A lot has happened during my 12 courses at NCC; I’ve sung 3 different voice parts (slowly sliding down from soprano to tenor) and been in all 4 choirs so I’ll do my best to condense 8 years into as few words as possible!
I auditioned for the choir in 2016 after my friend who was already in the choir said I should join. I joined the Yellow Choir at Easter when I was in Year 6 at school and I was immediately hooked. ‘Yellows’ was so much fun, we got to sing some really good music and also had a lot of downtime (we call it recreation).
Rachel, the conductor, runs a ‘teatime treat’ which usually involves fun games before dinner and one night, the famous ‘Show Tune Singalong’ (there are plenty of clips on the Instagram of that!).
At the end of the Easter course, parents are invited on the last day to watch an open rehearsal, which is like an informal concert, so they can hear what we’ve been up to all week. In the summer course, we work towards the concert which everyone performs in on the last evening. We usually do a massed choir piece where all of the choirs come together to sing one piece. I remember the first time I did this in Yellow Choir, I was blown away by how loud it was! NCC pretty quickly became a second home for me and I moved up to Blue Choir
the next year.
In the year I spent with Blue Choir, the Easter Course was largely focused on recording our Christmas CD. It was slightly weird learning all of the Christmas music in April but I really enjoyed the recording sessions we did. It was so interesting watching the sound engineers set up and organise us so we would sound great on the recording. Blue Choir is conducted by Suzzie who is so much fun to work with! She has lots of crazy warm up songs that everyone at NCC loves. Again I only spent a year in Blue before moving up to Green Choir.
The year I joined Greens (2018) was the year before Stuart joined so our rehearsals were led by all of the conductors of the other choirs. Due to a fluke with the numbers that year, there were only 16 of us, making it a really fun chamber choir. In the Easter Course, we began learning a special commission for the choir, a piece called ‘The Girl From Aleppo’ by Cecilia McDowall which we would perform in the summer in Birmingham Town Hall at the 20th Anniversary Concert.
The following year (2019) we did another recording with our new conductor Stuart.
This again was so much fun and the pieces that year were really interesting. Because of the smaller size and high standard of Green Choir, the repertoire is often ‘a cappella’ which is really different and exciting to sing. Unfortunately, we lost 2 years due to COVID but we returned in person in 2022.
2022 was one of my favourite years in the choir, having not seen many of my friends since 2019 we were reunited and it was also my first year being a senior.
This means a whole lot more freedom and independence but it does mean evening rehearsals and challenging music. The Senior Choir Music Team of Dan, Ruairi, and Phil are brilliant to work with and we learn a really broad mix of music. In the summer course, as well as the concert, we got to busk in Shrewsbury which was really good fun (again see clips on Instagram!).
I had enjoyed 2022 so much that in the winter I decided to audition to become the scholar of the choir. This involves being a role model within the choir, spending time with all of the choirs and generally being a leader and inspiring others within the choir. To become the scholar you have to apply by writing a letter to Dan and Nicole and then go for an audition with Dan in London. As I was successful, I take on extra responsibilities with the choir for the next year.
After many years at Shrewsbury School, we moved to Bromsgrove School on the outskirts of Birmingham in 2023. Although we all initially missed Shrewsbury, we quickly settled in at Bromsgrove (the food here is awesome!).
This was also the first year I performed in the Cabaret evening which is a concert performed by individual members of all the choirs which is always amazing to listen to!
We had another fantastic Easter course at Bromsgrove, with some exciting new
music – the summer course can’t come soon enough…