The Christchurch Youth Choir was established in March 2012, to provide an opportunity for young singers aged 16-26 to sing in an environment with others of a similar age at an exceptional level. Started to fill a space in the Christchurch music scene; that of a singing group for young people outside of high school choirs, it was also a positive initiative to bring together a group of young people after the Christchurch Earthquakes. The Choir provides a productive social and musical setting for the members to set aside any stresses and just sing, as well as to strive to establish a prestigious reputation both within the community and further afield.
CYC is an auditioned group of approximately 45 singers, the majority of whom are tertiary students, though their numbers also include singers from such varied occupations as nurses, teachers, software engineers, and lawyers. They also welcome and encourage high school students of an exceptional standard.
The Choir aims to produce culturally enriching performances at a high standard, as well as looking to extend opportunities for other young, local musicians. CYC also enjoys exploring a variety of ethnically diverse repertoire, from the classical to the contemporary, with a particular focus on New Zealand compositions, in order to extend the skills and knowledge of its members.
A Night At The Shows – End of year concert 2013
In 2013, the Choir expanded its focus to include working with more organisations in Christchurch and the wider musical community. These include the University of Canterbury Student’s Association, for whom the Choir sings at their annual ANZAC Service, and the Addington Brass Band, with whom the Choir collaborates for an annual Christmas concert to fundraise for the Christchurch City Mission. 2014 was another year of firsts for the Choir, partaking in the Christchurch recordings of ‘Praise Be’, leading to their debut on national television, and the recording of ‘New Horizons’, the Choir’s first CD.
Brisbane Sings Choral Festival – 2015
Building on a successful Southern Tour to Timaru and Dunedin in 2013, CYC undertook their first international tour in 2015. Travelling to Brisbane after a successful home concert in August last year, the Choir was fortunate to be able to participate in two major festivals in their five-day trip, receiving an overwhelming welcome and fantastic support from the Australian choristers. The Choir also gave numerous smaller recitals throughout the trip, at local schools, conservatories, and the Queen Street Mall. The tour was a resounding success for the Choir, and a fantastic event to add to their portfolio.
There are now plans being made for CYC to once again travel overseas in July of 2018, this time to partake in the International Choral Kathaumixw in Canada. The Choir is excited to be able to compete and make their mark on the international stage, and will be the first regional choir from New Zealand to do so. For more information or if you would like to support the Choir on this massive undertaking, please see the ‘Support CYC’ page.
CYC is entirely youth-run by a committee of six members elected from the Choir, by the Choir. The present committee is chaired by President Luke Noble, and Vice-President Caitlin Godfrey. As well as a role on the committee, there are many opportunities for youth leadership offered to members, the foremost of these being as a Section Leader within the Choir. The committee and Choir are delighted that both Musical Director Grant Bartley and Accompanist Hsing-Yin Lin are continuing in their roles for the next two-year cycle.