To celebrate its 25th, GYS is having a party and YOU are on the guest list

2884 GYS 30 by Dean Palmer

by Guelph Youth Singers

Guelph Youth Singers turns 25 this year. Where has all the time gone! It all began in 1991 when Guelph Youth Singers (GYS – also initially known as Guelph Children’s Singers) was formed, as a joint project of Guelph Arts Council and the Guelph Chamber Music Society. Comprised of four main auditioned choirs and several specialized choral groups, GYS brings together children and youth ages 6 to 19+ for a musical adventure like no other. The GYS program as a whole provides choristers with weekly instruction in vocal technique, music theory, sight singing and choral choreography. In addition, participation in up to five major concerts each year, workshops and competitions and, almost every season, a tour or exchange for the senior choir. The program is demanding and the commitment of choristers and their families is substantial. The results, however, are priceless.

Photo by Dean Palmer, courtesy of Guelph Youth Singers

“I received such an exceptional musical education with GYS. From sight-reading, harmonizing, performing and technique, I learned about dedication, precision and execution.” (GYS alumna)

In addition to the comprehensive educational and musical experience these choristers receive, there are less tangible but equally important aspects of social development, community and confidence building. They are gaining skills that transfer into real-life scenarios outside of music, skills that alumni speak of extensively when asked about their GYS experience. Its existence adds richness and beauty to our community, our province, and our country.

Under GYS Founder and Artistic Director, Linda Beaupré – one of the most respected musical educators and conductors in Canada – the choir evolved into a high-quality, artistically and musically respected choral ensemble for youth in Guelph and area. Linda crafted a program that built musicianship, music literacy and community alongside developing a joy for singing.

Upon Linda’s retirement in 2013, one of Canada’s most dynamic choral leaders, Markus Howard, took over as artistic director, conductor and choreographer for GYS. The choir’s excitement is electric as we move into this next phase of an incredible musical journey. Markus brings to GYS his extensive background as a conductor, educator, and adjudicator. His work with world-class musicians, including the Canadian Opera Company and numerous professional choirs, as well as his talent working with musical theatre and jazz, brings a fresh perspective to the choir. GYS is energized to be evolving as this new musical direction adds another fantastic layer to an already well-established ensemble.

2884 GYS 16 by Dean Palmer

Photo by Dean Palmer, courtesy of Guelph Youth Singers

To celebrate its 25th, GYS is having a party and YOU are on the guest list. Join us in the season-long festivities as we celebrate our favourite music from the past quarter century, and blaze a musical trail of new melodies and lyrics that will have you coming back for the next 25 years. Guest artists, newly commissioned music, spectacular collaborations, alumni participation and many more surprises highlight a year that will leave you breathless. Join these amazing young musicians as they sing their hearts out and remind us why Guelph Youth Singers is a cornerstone in the musical life of our community. You don’t want to miss the party!

Here’s what to expect:

Concert One: “Heartstring,” Sunday, October 25, 2015, 3 p.m. at Dublin Street United Church

Harrow Fair, with Miranda Mulholland (Great Lake Swimmers, Belle Star) and Andrew Penner (Sunparlour Players), and string players from Suzuki String School of Guelph will join GYS Choir III and SATB Choir (Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Bass) in a fresh melding of voices and strings.

Concert Two: “Snowforms,” Saturday, December 5, 2015, 7 p.m., Harcourt Memorial United Church

Markus Howard, artistic director & conductor, and Heather Fleming, Choir I conductor, will showcase all GYS choirs in our annual Winter concert. The perfect way to start off the holiday season and set the stage for a happy 2016.

Concert Three: “Honour Song,” Sunday, February 21, 2016, 3 p.m., The Frank Hasenfratz Centre of Excellence, Tech Hall

A new musical partnership and friendship for Guelph Youth Singers with the Wiiji Numgumook Kwe Drum Circle will highlight Canadian Aboriginal music and culture and introduce our singers and audience to a previously unexplored sound, rhythm and repertoire.

Concert Four: “The Mythical Forest,” Sunday, April 3, 2016, 3 p.m. Guelph Youth Music Centre

Markus Howard, will write, direct and conduct this special children’s concert to be performed by GYS I and II choristers. Costumes and props will add drama, excitement and fun to this production, which will be a favourite for our young singers.

Concert Five (the Finale): “Bountiful: A 25th Celebration,” Saturday, May 28, 2016, 7 p.m. River Run Centre

This 25th Anniversary Spring Concert will both honour our foundation and usher GYS into the next 25 years. The concert will also feature a performance with GYS alumni.

Don’t Miss a Performance (this is a special season)!

Only $99 for all 5 performances. It’s like attending one concert for free! Tickets are available to the public on October 1 at the River Run box office: 519-763-3000, Single Ticket Prices: $25/Adult; $20/Senior & Student and $5/eyeGO

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