The students are singing… | Local newspapers and magazines


West Kent Youth Voices is calling on all passionate singers aged 14-19 – male and female – who are currently attending a local school to join their youth choir.

Eileen Leahy Learns More From Hit Choir Artistic Director Adrian Pitts

AFTER a few very difficult years due to the pandemic, young people need a boost outside of school more than ever and what better way to do this than singing in a group?

It is well known that being part of a choir not only gives you the opportunity to meet other people and forge new friendships, but it can also help improve your mental and physical health thanks to the natural endorphins – or factor of well-being – liberated by singing. It’s also a lot of fun!

This is exactly why West Kent Youth Voices (WKYV) was founded three years ago and despite their successes so far, the group are looking to recruit even more members into their choir.

Earlier this month he held a taster event at Judd School in Tonbridge which saw a number of new recruits from local secondary schools join, but it is still possible to join the ranks of the WKYV as they hold regular auditions.

The youth choir came into existence in 2019 thanks to the idea of ​​well-known music teachers Adrian Pitts and Rachel Balcombe, who both have a wealth of experience between them.

Adrian founded the Tonbridge Gramamr School Motet Choir, gold medalist at the European Choir Games and has made frequent television appearances. While Rachel is a member of the National Youth Choir and current Head of Music at Judd School.

“It’s a new term and a constant joy for West Kent Youth Voices to meet each week in person to sing together,” said WKYV Artistic Director and Principal Conductor Adrian.

The group of young singers aged 14 to 19 in the West Kent area obviously had to disband during the Covid closures and restrictions, but the good news is that they reunited in September 2021 and are now enjoying rehearsing and to happen again.

“Despite the huge disappointments we have all experienced over the past two years, West Kent Youth Voices continues to celebrate all that is brilliant about being part of an ambitious choral team,” added Adrian.

“We had an amazing Christmas concert with the Kent Police Band which really got everyone excited and the choir was also featured on BBC Radio Kent’s community singing service on Christmas Day.”

Adrian also told The Times that WKYV is moving forward with exciting plans for the year ahead, including potential performance opportunities.

“This term we hope to have a workshop with international maestro Paul McCreesh and we are planning a collaboration with the brand new St Cecilia Wind Orchestra in the fall.

WKYV Associate Conductor Rachel Balcombe said: “We hope that as many talented West Kent singers as possible will audition for this exciting program for young Kent singers.”

The choir holds regular open rehearsals where students can try out the choir and sing as much or as little as they want.

“If they like it, they can sign up for a friendly constructive audition — which is really helpful if you’re not sure which voice part you should sing,” Adrian explained.

“If a student’s audition is successful and they are able to join West Kent Youth Voices, they will be able to take part in a year-round performance program alongside professional musicians, with the option of participate in local and national concerts.

But it’s not just work, as Adrian told us, the choir also likes to relax together. “At Christmas, we all went to eat festive pizza after the last rehearsal!”

It’s like music to our ears!

To find out more about the West Kent Youth Voices, visit the Facebook page @wkyvoices

Anyone interested in auditioning can email [email protected]


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