Belfast Philharmonic Youth Choirs programme provides a unique choral music education for children and young people aged between 7 and 22 in Belfast and the surrounding areas. Singers learn choral music both traditional and contemporary, take part in musicianship classes with expert tutors, and sing in high quality performances often alongside professional musicians. The Youth Choirs programme is led by Artistic Director Lynsey Callaghan with Caroline Jones (Assistant Director - Phil Kids).
Rehearsals are held on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings in St Bride's Hall in South Belfast.
The choirs are divided into three groups:
Phil Kids, with entry from P4 (Tuesdays)
Youth Choir, aged 11-16 (Wednesdays)
Chamber Choir, aged 16-22 (Wednesdays)
The choir also performs with Dublin Youth Choir as the Cross Border Youth Choir.
The aims of the programme are to encourage singing to the best of the singer’s ability; to learn to read music and to develop and train the voice. The emphasis is on singing for fun, and on the establishment of good pitching and a good ear in a programme devised in line with the Kodály principles of music education, developed in Hungary by the composer Zoltan Kodály. Musicanship sessions take the form of small groups with pitching and rhythm games. Principles of sol-fa and notation reading are introduced and developed as singers progress through the choirs.
The choirs usually perform twice per season, sometimes with additional concerts with the adult Belfast Phiharmonic Choir and the Ulster Orchestra, providing opportunities unique in Northern Ireland.
Phil Kids taster sessions are usually held in the spring before the autumn term for P3 and P4 singers interested in joining. Singers in Youth and Chamber choir have a short individual addition to assess their voice, range, and musicianship ability - these are held either in the summer or at the start of the autumn term. For information about joining the choirs please email Linda Salem: firstname.lastname@example.org