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Sing out with Northern Youth Voices

31 March 2022  |  Jill Lundberg  |  Posted in: ,

Northern Youth Voices is a choir for young people that puts singing at the heart of the community. We are overjoyed that six of our students have joined the choir and they are loving their singing and performing experiences.  After Easter, the choir, which is run by Debbie Allenby, will be rehearsing in the hall at Richmond Sixth Form College, on Monday evenings at 5:30, 6:15 and 7pm.  A recruitment window for new members is opening after the Easter break so please get in touch with Debbie if you would like to find out more at: email: or

You can be assured of a very warm welcome at Northern Youth Voices who have recently performed at The Station and have other engagements in the pipeline. But don’t just take our word for it, hear what some of our students have to say about the group:

Beth said: “There are so many performing opportunities; it’s a nice, safe environment where you’re not judged but encouraged to just go for it. It’s a good stress relief from my GCSE’s, I really enjoy it.”

Ellen added: “I love Northern Youth Voices because it allows me to be creative and have fun, whilst also learning key life skills such as teamwork and excellence.”

Lola Reilly, a Year 12 student, helps out at the choir and is also involved with Debbie in DAWN, a charity that is promoting the performing arts and wellbeing across the Dales. We will be sharing more news about DAWN in the coming weeks.  Andrew Lunn, in Year 10, is volunteering at the choir as part of his Duke of Edinburgh Award.

We were pleased to catch up with Debbie to find out more about Northern Youth Voices: “We launched Northern Youth Voices (NYV) partly in response to the pandemic and to help combat some of the losses and sacrifices our children and young people had made. So many of our extra-curricular activities that we all get joy from had stopped running and we were determined to offer young people the opportunity to sing together again in a safe and fun way. At the heart of our ethos is inclusivity. We strive to be as accessible as possible, keeping weekly fees extremely low (just £3) and offering financial support to families where these costs may still be a barrier. We also plan to roll out some satellite sessions over the summer term in more remote areas, so that we can break down further geographical barriers and deliver workshops to more children. We are supported by a fantastic team of volunteers, so please get in touch if you would like to be involved.

“We are overwhelmed by the interest and support NYV has received since launching in September. We already have over 50 young people singing across three choirs and we have a busy programme of events and activities planned. Our debut performance took place at The Station and we were received extremely well and so we swiftly began planning other performance opportunities. We will be competing in The Wensleydale Tournament of Song on 31st March and we are thrilled to have been invited by the award-winning Dales Community Pop Choir to perform alongside them at Tennants during their summer concert in June. We try to keep our repertoire fresh and relevant, singing songs by artists such as Maroon 5, James Bay, Pink, George Ezra, Lily Allen and Imagine Dragons, just to name a few.

“Although we are non auditioned, fun and inclusive, we strive to be the best we can possibly be and have planned some exciting learning and development opportunities. Some of our older members attended a brilliant day’s vocal workshop by Craig Lees (Head of Popular Music at The Leeds Conservatoire) recently and we are thrilled to be able to welcome Mat Wright MBE in the summer who will also run a half-day workshop for NYV members. Mat founded and directs the Barnsley Youth Choir, who have around 500 members and are ranked 5th in the world in their youth category.

“Our hopes and ambitions for Northern Youth Voices are that it continues to grow in numbers and member wellbeing, providing a safe space for our young people to explore the collective joy experienced by singing in a choir.


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