National Youth Choir

The National Youth Choir of Canada (NYC) is a biennial project of Choral Canada, formed of auditioned singers between the ages of 18 and 25 across the country.  Its mandate is to provide a professional training opportunity for Canada's young choral community by:

  • bringing together a quartet of singers between the ages of 18 and 25 years from each province
  • inviting renowned Canadian choral conductors to lead each session
  • providing training and rehearsals which culminate in performance opportunities and a tour in the host province

NYC 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), Ivars Taurins (2012), Hilary Apfelstadt (2014), Michael Zaugg (2016), and Timothy Shantz (2017).

 National Youth Choir 2017 under the direction of Tim Shantz

National Youth Choir 2017 under the direction of Tim Shantz

NYC 2018

Rehearsals for NYC 2018 will take place in Cornerbrook, Newfoundland and Labrador starting June 16th. The choir will rehearse for one week after which they will commence a week-long tour through Newfoundland to St. John’s, arriving in time to be part of Podium on the Edge: Singing From Sea to Sea to Sea.  

This year’s conductor is Jeff Joudrey, Director of Music at Trinity-St. Stephen’s United Church in Amherst, Chorus Master of the Symphony Nova Scotia Chorus, and director of The Halifax Camerata Singers. He is highly regarded for his vision, musical leadership, and standards of excellence in choral music. The Halifax Camerata Singers has four recordings to its credit and was awarded the prestigious Healey Willan Grand Prize and first place in the Chamber Choir category in the 2010 National Competition for Canadian Amateur Choirs. 

Jeff is in demand as a guest conductor, choral clinician, teacher, and adjudicator. He has served on the faculties of Dalhousie and Acadia universities as well as the Nova Scotia Choral Federation’s Institute of Choral Conducting. Elected President of the Association of Canadian Choral Communities in 2012, he is a former president of the Nova Scotia Choral Federation. He has served on juries for the Juno and East Coast Music Awards, the Canada Council, the Ontario Arts Council and the Association of Canadian Choral Communities. 

A native of Nova Scotia, Jeff studied organ at Acadia University and the Haarlem International Academy in the Netherlands before going to McGill University to study with organists John Grew and Raymond Daveluy. His choral mentors include Canadian conductors Elmer Iseler and Wayne Riddell, and conductor Helmuth Rilling of Germany.


The next auditions will be held in the fall of 2019. Visit the National Youth Choir website or see information here for details.


The Manitoba Choral Association provides funding for up to four singers each year. The 2018 recipients are:

  • Katharina Unruh, soprano
  • Erika Rasmussen, alto
  • Charlie Carrier, bass