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Project information

London Youth Choir Big Bursary Challenge

Since 2012, the London Youth Choir (LYC) has demonstrated its belief in the transformative effects of singing together. In order to realise the potential of all young children from across London, irrespective of background, we need to raise £25,000 to provide bursaries and training subsidies.

January 2019 - December 2019

Charity information: London Youth Choir

London Youth Choir logo
  • Need


    LYC is wanting to welcome more young singers from areas where there are few opportunities for high-quality choral singing and where families have little aspiration for their children to join high-profile performing groups like London Youth Choir. Too many barriers exist, both financial and social, which are denying talented children a chance to work with leading practitioners and take part in major musical events. Invariably, their schools have limited or no resources for singing activities.


    Working in partnership with Music Education Hubs across London, our team of choral specialists aims to make real substantial change to the lives and ambitions of young people across London through the provision of high-quality choral provision. Our work will be underpinned by a bursary-supported pathway, which ensures that those young people who wish to take part in LYC activities are able to do so, regardless of financial circumstances or background.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Provide high quality choral opportunities for young people living in areas of high deprivation


    » Deliver a series of high-quality choral workshops in schools
    » Select young apprentices through a relaxed and 'fun' singing workshop
    » Make arrangements for them to be escorted to and from weekly rehearsals, thereby removing barriers to participation
    » Provide travel bursaries for parents to attend rehearsals and share their children's experiences

    What success will look like

    Witnessing, through registration records, up to 30 apprentices from primary schools in areas of high deprivation attending LYC workshops and rehearsals on a weekly basis

    Aim 2

    Inspire these young musical apprentices and nurture their love of singing


    » Provide opportunities for them to work with leading choral practitioners
    » Introduce these young apprentices to new and stimulating repertoire
    » Provide social opportunities to meet other keen singers from all over London
    » Provide opportunities for the apprentices to perform alongside LYC junior members in major events

    What success will look like

    Through questionnaires and interviews, seeing our apprentices flourish and thrive among their new-found musical friends during weekly rehearsals

    Aim 3

    Broadening the membership of LYC, thereby making it more representative of London as a whole


    » Creating new access opportunities for young singers who would not normally consider joining a major musical ensemble
    » Giving these young apprentices the skills to grow and thrive in this new musical community
    » Encouraging these apprentices through financial, musical and pastoral support to become full members of London Youth Choir

    What success will look like

    Increasing the number of members joining our Junior Choirs from these primary schools at the end of their apprenticeship

  • Impact


    As a direct result of this project, LYC will be actively welcoming more youngsters from deprived families into its Junior Choirs. LYC will also be building up valuable partnerships with boroughs and primary schools, helping local areas to improve the quality of choral singing within schools and providing pathways for other children to sing in local choirs. Evaluation will take the form of a series of questionnaires and meetings with the children and their schools throughout the project.


    The main risk is that some of the children drop out halfway through the project due to unforeseen difficulties. We will liaise closely with the schools and will use our own pastoral team to give additional support to mitigate this problem. We will also have a number of reserve apprentices who can then be invited to join LYC. Working closely with the schools, we will be able to identify and address extra areas of need and work jointly towards finding solutions.


    Termly email reports will be sent to each donor describing the progress the children are making. In addition, all donors will be invited to our end of term performances. We are also happy to invite them to attend occasional rehearsals where they can meet the children and their parents.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £25,000

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      Amount Heading Description
      £4,250 Choral workshops Fees for workshop leaders and accompanist
      £3,250 Apprentices Selection sessions and scaffolding workshops to prepare the junior apprentices
      £4,375 Pastoral care Teacher chaperones and LYC pastoral staff over a 2 term period
      £11,375 Bursaries Bursary/training/travel subsidies for young people taking part in LYC activities.
      £1,750 Administration General admin. including monitoring/evaluation
  • Background


    The project will be split between 6 schools in 2 London outer boroughs - Ealing and Brent. These schools will be specially select by our Music Education Hub partners as being in areas of high deprivation and with little music education. The second location will be at the City of London School in the City of London, where the LYC rehearses weekly.


    Up to 30 children aged 8 - 10 years drawn from 6 primary schools in areas of high deprivation in Ealing and Brent.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Two of our major aims are -
    •To deliver open access workshops for 1,000 young people each year
    •To promote and support musical and choral education to young people regardless of their financial or social background
    With this in mind, LYC runs a highly successful annual education engagement project called 'Aspire' which delivers high-quality choral training to primary schools in deprived areas. LYC has established a reputation as the 'go to choir' for young people all over London.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Rachel Staunton - LYC Artistic Director

    Leading the project, training the specialists and delivering workshops. Rachel also conducts members of the LYC Girls' Choir.

    Ben Vonberg-Clark - Conductor LYC Boys'' Choir And Workshop Leader

    Delivering workshops and helping prepare the apprentices, as well as conducting them as members of the LYC Boys' Choir

    Cathy Phillips Brady - Aspire Programme Manager | Head Of Safeguarding And Wellbeing

    Co-ordinating the Aspire engagement programme and being the key point of liaison with all schools and music hubs.