Glyndebourne Young Voices

GYV - Birley Centre. Photo by Andrew Hasson

Glyndebourne Young Voices (GYV) is an 18-month vocal performance project providing singing opportunities outside of a traditional choir format for young people aged 12+ years. It includes schools-based “show choirs”; a new auditioned company for young performers based at Glyndebourne; artist and teacher training days; professional artist workshops for schools and performance days.  

For secondary schools, GYV has provided workshops, artist/teacher collaborations, and places for performing arts teachers (music, theatre or dance) to attend Glyndebourne’s Artist Development training days. In this way, GYV has supported secondary schools in establishing their own school “Show Choirs”.

Who is it for?

  • Performing arts teachers from different disciplines who wish to develop their own practice in association with Glyndebourne.
  • Secondary-school aged young people who wish to develop their vocal and performance skills.

How is this different from other singing groups?

  • Feedback from young people shows most enjoy singing, but prefer it when combined with movement, drama, games or dance. This is especially true for boys and adolescents. GYV addresses this interest by supporting choirs that do more than just sing – they create semi-staged, choir-with-movement performances and borrow from the worlds of theatre and dance to create innovative and surprising work. Think “Glee”, cabaret, mini-music theatre, flash mobs . . . the possibilities are only limited by the imagination of the young people, and this is what GYV workshops build upon.

What happens during the project?

  • GYV workshops take place once a half-term and are run by a team of two or more Glyndebourne professional artists. In workshops, students and teachers explore different performance techniques and decide on the content and form of the group’s first performance.
  • Depending on the interests of the school, we send artists with different specialisms to lead workshops; e.g., one school may have visits from a theatre director and music director, another may have a music director paired with a choreographer, or a visit from a set designer. The content is tailored to the interests of individual schools.
  • In the weeks between workshops, performing arts teachers take weekly rehearsals of the Show Choir, developing the ideas that came up in workshops, rehearsing songs, and moving the group towards the next level of the performance. We work towards two performances per school year: one in December and another in June/July.

GYV Participants
William Parker Sports College, St Leonards Academy, Hailsham Community College, Crew Club, Peacehaven Community School, Hove Park School

GYV Artists
Lee Reynolds (Music Director) Lucy Bradley (Director), Stuart Barter (Associate Artist), Natalie Roberts (Associate Artist), Shirley Keane (Director), Kieran Sheehan (Movement Director), Marcia Bellamy (Associate Artist), Nicola Wydenbach (Music Director), Polly Graham (Director), Rebecca Askew (Music Director), Emily Phillips (Associate Artist), Matt Greenwood (Music Director), Freya Wynn-Jones (Director), Sara Gourlay (Speech and language, singer).

Nancy Gillio-Terry (Project Manager).


Glyndebourne Young Voices is part of Glyndebourne’s New Generation Programme (NGP), supporting young people from across East Sussex to develop their singing talent. If you would like to make a contribution towards the work of the NGP please contact Andrew Higgins, Head of Membership and Development.

We wish to thank the following for their generous support of the
Glyndebourne Young Voices project:

MariaMarina FoundationYouth Music

Bernard Sunley Charitable Foundation
Dr and Mrs John and Jo Padfield
Tufton Charitable Trust

Special thanks go to Eastbourne College for their generous provision
of rehearsal space at the Birley Centre for the Glyndebourne Youth
Company and for making the Birley Centre available for tonight’s
performance; in particular, thanks go to Linda Salway, Mike Cousins
and staff at the Birley Centre for all their assistance in making
tonight’s performance possible.

We also thank our Glyndebourne Young Voices partner organisations:

Crew Club
Hailsham Community College
Hove Park School
Peacehaven Community School
St Leonards Academy
William Parker Sports College

East Sussex County CouncilEastbourne CollegeBrighton & Hove Council

GYV - Birley Centre. Photo by Andrew Hasson
GYV - Birley Centre. Photo by Andrew Hasson
GYV - Birley Centre. Photo by Andrew Hasson
GYV - Birley Centre. Photo by Andrew Hasson
GYV - Birley Centre. Photo by Andrew Hasson
GYV - Birley Centre. Photo by Andrew Hasson
GYV - Birley Centre. Photo by Andrew Hasson
Photo: David Illman
Photo: David Illman
Photo: David Illman
Photo: David Illman
Photo: David Illman
Photo: David Illman
Photo: David Illman
Photo: David Illman


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