee £ 75.00 Friday 12th February
Course balance: £225.00 Friday 12th March
Course fees must have been made in full before the beginning of the course.
Bank details for payment are as follows:
Account name: National Children’s Choir of Great Britain
Sort code: 40 52 40
Account number: 00011908
Some parents prefer to pay in weekly or monthly instalments to spread the cost of courses. Please note that if you would like to pay in instalments, this must be agreed before payments begin. Please contact me if you would like to do this.
The trustees have agreed to introduce a 10% sibling discount for 2021 The total reduction will be taken off the course balance. I will write to parents involved to specify the amount that they will need to pay for the balance, once I have received all sibling registration forms, and initial registration fees.
NCCGB has a bursary scheme which is funded by donations and fundraising. Our aim is to provide support where it is most needed, by contributing to course fees. We also use the fund to give emergency fee support to families who have a crisis during the year. Currently we are not able to give full bursaries but hope to be able to do so in the future.
All bursary applications, including all supporting paperwork, must be received by February 12th. Applications will not be accepted after this deadline. You can find the bursary application form here:..
Please ensure that all supporting information is included. If a bursary applicant is unsuccessful in their application and as a result wishes to withdraw their registration, the registration fees will be refunded.
If you are successful in your application for a bursary, the award will apply for each course that you register for. There will be no need to reapply for the summer course.
Applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application by Friday 26th February.
THE POTENTIAL TRUST
The Potential Trust offers questor bursaries to children and young people from low or lower-income families who have the potential for high attainment (possibly though not necessarily academically) but who are not achieving at the level they could reach and cannot afford to take part in activities that:
• enable them to learn new things and to try new challenges
• enable them to explore existing interests or mastery of skills in greater depth
• encourage them to make new friends and have new experiences
If your child meets their criteria, you can apply to them for a bursary towards an NCCGB course. For further information visit their website in the first instance: here… Information can be found on the ‘Questor bursaries’ page in the section called ‘what we fund’. Alternatively, you can call on 01844 351666
NCCGB PRIVACY DOCUMENTS
You will receive most communications from us by email and much of our documentation is electronic; you will find our privacy documents on the General Information page of the website. Please note that some of the other policies are in the process of being updated and will be adopted by our Trustees in February 2021
Our staff will all be aware who are new to the choir this year, so they are able to keep an eye on them and step in if they need any extra support. Our online Easter course schedule will include a session for new starters to welcome them to the choir and help them to meet others.
I will send details of the process for gaining access to the member’s area of the website to all new starters upon receipt of the registration fee and completed membership form.
A reminder that by making your online purchases via our page here Easyfundraising you can contribute to the NCCGB bursary fund. This costs you nothing and every penny raised will be used to support choir members who might otherwise not be able to attend courses.
We are really looking forward to seeing our choir members at Easter and bringing NCCGB together again. We want to give them the opportunities they have missed in 2020 and we plan to have lots of fun in doing so!
Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions.