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A chance to sing at this year's York Early Music Christmas Festival

Young singers from York and the surrounding area have the chance to take part in this year's York Early Music Christmas Festival with soprano Bethany Seymour, the National Centre for Early Music's BBC Performing Arts Fund Fellow.

Instrumentalists from York's very own youth early music ensemble, the Minster Minstrels - directed by Heather Moger, will perform a concert of festive music as part of this year's York Early Music Christmas Festival on Sunday 8 December. The ensemble has invited Bethany and a group of young singers to join them for the occasion.

Bethany won a prestigious year-long Fellowship last year from the BBC Performing Arts Fund in partnership with the National Centre for Early Music, enabling her to have intensive coaching, opportunities to sing with top-level performers, and the chance to develop other aspects of her career, including conducting.

She commented: "This is a really exciting opportunity for me, not only to develop my own singing, but to share my love of music with other young musicians. As a teenager, I took part in activities at the NCEM, which I really enjoyed. I'm looking forward to helping the next generation of young singers discover how beautiful and enjoyable early music can be."

Delma Tomlin, Director of the National Centre for Early Music, said: "We are delighted to be supporting Bethany and thrilled that she is able to share her skills and talents with young people.  The Minster Minstrels' concerts are always a highlight of the Christmas Festival and, with the addition of voices, this year's concert promises to be extra-special."

If you are aged between 10 and 18, enjoy singing, and are 'up for' trying something a bit different, please get in touch with us. We are looking to recruit upper voices (boys and girls), tenors and basses to sing four pieces in the Christmas concert. There are no auditions: all that singers need is enthusiasm, the commitment to attend the rehearsals and to work hard to learn the music. There is no charge to take part, but places must be booked in advance by Friday 1 November.  

There are five rehearsals on Saturdays and Sundays in November.  See the National Centre for Early Music's website for details and information on how to apply at

Festival goers will also have the chance to hear Bethany sing in a candlelit concert on Friday 13 December, alongside trumpeter Niels Tilma and Yorkshire Baroque Soloists.

For further information email:


Contact:  Janet Cromartie, National Centre for Early Music 


t: 01904 632220


Information for Editors:

BBC's Performing Arts Fund Music Fellowship Scheme

The National Centre of Early Music is one of 19 organisations to have been chosen by the BBC Performing Arts Fund to be part of its prestigious Music Fellowship Scheme. The 19 Fellowships range from a singer working with Urban Development in East London to an assistant conductor with the English Touring Opera; from folk to pop; from Belfast to Exeter and all across the UK. The Music Fellowships scheme aims to support individuals through the early stages of their music careers, increasing their skills and helping them to establish themselves in the professional world through bespoke placements within existing music organisations 

The 2013 York Early Music Christmas Festival (6 - 15 December) 

Includes instrumentalists Brecon Baroque, directed by violinist Rachel Podger (Saturday 7 December, Sir Jack Lyons Concert Hall); vocal ensemble Alamire directed by David Skinner presenting 'Ther is no Rose' (Sunday 8 December, National Centre for Early Music) and The Sixteen directed by Harry Christophers in a programme including Britten's 'Ceremony of Carols' (Thursday 12 December, York Minster). Book tickets online at or telephone 01904 658338.