Join us for our 30th Season
Guelph Youth Singers is a community choir that provides opportunities for talented children within Guelph and surrounding counties to sing and enhance their skills in musical knowledge and theory, to foster personal friendships, to hone social skills and develop performance ability.
The GYS Experience:
Starting in September of 2020, all Guelph Youth Singers programming will be online. While nothing can replace the experience of being together in person, the Artistic Team and Board of Directors are pleased to present a thrilling alternative. The season will be divided into three 10-week themed modules: Sing Jazz, The World at our Fingers, and The Poet’s Laugh.
Module One: Sing Jazz will see all of the GYS choirs learning and performing music that influenced, and was influenced by the uniquely North American art of jazz. African singing and drumming, swing, be-bop, jazz standards, and even rap will be used to explore the beauty and strong singing tradition of Afro-centric music. Guests will include professional jazz singer, Juno Nominee Heather Bambrick, and Edmonton conductor, Scott Leithead, whose Kokopelli Choirs are champions of afro-centric choral singing.
Module Two: The World at Our Fingers will feature stunning choral and vocal arrangements from Asia, Europe, South America and the Pacific Islands. Through music, the singers will learn language, culture, and traditions from a global perspective. Artists from around the world will join us in mini-workshops, including Sweden’s Sara Lindroth from the world-famous Adolf Fredriks Choir School.
Module Three: The Poet’s Laugh will be a session where text, and in particular humorous text will be at the forefront. Singing repertoire with lyrics from some of history’s greats, including William Shakespeare, the older choirs will participate in writing sessions led by artists from the Stratford Festival and Second City Comedy Toronto. Our younger singers will have the opportunity to join another Guelph choir in a project celebrating the humour of beloved Guelph children’s author. Made you smile!
2020/2021 Choral Season
For Choir I, each 45-minute rehearsal will be filled with singing and movement games, rhythm exercises, word play and vocab building through singing, cultural dances, and learning with pitched instruments. The singers will get personal attention from the artistic team in small break-off groups, and spend most of the time learning songs for both the final project and personal enjoyment. Guests from the greater arts community will join the choir’s excellent staff to enrich your young singer’s experience.
Choir II will explore fascinating repertoire based on the theme of each module. Break off groups will allow for more personalized attention, working on vocal technique, sight singing, ear training and rhythm games. The choir will work towards three-virtual choir projects for the final presentation, and will participate in the hilarious acting and characterization of the module-ending presentation. Workshops in movement and drama will be included in each module with outstanding guests from the performing arts community.
Choir III will focus on strong vocal pedagogy through comprehensive warm-ups and vocal skills training in a 90-minute rehearsal. The group will be divided according to voice part for concentrated learning of repertoire, and combined for the full choral experience. Theory and sight reading will be supported through small break-off groups, but the focus will remain on the joy of singing. Guest artists will join us for interest talks, including world-famous conductor Scott Leithead, who will lead up through music from the African continent, and jazz vocalist, Shannon Butcher. While the choir will work towards virtual choir projects, participation in the final project is optional for those less comfortable. Private sessions will be available throughout the term for those interested.
SATB will also meet for 90 minutes. The group’s focus will be performance-based, working towards three-virtual-choir projects to be included in the module-ending presentation. Working at an accelerated level, the group will meet artists from the world of professional choral and solo singing, and be joined by guest workshop leaders including Juno Award Nominee, jazz vocalist, Heather Bambrick. Listening sessions, vocal improv, and vocal percussion will highlight our ‘Sing With the Pros’ series. SATB will debut an original piece, written for GYS by Toronto musician, Michael Smith, specifically for on-line presentation. It’s a really exciting gift to these young singers! The majority of rehearsals will take place as a full group, but break-out sessions will happen on occasion for 10-15 minutes, led by auditioned Section Leads. Private coaching throughout the term is available for those interested.
Musical Theatre Academy: In group rehearsals, the young performers will explore stage craft through improvisation games, monologue work, scene study and dance sessions. Guests from Canada’s rich theatre community including Breanne Ritchie from the Stratford Festival and professional acting coach, Cara Brown will offer sessions on subjects related to our final performance. The members of MTA will assume the lead roles and present a scripted libretto to link all of the virtual choirs together for the module-ending presentation. Music theatre solo songs will be coached for those interested. Opportunities to record solo scenes and songs will be facilitated and may be submitted to events like the Kiwanis Festival if desired by the participants.