Our Programs
Nova Scotia Youth Choir : 26th Season

2016 Guest Conductor: John Trotter
Resident Conductors: Krista Vincent & Ross Thompson
Accompanist: Lynette Wahlstrom
Vocal Coaches: Jennifer Farrell, Lucy Hayes-Davis, Christianne Rushton, Garth MacPhee, Susan Boddie

The Nova Scotia Youth Choir is now in its 26th Anniversary year!  Through auditions, approximately 40 singers ages 16-25 will be chosen to work with a faculty of fine musicians dedicated to excellence in vocal performance and musicianship.  They will provide them a challenging opportunity to work, develop and perform choral music together at a very high calibre. 

Choristers work with the faculty during two rehearsal periods in May and August. Final rehearsal sessions will be led by the guest conductor and will culminate in performances in Lunenburg and Dartmouth on September 24 and 25, 2016.

Program Highlights:

• Group Vocal Technique and Private Voice Lessons with University Voice Faculty

• Workshops led by vocal experts on a variety of topics such as pedagogy, diction, tuning, audition preparation and building your musical resume.

• Scholarship program with leadership opportunities, and increased bursary program for tuition and travel. 


Click on image of brochure to download!

Check out this awesome VIDEO all about the NSYC!

Scroll down the page for more information on the following:

  • Audition Information and Registration
  • John Trotter - Meet our Guest Conductor 2016
  • Dates of the Program and Singer Expectations
  • Testimonials
  • Fees, Financial Assistance and Louise Simons Memorial Scholarship
  • Selected Choir Member Information

AUDITIONS - Stay tunes for 2017 dates


• present a piece of music of your own choice
• analyze a choral score and sight read your part
• engage in a brief music interview, including vocalizing and aural tests

Singers should choose a piece of music they feel comfortable with which demonstrates their musical ability and shows off their voice to its best advantage. Classical repertoire is advised, although not required. Songs listed for music festivals make good choices. Voice quality, presentation and total balance of choral sound are taken into consideration during participant selection.

* Please bring a copy of your music for our accompanist

VIDEO AUDITIONS:   Although it is to your benefit to audition in person, video recordings will be accepted.  When you complete your application from we will contact you.  Video Files may be sent by email, or a video can be put on YouTube and a link emailed to the office.

• a piece of music of your own choice
• 2 vocalises that show range in either direction
• A piece of sight reading (will be sent to you via email after you notify us of your recording time.)



John William Trotter has conducted more than a dozen professional orchestras and choirs in seven countries, and his work from the podium has been recognized internationally through numerous prizes, grants, and invitations.  Prior to joining the Wheaton College Conservatory of Music as a full-time faculty member in 2012, he served as Associate Conductor of Canada's outstanding professional ensemble, the Vancouver Chamber Choir.  His performance of the Vivaldi Magnificat was hailed by the Vancouver Sun as "a radiant performance of this work that overstated nothing and brought out all of its freshness and charm”, and his season opening concert was broadcast nationally by CBC radio.  As part of his work with the ensemble, Dr. Trotter established and enhanced engagement programs for composers, conductors, singers, and audience members.  He was also the founding conductor of Vancouver-based Pacifica Singers, an ensemble with a mandate to provide experienced and motivated choral singers with direct exposure to the world of professional music making. 

In 2015, Trotter was named Principal Music Director of Chicago A Cappella, the professional ensemble described by the Chicago Tribune as "The city's liveliest, most versatile vocal ensemble", and Chicago Magazine as "The area's best unaccompanied group".  At Wheaton College, Dr. Trotter conducts the Concert Choir and trains young conductors.  Under his direction, the Concert Choir has performed with professional ensembles, sung on professional concert series, been featured at music conferences, recognized as finalists for the American Prize, and toured widely.  In their pursuit of the full breadth of the musicians' vocation, they have also performed in a furniture store, as a flash mob, at a homeless shelter, and for hundreds of inmates at a state prison.  Recently, the Choir has enjoyed exploring interdisciplinary collaborations with dancers and painters, and engaging in improvisation with audiences.  

Trotter is well known for his ability to connect with audiences and for his interest in building bridges between the professional music world, music training institutions, and the wider community.  His activities now range from choral/orchestral masterworks, jazz, new music and film score recording to work as a consultant, clinician, adjudicator, conducting teacher, composer/arranger, writer, speaker, and leader of improvisation workshops.


• Rehearsal Session  - May 28 and 29  -  Halifax
• Rehearsal Session -  August 18 - 21  – United Church Campground, Berwick
• Rehearsals - September 22 - 24 - Lunenburg Academy (Rehearsals)
• Concert Tour - September 24 - Wolfville, NS (evening)
• Concert Tour - September 25 - Lunenburg (afternoon), and Darmouth (evening)

Choristers will work with the resident conductors and guest voice faculty at the two rehearsal weekends. These will include rehearsals, pull out voice lessons, and workshops with guest vocal artists. The final rehearsal session in September will be led by the guest conductor and will culminate with three performances on September 24th (Wolfville) and 25th (Lunenburg and HRM).

**It is expected that all singers prepare their music in advance of the first weekend, and to come to August Camp with all notes/rhythms/text in place, and any memory work or other assignments given by the conductors, completed.  Testing in August will be done and singers who arrive without knowing their music may be dismissed from the choir.

TESTIMONIALS - Successful Alumni Speak About the Program

"It has been 3 years since I last sang with the Nova Scotia Youth Choir; however I am still to this day, reaping the benefits of what it provided for me as a young musician, and as a young person. The benefits of the program reach far beyond making fine music with other young, enthusiastic singers. It is an opportunity to develop skills which are essential to the life of a musician, to network with some of the leading figures in the Canadian conducting scene, and to feel inherently more human. The ability to sing well in an ensemble has become a means by which I have been able to support myself financially, and has been hugely beneficial for my performances in opera and musical theatre. The NSYC also presents you with the rare opportunity to work with the most prominent conductors, not just of choirs, but also of orchestras and symphonies. The relationships which I was able to develop with these conductors led to professional engagements with their ensembles, which in turn led to further connections and more work. For me, the Nova Scotia Youth Choir was more than just a choir; it was a program of professional development which just happened to also be a whole lot of fun."

~ Marcel d’Entremont - NSYC & National Youth Choir alumn.
Winner of the 2014 National Music Festival in Voice Performance

“The Nova Scotia Youth Choir provided an enriching musical experience, created wonderful life-long connections, and shaped future endeavors of an entire generation of successful musicians in Nova Scotia. The knowledge and skill demanded of choir members, and the rigorous training, coupled with immensely rewarding performances, nurtures all young musicians in an immensely positive way. The support from the Nova Scotia Choral Federation, the involvement with the Nova Scotia Youth Choir, and the opportunities to seek further national choral experiences (with the National Youth Choir of Canada), were the most influential and important musical experiences of my young life as an aspiring singer.”

~ Dr. Christianne Rushton
Director of the School of Music
Head of Vocal Studies, Acadia University


Cost - $350.00 per singer

Fee Includes:  Audition Fee • Tuition for 10 full days of choral instruction and organized activities, which includes 50+ hours of rehearsal, clinics and private voice lessons • Music rental • T-shirt (Casual Uniform) • All site fees, accommodations and meals for 4 days at camp • Most meals at final rehearsal weekend (provided by NSYC volunteer committee)

Accommodation:  Except for August Camp, singers are billeted by volunteers in each community.


The Halifax Camerata Singers are the generous providers of bursaries for the NSYC program.   Applications due April 15, 2016:  Click here for the Camerata Bursary Application

Louise Simons Memorial Scholarship - Covers full tuition and provides leadership and learning opportunities!  Applications due April 15, 2016:  Click here for guidelines and application

Travel Bursary Application - Helps to cover gas and travel expenses for singers
Applications due April 15, 2016 - Click here for PDF Application


  • Option 1: Send a cheque to:  Nova Scotia Choral Federation, 1113 Marginal Rd, Halifax, NS, B3H 4P7 (payable to Nova Scotia Choral Federation)

  • Option 2: Pay online with PayPal Here!
    (please note a service charge will be added when using PayPal)

Payment Options for NSYC

SINGER INFORMATION (for singers accepted into the 2016 choir)

REQUIRED FORMS:  Click on link below to download.  Forms and fees due May 1st.


REHEARSAL SCHEDULES - (with Driving Directions)

  • May 28 - 29 - Halifax
  • August 18 - 21- Berwick Camp Weekend
  • September 22 - 25 - Lunenburg Rehearsals with Concerts in Lunenburg and Dartmouth