What we do

Ulster Youth Choir is now established as one of the leading artistic and educational bodies operating in Northern Ireland. Since humble beginnings in 1999, the breadth of UYC’s work has grown.

Each Year UYC:

Runs a series of school and University workshops with the two-fold purpose of UYC recruiting members and for school and university choirs to have a positive, engaging and rewarding singing session with a professional conductor in a non-competitive setting;

Holds province wide auditions, attracting almost 200 singers each year competing for approximately 100 places;

Runs two summer residential courses wherein all members take part in a rigorous daily routine of physical and vocal warm-ups, sectional and tutti rehearsals, musicianship workshops, individual singing lessons and master classes;

Performs an average of 3 own-promotion concerts throughout Northern Ireland and seeks opportunities to perform outside the province and further afield;

Accepts invitations to perform with other organisations such as the Ulster Orchestra at BBC Proms in the Park (2004/2006), and Ulster Youth Orchestra in Belfast City Council’s Hallowe’en celebrations (2005).  UYC has also performed by invitation on two occasions at the Belfast Festival at Queen’s – in 2006 with the Stephen Petronio Dance Company (New York) in a collaborative work with music by Rufus Wainwright and in 2007 in the opening concert with The Chieftains, The Ulster Orchestra and The Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe Band.

In 2013 members of UYC recorded along with the Gabrieli Consort and Players. Their recording of the Britten War Requiem won BBC’s choral recording of the year. In 2014 UYC joined the BBC Youth Prom Choir for a performance at the Royal Albert Hall.

Records CDs – currently has produced 2 CDs, the first with the Ulster Orchestra in 2001 with Poulenc Gloria and Haydn Te Deum, and the second recorded a capella and with piano accompaniment over 2 years entitled The singing will never be done.

Provides conducting training to teachers in schools through master-classes with Ulster Youth Choir during the summer course.

Through an Arts Council of Northern Ireland National Lottery Grant, UYC has developed its training programme to incorporate a conductor apprenticeship scheme for aspiring young conductors and the Ulster Youth Chamber Choir for up to 25 of UYC’s leading singers.

If you would like further information on any of the above activities, please get in touch with the UYC office.

History

In 1999 the Ulster Youth Choir was established with a view to running an annual summer residential course and concert tour for Northern Ireland’s best young singers. Since its humble beginnings under its founding Artistic Director and Conductor, Christopher Bell, UYC established an annual summer courses and subsequent concerts throughout Northern Ireland and further afield. UYC later added a training choir and chamber choir to the group of ensembles offered to young people in Northern Ireland. Following Christopher Bell Ulster Youth Choir has been under the Artistic Direction of David Lawrence, Greg Beardsell and Dominic Peckham.

To date, UYC has performed within Northern Ireland, Dublin, London, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Paris. Members of UYC have also joined the BBC Prom Youth Choir performing in Royal Albert Hall London,  Birmingham Symphony Hall and the Lucern Festival Switzerland.

Repertoire has focussed heavily on contemporary choral music from around the world, with UYC performing music by John Tavener (UK), Paul Crabtree (UK), James MacMillan (Scotland), Jonathan Dove (UK), Ian Wilson (Northern Ireland), Conor O’Reilly (Ireland), Colin Mawby (UK), Bob Chilcott (UK), Paul Patterson (UK), Juri-Ruut Kangur (Estonia), Orlando Gough (UK), John Rutter (UK), Francis Grier UK), Tarik O’Regan (UK), Eric Whitacre (USA), Pelle Gudmundsen-Holmgreen (Denmark), Gyorgy Orban (Hungary).

In 2017 UYC launched the Ulster Youth Junior Choir.

If you would like further information on any of the above activities, please get in touch with the UYC office.

Music Staff

Andrew Nunn

As well as Artistic Director of UYC Andrew Nunn is also currently Director of Choirs at the RCS Junior Conservatoire in Glasgow where he is a responsible for a choral programme of 300 students age 8-18. He is a regular conductor with the National Youth Choir of Scotland (NYCoS) and most recently he conducted NYCoS in Belgium in three performances broadcast live on BBC1 and BBC2 to mark the centenary of the battle of Passchendaele in July 2017. He is also artistic director of Les Sirenes, a female chamber choir that he formed in 2007 and led to win the 2012 BBC Choir of the Year Competition and musical director of the 130 strong Bearsden Choir in Glasgow that performs large scale choral works with the the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (RCS) Symphony Orchestra.

Alan Leech

Alan Leech is one of Ireland’s leading tenors and choral practitioners. Since graduating from UCC in 1995 he has been in consistent demand both as a performer and choral specialist.

Alan was appointed as tenor in Ireland’s only professional choir, Chamber Choir Ireland,(the National Chamber Choir) in 2002. Since joining the choir Alan has toured extensively both nationally and internationally and worked with some of the world’s leading conductors such as Paul Hillier, Celso Antunes, Stephen Layton and Stephen Cleobury Apart from his performance career Alan has a true passion for education and choral development.

 He is much in demand as a voice teacher, and has been teaching singing at the Leinster School of Music & Drama since 2003 where he also lectures in Aural Skills and Choral Conducting for Griffith College’s H Dip in Music.

 

 

Rebekah Coffey

 

Born in Northern Ireland,  Rebekah Coffey is a graduate of Queens University Belfast and the Royal Northern College of Music Manchester. She has been performing in operas, oratorios and concerts across the UK and Ireland since 2002 including Opera North and NI Opera and regularly performs with the Ulster Orchestra. Rebekah is voice coach for UYC and adjudicator for the School Choir of the Year on BBC Radio Ulster.

 

 

 

Eunan McDonald

Eunan McDonald started singing as a child with The Palestrina Choir in Dublin and has been immersed in choral music both in Ireland and abroad ever since. He performs regularly with The Keynotes, Resurgam and has been a member of The National Chamber Choir of Ireland, Lord of the Dance, Riverdance, The Sunbeams Barbershop Quartet, Christchurch Cathedral Choir and The Choir of St. Teresa’s, Clarendon St. to name but a few.

Eunan is also  the director of the Irish Youth Training Choir as well as conductor of the National Youth Choir of Great Britain North.

 

Adam Treadaway

A graduate of the University of York, where Adam received both a BA Hons in Music and an MA(Dist) in Conducting, Adam is in demand as a conducting around the UK.Recent ensemble roles have included, Musical Director of Cotswold Youth Choirs, Musical Director of Take Twenty, a camden-based Jazz group and a Vocal Animateur for The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. Adam has recently been appointed the Musical Director of Beckenham Chorale and is an Assistant Conductor with the National Youth Choirs of Great Britain. He is currently a resident tutor at Downe House School, overseeing a number of vocal and instrumental groups as well as delivering individual voice and percussion lessons. 

 

Greg Hallam

A graduate of the Royal Academy of Music and Royal College of Music, Greg balances his life conducting, singing and adjudicating. He works with a host of choirs on a weekly basis and runs workshops and residential courses throughout the UK. Assistant Music Director of National Youth Choirs of Great Britain, he is also Musical Director of Swansea Bach Choir, Bracknell Choral Society and London Youth Boys’ and Training Choirs; teaches at Wellington College and Christchurch Cathedral School; and is Artistic Director of the Penkhull Festival of Music and Art.  

 

Administrative Staff and Board of Directors

Manager: Shane Farren

Membership and Development Officer: Christina Scullion

Board of Directors:

Ethel Ruddock (Chair)

Paul Mulholland

Eithne Benson

Raymond Fullerton

Catherine Dalzell

Heather Graham

Graeme Stewart

Dr Eibhlís Farrell

Gillian Greenfield

Darren Canmore

Safeguarding Policy

The Ulster Youth Choir is committed to practices that protect children from harm. The charity acknowledges it has a responsibility for the safety of children (defined in the Children’s (NI) Order 1995 as anyone up to the age of 18) whilst they are under its temporary care and involved in its activities. It also recognises that good child safeguarding policies and procedures are of benefit to everyone involved with the charity’s work, including staff, as they help protect them from erroneous or malicious allegations.

The UYC safeguarding policy has been formulated with due consideration to the following legislation:

  • Children (NI) Order 1995 – duty to protect and child protection responsibilities /fulfilling responsibilities;
  • UN Convention On the Rights of the Child 1989 – (Articles 12, 16 and 19); UK 1991.
  • Education NI) Order 1998 (Part 11 Article 4(1));
  • Human Rights Act 1998 – Articles 3 and 5 of the European Convention on Human Rights;
  • Health & Safety at Work Act (NI) Order 1978;

For a full copy of the UYC policy please contact the office by emailing admin@uyc.org.uk