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Youth Chorus


To open the program, gifted conductor James Bagwell took his Youth Chorus through three pieces in the tradition of the Anglican Church….The singers' well-trained voices were ideal for Britten’s hymn of praise. Janelle Gelfand Cincinnati Enquirer

The May Festival Youth Chorus, was organized in 1987 to give high school students the opportunity to rehearse and perform challenging choral music in a highly stimulating artistic environment. The group, sponsored by the Scripps Howard Foundation, rehearses weekly and performs annually on several area concert series and the Cincinnati May Festival.

In addition to annual events, the May Festival Youth Chorus performs frequently with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and the Cincinnati Pops. Many students also sing with adult May Festival Chorus members at seasonal Riverbend Concerts. In 2007 the Youth Chorus was featured onFrom the Top, the preeminent showcase for America’s best young musicians on NPR and PBS.

Since 1996, James Bagwell has been the Music Director for the May Festival Youth Chorus. Membership, which is currently made up of students from 25 area high schools, fosters the development of musical expertise and appreciation which encourages participants to further pursue musical endeavors following graduation.

Students are selected for membership in the May Festival Youth Chorus through auditions held in September and January. Students in grades 9-12 from area public, private and parochial schools are eligible to audition. For information about auditioning, please call 513.744.3229 or email rwetzel@mayfestival.com.