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Guelph Youth Singers
Hometown: Ontario, Canada
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Guelph Youth Singers (GYS), now in its 20th season, has become a high profile representative of the City of Guelph in the field of choral music. The organization was founded in 1991 to provide children and youth with an opportunity to experience a professional level of musicianship. The four treble choirs in the organization are: Choir I, a training choir of children aged 6 and up; Choir II, a more advanced training choir of children and youth aged 9 and up; Choir III, a choir for singers who have superior singing and music reading skills, aged 11 and up; and the Chamber Choir, singers aged 14 and up chosen from Choir III who rehearse separately and prepare more challenging repertoire. Drawing from all choirs, a seasonal Boys Choir was developed in 2005 to compete in the Guelph Kiwanis Festival, to sing a feature piece in the major spring concert, and, more generally, to encourage the boys to appreciate their special part in the overall choir.

Weekly instruction includes vocal technique, theory and sight singing, and is augmented with workshops by guest clinicians in drama, movement and voice throughout the year. GYS performs up to five major concerts per season as well as workshop, festival, corporate, community and guest performances.

GYS has released two solo CDs: Bird in the Nest (1998) and Wind in Our Sails (2002) and hopes to release a 3rd this October. The Choir has also performed on CDs with Guelph Chamber Choir (On Christmas Night, 1995); for the Canadian Literacy Association (Notable Canadian Choirs Sing Christmas Carols, 1996); with the Guelph folk ensemble, Tamarack (Blankets of Snow, 1998); and singing the title song on the CD Song of Our City: A Musical Celebration of Guelph.

All four choirs of GYS perform annually in the Guelph Kiwanis festival, and have won the trophy for the Best Choral Programme annually since 1996. They have also distinguished themselves at both the Provincial and National levels of the Canadian Federation of Music Festivals, winning several provincial awards and national first prize awards. In 2010, Choir III was won first at the provincials while Chamber Choir was awarded second. Choir III went on to achieve second place at the National level.

Choirs III tours regularly throughout Canada and into the northern United States. Past performance highlights include singing for national conventions of the Association of Canadian Choral Conductors (Quebec City, 1996 and Toronto, 2002) and the American Choral Directors Association (Chicago, 1999). They have performed in Montreal, Kingston, Toronto, Calgary, Syracuse (N.Y.), Vancouver and Coquitlam (B.C.) and New Glasgow (N.S.) as guests of various choirs. They have also hosted choirs from southern Ontario, Quebec, Alberta, B.C., Nova Scotia and New York State as well as choirs from Japan and Slovenia. GYS has toured to perform as visiting guest artists to the State University of Potsdam, New York (2000), Albion College in Michigan (2001), Fort Wayne, Indiana (2003) and Farmington Hills, Michigan (2005). In May of 2008, Choir III/Chamber choristers were invited to form part of the honour choir, along with choristers from Bach Children’s Chorus, for the “Children in Harmony Festival” at Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida. As Honour Choir, the combined tour choir had the opportunity to perform for all the other participating choirs of the festival, and in two other public concerts at Disney World.

This season GYS is excited & proud to mark 20 years of providing the children of Guelph and surrounding area with a professional level of musicianship through choral music. In celebration, the choir will be presenting “Of Icebergs and Angels’ Wings” a 20th Anniversary Concert on Saturday October 30th, 2010 with special guests- the Guelph Chamber Choir. Also, in the 2010-2011 season plans are underway for GYS Choir III to engage in a SEVEC sponsored exchange with the Edmonton Youth Choir. GYS choristers form life-long friendships and gain invaluable experience from these joint events. In February 2011, the choir is privileged to be able to participate in a joint concert with the Overtones- Guelph’s very own women’s Barbershop choir.

Auditions are held in the spring and late summer for entrance into the choir in September 2010. Limited audition appointments are also available in November for children and youth who are seeking to enter GYS in January 2011. For more information on Guelph Youth Singers and to book an audition appointment, phone 821-8574.

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Guelph Youth Singers
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