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At the moment the NYC consists of some eight choirs. These form a pyramid of choirs, those lower down supporting the Senior Choir and singers working their way up gradually. This came about out of necessity as choirs became over-subscribed. The Training Choir was started in 1995 because there were too many people in the Senior Choir. Then in 2003 the junior choirs were created to take the pressure off the Training Choir.
The junior choirs are split according to sex; boys and girls perform and train in their own choirs but come together to perform as an ensemble. Brewer has firm views on the training of young boys and girls. He has been involved in a number of cathedral girls' choirs and feels that those who split the boys and girls work best. Before the age of 13 or 14, Brewer comments that 'boys live as tribes or gangs and may as well sing beautiful music in their tribe.'
Girls and boys from the junior choirs move up to the Training Choir, whose personnel are aged 13 to 18, this is very much a secondary school choir. The Senior Choir now has no-one in it below the age of 16, which makes arrangements for touring far easier. This system of Training Choirs feeding the Senior Choir is one which has been copied in a number of other similar organisations in the UK and abroad.
Copyright © 18 March 2008
Robert Hugill, London UK