Brooklyn Youth Chorus Returns to In-Person Programming With Openings for Young Singers

After a year of virtual vocal classes and performances, Brooklyn Youth Chorus is back to in-person programming this fall, with plenty of safety precautions in place. Now in its 30th season, the Chorus offers world-class music training for ages 7 to 18 with an emphasis on healthy vocal development, music literacy, and group performance at all levels.

There’s no experience required to join the Brooklyn Youth Chorus, but a love of singing is an absolute must! If you’re interested in getting your music-lover involved, read on for class offerings, COVID-19 safety measures, and the lowdown on how to apply for the 2021/22 season.

Brooklyn Youth Chorus Classes and Ensembles

Programming runs from September to May each year and includes voice and music instruction--with an option for private lessons--across seven different divisions, determined by age and experience level. Students are trained using the Cross-Choral Training® method, which is a proven holistic and experiential approach designed by Founder & Artistic Director Dianne Berkun Menaker. Depending on the age group and level, classes are held 1-2 times weekly from 1-2 hours. Advanced singers may audition for a performing ensemble, meeting up to 3 times a week.

Kids who are new to the Brooklyn Youth Chorus are introduced to the art of choral singing and the study of music notation by learning basic vocal technique, beginning to sight-read, learning to follow a printed score, and singing at least one song per semester in a foreign language. As students progress, they move from unison and two-part singing to three or more voice parts, more complex material, and additional foreign languages. The most advanced singers study and perform a wide range of diverse choral music in three to six part harmony and in many languages, including choral masterworks with orchestra.

Students across all levels have a chance to perform at the Chorus’s self-produced semester-end concerts. And the advanced ensembles--like the Junior or Concert Ensembles and the Men’s Ensemble--often have high-profile opportunities at professional concerts and contracted engagements. Note-worthy past performances have included New York Philharmonic, The National, Bon Iver, International Contemporary Ensemble, London Symphony Orchestra, Barbra Streisand, Arcade Fire, and Sir Elton John, just to name a few!

COVID-19 Safety Precautions

Singing safely is the program’s top priority as it returns to in-person classes for the 2021/22 season. Note that virtual classes will also continue to be available for all ages.

For in-person classes, the following measures are being implemented to help create a safe singing environment for all students.

  • Reduced class sizes
  • Spacious rehearsal venues
  • Masks required
  • Vaccinated teachers
  • HEPA air purifiers
  • High-touch surface cleaning

For ages 12+, vaccines are required for in-person classes. For ages under 12, the enhanced safety measures include further reducing class sizes and maintaining 6’ distancing between singers. Learn more about the Covid-19 Health and Safety policies here.

How to Join Brooklyn Youth Chorus

Enrolling is easy! Just fill-out the New Singer Form, and Brooklyn Youth Chorus will send a follow-up email with your child’s division and level placement, rehearsal times and locations, and details regarding the tuition and financial aid process. Keep in mind that Brooklyn Youth Chorus works with families to make the program accessible for all, so don’t hesitate to join due to financial concerns. Before fully committing to the program, you’ll also have an opportunity to ask any additional questions.

For the upcoming season, in-person vocal auditions are being waived for the training division levels, and new singers are being automatically placed into the-level appropriate for their age group. Just keep in mind that kids may be asked to complete a “new singer assessment” once they’ve joined the Chorus, just to make sure they’ve been given the best placement within the designated levels.

If you’d like to learn more, visit the Brooklyn Youth Chorus website, and take a look at some of the Chorus’s breathtaking vocal performances while you’re at it! When you’re ready, complete the New Singer Form, and your music aficionado will be one step closer to spending a season with one of the top choruses here in the United States.

Photos and video courtesy of Brooklyn Youth Chorus

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