Farnham Youth Choir

Contributors: Farnham Youth Choir


Farnham Youth Choir was founded in 1984 and has become established as one of the UK’s top upper-voice choirs. In addition to the Youth Choir, today the FYC ‘family’ comprises five choirs, including FYC Training Choir, FYC Girls Choir, FYC Boys Choir and FYC Alumni Choir.


FYC has long been a staunch supporter of the Farnham Festival and, like the Festival itself, is committed to the commissioning and promotion of new music for young voices. Since 1991, the choir has undertaken seven world premieres (of works commissioned by FYC or Festival commissions) by composers including Augusta Read Thomas, Jonathan Dove, Sir Peter Maxwell Davies (twice) and FYC alumnus Graham Ross.


FYC Youth Choir has made 14 recordings and also been successful in both national and international competitions, including Sainsbury’s Youth Choir of the Year (twice) and first prizes at Riva del Garda, Montreux and Neerpelt, Belgium. Most recently FYC won gold and silver medals at the World Choir Games in Cincinnati (2012) and were crowned Children’s Choir Champions of Europe at the European Choir Games in Magdeburg, Germany in 2015.


Following the retirement of founder/director David Victor-Smith, the 2016-17 season marks the first under the leadership of new choral director Jo Tomlinson. Jo brings with her a wealth of experience in training young voices, including teaching singing at Bedales School and the junior departments of the Royal College of Music and Trinity College London.



Jo Tomlinson, FYC Director


Jo studied as a postgraduate singer at the Royal College of Music, before training as a conductor. In 2010 she founded Constanza Chorus, a London-based, auditioned chorus of 140 members, whom she has conducted at the Cadogan Hall and with orchestras including the London Mozart Players. Joanna has worked with London Symphony Chorus, Royal College of Music Chorus, Manchester Chamber Choir, Joyful Company of Singers, Reading University Choirs, Trinity College of Music Junior Department Choirs and many other choral societies. As a singer she performs as an oratorio and recital soloist as well as with choirs such as BBC Singers and Gabrieli Consort. Away from the music room Joanna also enjoys yoga and fine wine, but not at the same time...




Matthew Rickard, FYC Accompanist


Matthew Rickard read Music at the University of Surrey where he studied the piano with Clive Williamson. During this time Matthew developed his interest in chamber music and ensemble playing and was a prize-winner in the annual chamber music competition at the University. Matthew pursued his postgraduate studies at the Royal Academy of Music, studying with Michael Dussek and Graeme Humphrey, specialising in piano accompaniment. Matthew currently enjoys a busy career as a chamber musician, soloist and recording artist. His other interests include photography, walking, motor racing, eating out and travel.