NewYVC (New Young Voice Collective) – A case study

Jane Wheeler at William Ellis SchoolNew YVC is a dynamic choir of 10-18 year olds who are resident at Stratford Circus, led by musical directors Jane Wheeler and Pam Hulme. Stratford Circus, in partnership with Living Song, successfully bid for funding from Youth Music and Newham Music Hub to support the development of this choir over a 2 year period.

The primary aim of this funded project is to establish a world class youth choir, recognised for excellence, innovation and inclusion, developing singing skills, confidence and leadership skills through the pursuit of musical excellence. The project brings together organisations and individuals from Newham and other east London boroughs to create a singing community.

Young people in NewYVC are identified by teachers as talented and eager to progress, demonstrating enthusiasm and readiness for singing. We have run a series of taster sessions in local schools to recruit new members, creating strong links with schools and music teachers. This has enabled the project to tap into local talent and offer progression routes to young people who may not have otherwise had the opportunity to reach their musical potential. The project also provides professional development opportunities for teachers, choral leaders and young music mentors (aged 18-25) who support the leadership of the choir.

Teachers, music coordinators and choral leaders are invited to attend NewYVC rehearsals and performances to pick up great tips about music that children love to sing and to gain continuing professional development by observing other choral leaders. They can also sign up to the Choral Music Experience (CME), a world-class choral conductor training programme, also based at Stratford Circus in association with NewYVC and Living Song.

NewYVC sing a broad range of repertoire, from Take That to Handel, and from musical theatre to African folk song. Performing regularly in both formal and informal settings, NewYVC often host their own singing events at Stratford Circus and invite their associated choirs to join them. It is a fantastic way for both youth and adult, community and school choirs to encourage, share with and learn from each other, whilst increasing confidence and self-esteem. The choir also have the opportunity to feature in professional performances as part of Stratford Circus’ artistic programme.

Clare Connor, Director of Stratford Circus said: “My absolute highlight in 2013 was seeing NewYVC perform on a professional platform alongside the incredible musician and composer Randolph Mathews. Randolph said it was a “career high” to return to Stratford Circus and we were all thrilled to see the choir perform in a truly professional setting with an appreciative audience.”

To see the documentary film of this choir in action, please contact living song here to request the link and password.

CASE STUDY – New Young Voice Collective

NewYVC is so much more than just a choir. It is a cornerstone of a musical community, bringing people from across organisations and situations together, to enjoy wonderfully inspiring music, and to share and learn together.

“I have reached notes I never could before and it has boosted my confidence in singing songs I could never sing.”

“Since I started with NewYVC I have progressed in my singing and learnt new styles I never thought I would be confident in. I have become much more confident in singing and now like to try new things.”

“I like how our voices all blend together to make one powerful note.”

“It gives me confidence and singing in the choir I don’t feel alone but I feel like we’re a big community and we can do it together.”

“It’s challenging, and it’s a leap from where I was before…but I’m getting there!”

– NewYVC members

Achievements April 2013 – July 2014

  •  80 young people participated in NewYVC over the 4 terms.
  • 8 performances including 2 as part of professional productions (Randolph Matthews and
  • Filament Theatre’s Momo) and 3 as part of high profile external events (Brandenburg ChoralFestival, Southbank Chorus Festival and UNITE Student’s launch).
  • Total audience numbers of more than 1,700.
  • 26 taster workshops in school.
  • 1226 young people have participated in workshops.
  • 7 professional artists/musicians have led masterclasses with NewYVC.
  • Professional development delivered to 31 teachers.
  • Collaborations with 14 other community and school choirs.

If you would like to see NewYVC in action, please send us a message and we will email you the link and the password.