2016 Ontario Youth Choir

Ontario Youth Choir

Application Deadline Extended to March 4, 2016!


Each summer, 40 choristers between the ages of 16 and 23 are chosen from across the province to participate in the Ontario Youth Choir. Under the guidance of acclaimed professional musicians, the singers are challenged with exciting repertoire and a rigorous enriched curriculum. Each day combines rehearsals, masterclasses, and private vocal lessons with social events and activities to create an exceptional musical experience. OYC is an unforgettable experience that provides extraordinary training with Canada's finest choral conductors. Now in its 44th year, the Ontario Youth Choir boasts over 1,300 alumni who continue to enrich their communities as choristers, conductors, soloists, accompanists, composers, and educators.

The 2016 Ontario Youth Choir programme runs from August 12 to 21, 2016. The choir will train and reside on the downtown campus of the University of Toronto before embarking on a three-city tour culminating in a final performance in Toronto on August 21, 2016.

The Ontario Youth Choir gratefully acknowledges support from Choirs Ontario members and donors, the Flora Morrison Fund at the Toronto Community Foundation, the Vern and Frieda Heinrichs Foundation, the Ontario Arts Council, the Toronto Arts Council, and the Faculty of Music at the University of Toronto.


The Conductor





This year, the Ontario Youth Choir will be led by one of Canada’s foremost choral musicians, Robert Cooper. Mr. Cooper is Artistic Director of the Orpheus Choir of Toronto, Chorus Niagara, the Opera in Concert Chorus, and the newly created Ontario Male Chorus. He has taught at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Music, and has had the honour of conducting the National Youth Choir of Canada, the Ontario Youth Choir (1979, 2007), and a Celebration of Canadian Choral Music at Carnegie Hall. As a superb choral trainer and conductor, Mr. Cooper has provided strong artistic mentoring to singing youth in the Toronto Mendelssohn Youth Choir, as well as the Orpheus Choir Sidgwick Scholars Program, influencing over 2,000 young adult singers.

In addition to his work with choirs, Mr. Cooper has been involved with the presentation of more than 150 operas and has conducted symphony orchestras in Halifax, Winnipeg, Edmonton, Orchestra London, opera companies in Victoria, Ottawa and Winnipeg as well as Toronto Operetta Theatre and Opera in Concert. Over his career Mr Cooper has prepared choruses for many international conductors including Helmuth Rilling, Sir David Willcocks, John Rutter, Sir Andrew Davis, Charles Dutoit, and the late Robert Shaw and Elmer Iseler.  As well as having been a regular member of the Jury for the international choral competition Let The Peoples Sing, he has adjudicated the 2010 World Choral Games in Shaoxing China and the Cincinnati 2012 World Choral Games. He has served as President of both Choirs Ontario and the Association of Canadian Choral Communities, sat on the Board of Directors of Chorus America, and is currently on the Advisory Board of the International Federation of Choral Music and the World Choir Council.  Recipient of the St. Catharines’ Trillium Arts Award, Robert Cooper has also received an Honorary Doctorate from Brock University, the Order of Canada as well as the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for his significant contribution to the Canadian choral community.




The Commitment

Each singer’s responsibilities include learning the music received before arriving and working with others to make the OYC experience a valuable one for all. The fee of $650.00 includes accommodation, meals, lessons, and masterclasses. Choristers are responsible for their travel costs to and from OYC.


The Audition

Please click here for an online application. Please click here to download the aplication brochure. The application deadline is March 4, 2016.