Every two years, singers between the ages of 18 and 25 are auditioned across the country to form the National Youth Choir. Initiated in 1984, the choir has won critical acclaim across Canada since its inception. Some of the finest Canadian choral conductors have been invited to conduct the choir. The NYC has performed at all Podium conferences since 1984 and at the 1993 World Symposium on Choral Music in Vancouver. NYC concerts have been broadcast nationally on the CBC Stereo Network.
The National Youth Choir has been under the direction of John Standing (1984), Jon Washburn (1986), Wayne Riddell (1988), James Fankhauser (1990), Elmer Iseler (1992), Diane Loomer (1994), Robert Cooper (1996), Iwan Edwards (1998), Leonard Ratzlaff (2000), Lydia Adams (2002), Kathryn Laurin (2004), Richard Sparks (2006), Dr. Julian Wachner (2008), Dr. Victoria Meredith (2010) and Ivars Taurins (2012).
Read "Words to Sing and Live By: “Cool Head, Warm Heart”, an article about the NYC experience written by Andrea Ellis (NYC 2012) on Incanto, the ACCC Student Chapter blog.
National Youth Choir
2014 will be held in Nova Scotia under the direction of
Dr. Hilary Apfelstadt is the Director of Choral Programs at the University of Toronto. Canadian by birth, she began her music education in Nova Scotia at the age of five. Her degrees, all in vocal music education, are from the University of Toronto, the University of Illinois, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She also has a diploma in piano performance (ARCT) from the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto.
From 1993 –2010, she was Professor and Director of Choral Activities at the Ohio State University in Columbus where she also served as Associate Director for the School of Music from 2008–2010. Choirs under her direction have performed at regional and national conferences of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) and at state and regional conferences of the National Association of Music Education (MENC). She has conducted many honour choirs and all-state choruses throughout the United States, and has guest conducted in Canada, Cuba, and England. In February 2009, she conducted the Mormon Tabernacle Choir in a public broadcast of “Music and the Spoken Word.” She has led choral festivals in Switzerland and Austria, and conducted at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome in 2011. She was conductor of the Ontario Youth Choir in 2011 and has been selected as the National Youth Choir (Canada) conductor for 2014. She is a frequent lecturer and clinician at professional conferences and universities, and is a mentor to many young conductors and choral educators.
Dr. Apfelstadt’s research areas include leadership styles among conductors, and choral repertoire, particularly by Canadian composers. She has published over eighty articles on choral music in various refereed journals, and wrote two chapters in Wisdom, Wit and Will: Women Conductors on their Art, (GIA, 2009). One of several contributors to Women’s Choirs: Strategies for Success (GIA, in press 2012), Dr. Apfelstadt wrote a chapter on treble chorus music by Canadian composers. She serves on the editorial boards of The Choral Scholar, the official publication of the National Collegiate Conductors Organization (NCCO), the ACDA Choral Journal, and the International Journal of Research in Choral Singing, as well as editing a regular choral column for the Canadian Music Educator. She is an advisory board member for AIRS (Advanced Disciplinary Research in Singing), a project funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. A past national president of ACDA, Dr. Apfelstadt sang with the Robert Shaw Festival Singers for several years and recorded two CD’s for Telarc with the Singers in France.
Four singers from each province will be selected to form the NYC.
For information on auditioning and costs, contact your provincial federation or e-mail NYC Co-Ordinator Robert Neufeld.
Highlights from the 1988, 1990 and 1992 editions of the NYC are available on CD from ACCC at a cost of $18 per CD (postage and handling included).
The Association of Canadian Choral Communities also sponsors the National Youth Choir Conducting Apprenticeship Program.