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Cleveland Orchestra Youth Chorus

Lisa Wong, Director
Daniel Singer, Assistant Director

The Cleveland Orchestra Youth Chorus was founded in 1991 to raise awareness of choral music-making in the schools of northeastern Ohio and to encourage more students to continue their choral activities through college and into adulthood. The 100 members of the Youth Chorus are in grades 9 to 12 and represent some 40 schools and communities. Like their colleagues in the Youth Orchestra, they are chosen through competitive auditions.

The Youth Chorus presents an average of five concerts each season and collaborates with other musical ensembles such as The Cleveland Orchestra, the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra, and Cleveland State University and Baldwin Wallace University Conservatory of Music choral ensembles.  In addition to performances at Severance Hall, their activities include concerts and community engagement programs in the greater Cleveland area.  The Youth Chorus participates in workshops and masterclasses with highly regarded choral directors and clinicians. The ensemble has performed at the Ohio Choral Directors Association Convention, the 2010 Ohio Music Education Association in Cincinnati, Ohio, and on subscription concerts at the Cathedral of St. John in Cleveland.  Many members receive the opportunity to sing side-by-side with the Cleveland Orchestra Chorus during holiday concerts and at the annual Blossom Festival. 

The Cleveland Orchestra Youth Chorus has been led by Gareth Morell (1991-98), Betsy Burleigh (1998-2006), Frank Bianchi (2006-12), and Lisa Wong (from 2012).  The ensemble has been widely praised as one of the top high-school-aged choral performing ensembles in the state of Ohio.

Initial funding for the Youth Chorus was provided by the W.O. Frohring Foundation, the Edward and Ruth Wilkof Foundation, and the Sears Family Foundation. Ongoing support is provided by the Edward and Ruth Wilkof Foundation.

The Cleveland Orchestra Youth Chorus Chamber Ensemble is a select group of Youth Chorus members which appears regularly on local TV shows and in pre-concert activities at Severance Hall and Blossom Music Center. The group has also been featured in the Circle in the City arts series in downtown Cleveland, at Cleveland Cavaliers games, and as part of the the Cleveland Orchestra Neighborhood Residency program in Gordon Square. They will perform side-by-side with the Cleveland Orchestra Chorus at the evening Cleveland Orchestra Christmas Concerts on December 20, 21, and 22.

Cleveland Orchestra Youth Chorus 2013-2014 Concert Schedule

Saturday, December 7, 2013 at  7:30 p.m.
Cleveland Orchestra Youth Chorus Holiday Concert
Rocky River Presbyterian Church
21750 Detroit Road
Rocky River, Ohio
This is a free event.

Saturday, December 14, 2013 at  2:00 p.m.
Mother and Child
with Cleveland Orchestra Children’s Chorus, Quire Cleveland, & the Trinity Cathedral Choir
This themed choral event focuses on music inspired by holy imagery of the Virgin and Child in the museum’s collection of medieval art.
Cleveland Museum of Art
This is a free event.

Saturday, December 21, 2014, 6:50 p.m. 
Cleveland Orchestra Christmas Concert, Pre-Concert Performance
Severance Hall
Christmas Concert ticket required.

Monday, January 20, 2014 
Martin Luther King Community Open House
Performance time TBA
Severance Hall
This is a free event

Sunday, March 9, 2014 at  7:00 p.m.
Cleveland Orchestra Youth Chorus / Youth Orchestra Concert
BEETHOVEN - Overture to Fidelio
HINDEMITH - Symphony: Mathis der Maler
MENDELSSOHN - Hymn: "Help Me, Lord, to Find Peace"
Severance Hall
This is a ticketed event.

Youth Chorus Eligibility and Auditions

All students in grades 9-12 are eligible to audition for the Youth Chorus, as are 8th grade boys with changed voices. Some Youth Chorus alumni may also be invited by the director to participate in Youth Chorus activities as section leaders. Participation requires a nominal tuition fee, plus the cost of concert attire, however scholarships are available to those in need. Youth Chorus rehearsals are held on Sunday afternoons from mid-September through early March.

Auditions for the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Chorus are held each spring. For audition dates and requirements, please call the Chorus office at 216-231-7374, send an email to, or click here for the most current audition information.


Daniel Singer, Assistant Director

Daniel Singer is director of choir and orchestra at University School in Hunting Valley, Ohio. He is also an active arranger and composer, having written for choral and instrumental ensembles throughout the United States. From 2003 to 2009, Mr. Singer worked as a performer, music director, and teacher in the Chicago area. Mr. Singer taught high school choral music in the cities of Lincolnshire and Cary and participated in music engagement in the Chicago Public Schools. Mr. Singer holds a bachelor of music degree summa cum laude in Choral and Instrumental Music Education from Northwestern University and a master of music degree in Choral Conducting from Michigan State University.