Saskatchewan Choral Federation

National Youth Choir 2017



A project of Choral Canada in partnership with provincial choral organizations and, in 2017, the National Youth Orchestra (NYO), the National Youth Choir (NYC) is a professional development program for Canada’s best emerging choral singers.

In 2017, Choral Canada is presenting a special iteration of the NYC program in celebration of Canada's 150th birthday, in a year where there is normally no National Youth Choir program.  This year NYC will tour Ontario and Quebec with the National Youth Orchestra of Canada (NYCO).

Singers between 18 and 25 will be auditioned with up to 4 singers chosen from each province and territory. NYC conductors are selected by a panel of their peers. 

All NYC rehearsals will be conducted in English.


In 2017, NYC will convene in Kitchener, ON, at Wilfred Laurier University for a week-long rehearsal camp beginning on July 14th.  The choir will then tour to Stratford, Ottawa, Montreal and Toronto with the National Youth Orchestra of Canada from July 20-25, 2017, as part of NYCO's EDGES OF CANADA Tour.  Singers are required to be onsite and to travel with the choir for the duration of the rehearsal camp and tour, and must not have any other professional or personal commitments during that time which would interfere with their ability to participate in all activities of the National Youth Choir.


NYC 2017 will be conducted by Timothy Shantz.  Shantz has received accolades as both conductor and singer. In 2012 he founded Luminous Voices, Calgary’s first professional choir, to critical acclaim. Kenneth Delong of the Calgary Herald declared, “Few musical experiences are more beautiful than a choir that sings as well as this one.” Shantz is also Artistic Director of Spiritus Chamber Choir, winners of the 2013 Healey Willan Prize, and Chorus Master for the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra. He has worked extensively as conductor, collaborator, and tenor soloist with ensembles and festivals in Canada, the U.S. and Europe, including the Luzerne Festival Academy, the Carmel Bach Festival, the Kölner Vokalsolisten, National Youth Choir of Canada, Pro Coro Canada, Richard Eaton Singers and the Windsor Symphony Orchestra. In 2012, Shantz debuted both as guest conductor with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra in Handel’s Messiah, and as tenor soloist in the “Bach at Knox” series. As tenor soloist, Shantz’s 2013-14 season includes a performance with the Alberta Baroque Orchestra, a solo recital at the University of Calgary, as well as Handel’s Messiah with the Masterwork Chorus at Carnegie Hall, New York.

Shantz’s choirs are recognized for their expressive warmth, clarity of sound and diverse programming, with performances and recordings heard regularly on national and regional radio. He enjoys programming a wide range of repertoire, from early music to contemporary and from virtuoso unaccompanied choral works to large choral-orchestral masterpieces. Spiritus Chamber Choir has released two commercial recordings under his direction, with a third planned for early 2014. In 2011, Spiritus was awarded the Ministry of Culture Prize at France’s Florilège Vocal de Tours. Shantz has led his choirs to first place awards in the Canadian National Competition for Amateur Choirs in 2008 (University of Windsor Women’s Chamber Choir), 2010 and 2013 (Spiritus Chamber Choir).

Shantz has prepared many choruses for the concert and stage, in collaboration with conductors David Effron, Joseph Flummerfelt, Paul Hillier, Roberto Minczuk, Grzegorz Nowak, John Morris Russell, Yoav Talmi, Ivars Taurins and Jean-Marie Zeitouni. Shantz has studied with Frieder Bernius, Noel Edison, Jan Harrington, Paul Hillier, John Poole, Leonard Ratzlaff and Jon Washburn. His studies culminated in a Doctor of Music degree from Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, with a dissertation on the unaccompanied choral work Sun-Dogs by James MacMillan.



NOTE:  SCF is administering the selection of singers to represent Saskatchewan in the 2017 National Youth Choir.  Please ensure all materials are submitted to the Saskatchewan Choral Federation.  All materials must be sent to


Your audition must be recorded and consist of the following:

  • 2 short contrasting solo pieces, one in English and one in another language, from the classical genre, performed in the bel canto singing style

  • Vocalises that show your full range and tone quality

Please refer to the APPLICATION & AUDITION GUIDELINES for more specific information about solo pieces, vocal exercises and sight singing excerpt.  To obtain the sight-singing excerpt, have your conductor or voice teacher contact the SCF office.
A note on accompaniment: Your audition does not need to be accompanied, although you may want accompaniment for your solo piece. An accompanist may assist with the other three parts when you do your sight-singing.

Supporting Materials

You will also be expected to provide the following, submitted electronically, with your audition materials:

  • Your choral/musical resume, outlining your choral experience, musical education, and vocal training


  • Headshot-style photograph in .jpg format (it doesn’t need to be a professional photo! Just have a friend or family member snap a close-up picture)

  • A signed letter of recommendation from a voice teacher or conductor, indicating what part you typically sing in your current choir


Your NYC audition must be submitted to the SCF office, 1415-B Albert Street, Regina, S4R 2R8, by 12:00 midnight Monday, February 20, 2017.


Participation in National Youth Choir 2017 costs $800.00 per chorister.  This is approximately one-third the actual cost per singers, with the other two-thirds of the cost being covered by generous support from Heritage Canada for the 2017 NYOC EDGES OF CANADA Tour and Choral Canada donors and sponsors.  The tuition fee covers roundtrip airfare, program tuition, music, accommodations, rehearsal week meals and ground transportation for the duration of the entire NYC program.

Choristers should be prepared to bring pocket money for personal expenditures outside of the travel, accommodation and meals provided by the program.

All fees must be paid with a maximum of three postdated cheques (made payable to Choral Canada) and cashable by May 1, 2017.  SCF will assist, where possible, in locating grants and scholarships to help reduce the cost of participation.  Program costs should not be considered a barrier to participation.  Please contact the SCF office if assistance is required.


Singers will be notified as soon as audition results are available.  Sucessful singers will have one week to confirm their participation and submit payment to the SCF office.  Applicants who do not provide written confirmation of their intention to paricipate and/or submit payment within the given timeline will forfeit their place and the next successful singer will be contacted to determine their interest and availability.