Join the Choirs

Membership of the London Youth Choir ensembles is by audition. We invite applications from singers aged between school year 3 and 21 years, who are either living or educated in Greater London. We are looking for singers who have great potential for their age, are confident in how they use their voices and enjoy performing. You must have a keen desire to learn new things and to work hard and are committed to attending all LYC rehearsals and events.

**Our next audition dates are Monday 4th & 11th September**
These dates include auditions for the LYC Chamber Choir 2017-18

Auditions are held in the first week of each full school term. If you are applying as a treble (male unbroken voice), tenor or bass, we may be able to hear you on a regular rehearsal night in term time.

How do I apply?

To request an audition please complete our audition application formBefore submitting the form please ensure you are able to attend rehearsals by visiting our ‘Choirs‘ page. Once you have submitted the form, you will be contacted by one of our team. Please note that, if submitted some time before the audition date, it may take a few weeks for us to contact you with an audition time.

How much does an audition cost?

Auditions cost £15 per applicant, payable on the day.  If you are offered a place in the choir, you will pay a termly subscription fee, which includes a complimentary choir t-shirt and concert folder. There is no joining fee.

The standard termly subscription is £85, paid in the first three weeks of term. We offer a comprehensive staggered bursary scheme for those less able to afford these costs; if you would like to discuss these further, please email Emily Sanders at office@londonyouthchoir.com. Financial assistance for travel costs and concert uniform is also available.

What will happen at the audition?

What your audition involves will depend on your age. Primary school candidates will participate in group workshops lasting 20 – 30 minutes, with secondary school (and older) candidates having 5 – 10 minute individual auditions. Please read below to find out more.

Primary School Candidates (Yrs 3 - 6)

Candidates in school years 3 – 6 will take part in group workshops lasting 20-30 minutes. These workshops are designed to resemble usual LYC rehearsal activities. This is for the dual purpose of giving you an idea of what LYC membership may be like, and to help us see if what we do will suit you. During the workshop, you will learn some singing games and warm ups in a group of 6 – 10 people of your age. You will also learn a song together that will be sung in a round, and may be asked to sing a couple of lines on your own. There is no need to prepare any pieces to sing for us, as you will learn all your music in the audition.

Secondary School & above Candidates (Yr 7+)

Candidates in school years 7+ will have individual auditions lasting approximately 5 – 10 minutes, with two members of our friendly LYC music team.

Our music team like the chance to hear your voice, assess your musical skills and get to know you. At your audition we ask you to sing two unaccompanied pieces in contrasting styles. The first must be a folk song (you may wish to choose one from the list below) and the second should be a contrasting piece of your choice from any genre or period. If you can sing the pieces off by heart, that is appreciated.

As well as performing your two pieces, you will be asked to do the following:

  • Sight reading: sight-read a section of vocal music appropriate to your age, experience and ability.
  • Ear tests: sing back a short melody or to find the top, middle or bottom note in a chord. More senior auditionees may have further ear tests, such as identifying major or minor chords.
  • Range and technical assessment: sing some exercises through to the top or bottom of your range, or perform some exercises to explore a particular area of your technique.
What are the entry criteria for each choir?

For entrance into Boys’ or Girls’ Choir the candidate should be in school years 3 – 6 and:

  • Be able to pick up a simple song (taught in a small group workshop) and sing it accurately on their own by the end of the session
  • Be able to sing a phrase back accurately (in the audition this will be loosely based in a call and response style on notes found in a D Major scale.)
  • Be able to communicate some meaning of a song through facial expressions and vocal expression/colour
  • Sing in tune and have some ability to work on blending with other voices
  • Have a willing attitude to learn to read music (if not already able to)
  • Be a quick learner
  • Aspire to be committed to all choir rehearsals and performances

For entrance into Training Choir the candidate should be in school years 7 – 11 and:

  • Be able to perform two contrasting songs off by heart, unaccompanied, confidently
  • Be able to sing back phrases in a call and response style with step-wise movements and occasional tricky intervals
  • Be able to communicate meaning of a song through facial expressions and vocal expression/colour
  • Be able to sing in tune and have some self-awareness about their sound and how to blend their voice with others
  • Possess the ability to sight-read simply melodies with step-wise movement
  • Be able to pitch key intervals (an octave, a perfect 5th, major 3rd and minor 3rd for example)
  • Be able to read and clap a basic rhythm from a score
  • Aspire to be committed to all choir rehearsals and performances

For entrance into The London Youth Choir (Senior Choir) the candidate should be in school year 11 – age 21 and:

  • Make a confident and polished performance of two contrasting songs at audition
  • Have a good ear and be responsive to aural tests
  • Have the ability to sing in tune, and feel secure in their voice part (Soprano, Alto, Countertenor, Tenor, Baritone or Bass)
  • Be a confident music reader and able to hold their harmony well
  • Have a pleasing voice and an awareness of the foundations of singing technique
  • Be a keen learner who is looking for choral challenges and diverse repertoire experiences
  • Have the ability to sight-read and be looking to improve in this area
  • Aspire to be committed to all choir rehearsals and performances

For entrance into The London Youth Chamber Choir the candidate should be age 16 – 22 and:

  • Be an accomplished singer and performer with good choral experience
  • Have a pleasant and interesting voice which is well grounded technically
  • Have a quick ear and strong musicianship skills
  • Be a confident music reader and possess leadership qualities
  • Aspire to be committed to all choir rehearsals and performances
  • Be prepared to put in practice outside rehearsals for a rigorous performance schedule
  • Be keen to learn a wide range of music in different styles and languages

Folk song suggestions:

For these songs, you may start on any note, not necessarily the given pitch on the music provided.

FAQs

What if I fall between age groups for the choirs?
Choir allocation will be at the discretion of the musical director. For example, you may be placed in the Training Choir, rather than the Main Choir, if it is felt that you have good potential but may not yet be ready for the challenge of the next choir.
What if I am a boy whose voice seems to be changing?
You are very welcome to apply. At audition you will be listened to by a specialist and boys with changing voices are assessed on a case-by-case basis. We will carefully nurture you through this process and place you in the appropriate voice part.
If I am between schools this summer, which details shall I put on my application form?
Put the details of your new school, and the contact of a singing teacher or school choir leader who knows you best at the moment.
How can I prepare for the sight reading?
There are different requirements depending on your age. For younger candidates, the panel will mostly be looking for potential, whilst for older candidates, we would expect a certain level of competent sight-reading ability. Please do not let concerns about sight-reading prevent you from auditioning; everyone worries about it!
If I am accepted, will I have to re-audition in the future for my place?
We like to keep up with how our members are progressing vocally. You may be asked to sing on your own from time to time, so that our vocal coaches can give you input. You will also have to audition each time you move up to the next choir. Chamber Choir members are required to re-audition, annually.
Where will the auditions take place?
At St Katharine Cree Church (86 Leadenhall Street, EC3A 3BP) in the City of London. Nearest tube stations: Aldgate, Bank, Liverpool St
If I live just outside London, can I still audition?
Priority for membership in the London Youth Choir is for those living or educated within London (boroughs covered by the Greater London Authority and the City of London).
I am worried about travelling to the City for rehearsals and my family would find it tricky to commit to this every week. What should I do?
We will do our best to help you find ways of sharing lifts and travel arrangements with other singers in your area. We also have some funding available to assist with travel costs, if required. If you are offered a place, just get in touch, so that we can help you as much as possible.