MK Youth Choir was founded in 1997 by MK Chorale with a National Lottery grant and originally shared its Musical Director, John Gibbons, with MK Chorale, with accompanist Rowena Taylor. Most of the initial members were children or grandchildren of Chorale members. During the 21 years, hundreds of children have sung with the choir and many have gone on to enjoy singing professionally or in significant amateur roles. In 2001 David Kirby-Ashmore took over as MD, with accompanist Lydia Lake, followed by accompanist Mark Lindsell from 2003. In 2010 Stuart Dunlop became MD for a short time while the choir sought a permanent MD, with Penny Miller as accompanist. Later that year Craig McLeish became MD. MKYC has collaborated with a number of adult choirs, such as MK Chorale, Cornerstone Chamber Choir, Polymnia, MK Community Choir, Leagrave Singers and The Reluctants. It has also collaborated with youth groups at its concerts such as MK Music Centre (Youth brass, Proteus strings, String Orchestra, Intermediate Choir), Stantonbury Chamber choir, MK Youth Opera, HfMDK Jazz & Pop-Choir and VOComany from Germany. Instrumental groups MKYC has collaborated with include Chamber Orchestra of London, Stantonbury Music Centre Phoenix Orchestra, Wolverton Light Orchestra and Gilbert & Sullivan Society, MK City Orchestra, Ariella Strings and Olney Brass. The choir enjoyed sharing the stage with Jacqui Dankworth and Charlie Wood in 2016 for their Just You Just Me tour. The choir’s concerts have supported a number of charities in its 21 years including Phoenix Lodge, Salvation Army, Friends of Chernobyl’s Children, HOMSA, Willen Hospice, Headway MK and Emily’s Star. It has made a number of locally produced CDs from 2005, including recordings of Benjamin Britten’s Ceremony of Carols and David Kirby-Ashmore’s English translation of songs from the film Les Choristes (2006) as well as some tracks on a CD Music for Solemn Occasions in 2016. The choir participated in Songs of Praise at Christ the Cornerstone in 2011. MKYC took part in its first Youth Messiah at the Royal Albert Hall in 2017 and sang at the National Music for Youth Festival in Symphony Hall Birmingham earlier this week. It has won awards in the Milton Keynes Festival of the Arts a number of times as well as at Bedford Music Festival.
Activities Staged performance of Eloise 1999 Camping at Clifton Reynes 2001 First CD 2005 Les Choristes CD 2006 Singing at Brasserie Blanc 2007 Songs of Praise 2011 Performances with German Youth Choirs (HfMDK Jazz & Pop-Choir and VOCompany) 2015 Recording of contribution to Music for Solemn Occasions CD 2016 Supporting Jacqui Dankworth and Charlie Wood in Just You Just me tour (in MK) 2016 Youth Messiah (first time) 2017 National Music For Youth Festival 2018
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