6 September 2012

The National Youth Choir of Australia (NYCA) is bolstered this year by 10 singers from The University of Queensland's School of Music.

UQ Choral Conducting Fellow Graeme Morton said it was a major achievement for the students and demonstrated UQ's very high standard of singers.

“10 of the 22 singers, almost half the choir, is comprised of UQ Music students," he said.

For 18 years, NYCA has brought together the best voices from around Australia, drawing from students aged 18-26 years old.

Its annual program involves one week of intensive training for its students.

This year, the program took place in Brisbane, with the NYCA singers given free accommodation at UQ’s Duchesne College.

“Having the students stay at Dushesne allowed choir members to form strong bonds through spending time together outside of rehearsals and performances,” Mr Morton said.

“The ensemble is strengthened when members developed connections between themselves," he said.

“It made this season one of the best in the choir’s history.”

The intensive week included 47 hours of rehearsing and performing, and workshops and sessions such as ‘the art of conducting’ and ‘how to care for your voice’, and time rehearsing and performing around Brisbane City.

The wider cohort of UQ students also benefited from the intensive rehearsal week.

Student composers were able to work with the choirs, learning what singers require from a conductor, and have their written pieces rehearsed and commented upon by choir members.

Current students consider NYCA as a “challenging, musically enriching” experience and encourage other students to audition for future seasons.

“The NYCA challenges you. It has a large repertoire to draw from and allows students to work with national conductors” said music student Zoe Penman.

“The experiences of the choir have impacted on who I am,” said music student Jessica Taylor.

For 2013 auditioning information and video footage of the NYCA go to http://nyca.org.au/
NYCA inquiries: Mr Graeme Morton (g.morton@uq.edu.au or ph: 07 3365 3500).

Media: Kimberly Dobson (k.dobson1@uq.edu.au) or ph (07) 3365 2866