We have worked with some of the most influential composers and musicians, from John Rutter and Sir Peter Maxwell Davies to Jane Glover and Augusta Read Thomas. Here's what they've had to say about Farnham Youth Choir over the years...
SIR PETER MAXWELL DAVIES
Congratulations to the Farnham Youth Choir for 25 magnificent years of commissioning wonderful choral music."
Augusta Read Thomas
"These young musicians are an inspiration to us all! I was so happy at the concert that I could have burst with smiles!!! All composers in history have needed the strong backing of great young musicians, and as such, I feel intensely blessed for FYC’s investment in my music. FYC did a sublime, fantastic world premiere and concert! These are stellar young artists who make us all proud, whose musicality and expertise are outstanding and profoundly treasured. BRAVISSSSSSSIMMMMMMMMOOO FYC!"
My association with Farnham Youth Choir, which spans almost a decade now, has been a source of great pleasure and pride to me. I remember first hearing them as well-deserved winners of the Sainsbury Choir of the Year competition some years before then and admiring their finely-honed precision and musicality, plus a sparkling sense of youth and high spirits; the combination produced irresistible performances. It has been my good fortune to make music with the Choir on a number of occasions since then, not least as the choir-in-residence for several of my annual Christmas Festival concerts with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in London and those qualities remain as strongly in evidence today as they ever were.
Farnham Youth Choir is truly something to celebrate. The lives of the hundreds of young people have been enriched and their souls uplifted by the experience of singing under the inspirational direction of David Victor-Smith and his music team. They have learned not only about singing and music but about commitment, excellence, discipline and the value of group endeavour - lessons which will carry over into their later lives. Their audiences have been privileged to enjoy a varied banquet of wonderful music, and choral singing which is about as good as it gets.
"It was a great privilege to write for such a dazzling group of young singers. And it was liberating: I felt you could master anything I could imagine. What an inspiring and musical choir! Not only do you all fearlessly embrace new music, you take it to heart in learning it by heart, I hope your wonderful tradition will always live on."
The singing is of superlative quality – Sir David Willcocks
A marvellous sound – Jane Glover
The choir has always been at the forefront of youth choirs in the UK, and is a choir that is known and admired all over the world for its integrity, musicality and musical excellence. Bravo to you all! – Bob Chilcott
At a time when so many young people are being denied the sort of encouragement and the many musical opportunities that my generation took for granted, it's so good to find David's Farnham Youth Choir giving a lead and setting and maintaining such remarkably high standards, as it has done so spectacularly for a quarter of a century. All those lucky enough to have been part of this outstanding choir must realise how lucky they are to have had such a chance. Congratulations all round and every good wish for the next 25 years! – Brian Kay
After you have been performing for a few years you sometimes get asked to judge other peoples’ performances. One of the first groups I ever had to listen to in this role was the Farnham Youth Choir. I was left in the happy but embarrassing position of being unable to find anything wrong with them. And every year since then a new generation of children has the same magic worked on them. It is a marvellous achievement. – Richard Stilgoe
It has been an absolute joy to hear and work with the Farnham Youth Choir. As well as witnessing the superlatives relating to blend and intonation that one expects from an award winning choir such as these young folk, the sheer joy of singing and corporate positive vocal energy they exude is a wonder to behold. Everything they do is to the highest standard vocally, at the same time managing to remain 100% compelling at a visual level - a winning combination. They are without doubt a constant bright beacon illuminating the upper voice singing scene in the UK. - Stephen Connolly
Congratulations to The Farnham Youth Choir for 25 years of choral excellence. To hear the 'Farnham sound' and to be able to meet and perform with such an accomplished organisation has been an honour and a privilege. I wish you all the very best for the years ahead and hope you enjoy taking the time to celebrate what has been a remarkable achievement in the youth choir world. – Mark Puddy