The Gabrieli Young Singers' Scheme

Paul McCreesh on the Gabrieli Young Singers' scheme


“This idea has grown from the work we began a few years ago with the Chetham's School of Music in Manchester. The idea is a very simple one; to get young teenagers not only to sing but to engage with the core masterpieces of the oratorio tradition. From the beginning we were determined not to set up our own empire, in forming a Gabrieli Youth Choir, but to work with a handful of established choirs supporting the excellent work they already undertake by offering additional coaching, and inviting them to join us in professional performances, offering repertoire-widening experiences at the highest levels.

I think our work with Chetham's and other choirs has already proved that the higher one sets the bar, the higher young people jump; the barrier between young and old, professional and amateur is indeed a largely artificial one. Moreover I hope we will be able to offer some young people life-changing experiences which will inculcate a real passion for the vocal repertoire which will last all their lives.”
- Paul McCreesh, Artistic Director


The scheme is a natural expansion of our previous projects with Chetham's School of Music and Tees Valley Youth Choir. Gabrieli has joined forces once again with the Chetham's, and John Forsyth, previously director of the Tees Valley Youth Choir, and now creating a new youth choir for the North East region of England. Gabrieli has also formed new relationships with the Taplow Youth Choir and the Ulster Youth Choir. Each of the participating youth choirs come from different corners of the UK but have all something in common: they have achieved incredibly high standards thanks to the talent and commitment of their inspirational directors and hard-working members. The project is not a replacement of this exceptional work; it is designed to support these endeavours, to open up the opportunities for young people to engage with choral repertoire and to perform it to the highest possible standard.

“Chetham's School of Music has long championed musical collaborations, between students and professional ensembles. Our relationship with the acclaimed Gabrieli Consort & Players is singularly exciting, reflecting both the ensemble's desire to formulate groundbreaking, challenging and creative projects as well as the recognised quality of our younger, aspiring musicians; with Paul McCreesh's zest for working with young people, a recipe for musical and educational success is assured. The strength of the partnership between Chetham's and the Gabrieli Consort & Players has benefited all, and through shared performances and recordings is now recognised throughout the UK and beyond.”
 - Stephen Threlfall, Director of Music, Chetham's School of Music

Chetham's Chamber Choir   

 Chetham's Chamber Choir                                                       Tees Valley Youth Choir

“I am totally in favour of giving young people the 'big oratorio' treatment. They love to be involved in such projects and realise, often for the first time, the power of music; it is not just the stature of these great works, but also that the musical experience is about community and team work. For me, the choir is a microcosm of how I think society ought to work - men and women working together on a common cause, each giving their own special talent to the whole event and getting caught up in the power of the experience.  And this is all the more vital today, as so many people inhabit their own world, seeing it via the computer, mobile phone, video game, internet, facebook, twitter and the rest. My experience is that for many young people these projects can be life-changing.”
- John Forsyth, Director, North East Youth chorale

The project will be centred on creating tailored coaching projects for each of the choirs, led by Gabrieli's experienced singers and Artistic Director Paul McCreesh. The focus of the projects will be on significant oratorio works, preparing the youth choir members for major concert performances with the Gabrieli Consort & Players and enabling the UK's next generation of musicians to achieve their full musical potential.

“Young people hearing and working with fine musicians gives a truly memorable opportunity which they would value for the rest of their lives. The collaboration with GCP will give the choir the opportunity to perform works which we might not otherwise be able to offer to our young singers.” - Gillian Dibden, Director, Taplow Youth Choir

The focus of activities planned for 2011 is on Mendelssohn's great oratorio Elijah, and will culminate in a recording of the work with massed Gabrieli forces on a new record label, which will be released in September 2012.


 Taplow Youth Choir                                                                  Ulster Youth Choir

“Having worked with the Ulster Orchestra, the Stephen Petronio Dance Company from New York, Electro-Acoustic Composers from the Sonic Arts Research Centre in Belfast and some of the best folk musicians in Ireland, the Ulster Youth Choir believes that collaboration is the doorway to discovery. Young people have an insatiable appetite for innovation, and for the pursuit of new musical experiences; such ventures are key to the education of our young people, as they learn to be open-minded, free from prejudice and nourished by the inspirational possibilities of friendship.”
- Greg Beardsell, Director, Ulster Youth Choir

Find out more about our partner youth choirs by clicking on the links below.
Read about Gabrieli's past projects with the Chetham's School of Music here. To find out more about the Gabrieli Young Singers' Scheme, contact the Gabrieli office on 020 7613 4404, or email us.

Gabrieli would like to thank the Goldsmiths' Company, Harold Hyam Wingate Foundation and individual donors for supporting the scheme. If you would like to support the Gabrieli Young Singers' Scheme, please contact Katherine Hill on 020 7613 4404, or by email. Or you can donate online now via the Big Give. Click the button below to donate.

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