Community Response

What does the community gain?

Audiences enjoy the wonder of live performances given joyfully and enthusiastically with innocence and the spontaneity of youth. The BYC singers speak a language that needs no translation-the universal language of music.

What does the community say about BYC?

  • Mark R. Rigg

    Pastor, Advent Lutheran Church, West Lawn

    “It was an honor to host the BYC and to hear them fill our worship space with their glorious sounds. They came well prepared, and both the youth and their directors displayed a charming enthusiasm. We appreciated the blend of sacred and secular tunes—Rutter and requiems rubbing elbows with international pieces on the elements and old favorites like ‘Chattanooga Choo Choo.’ Bravo.” (3/10/11)

  • Brenda A. Winkler, Ed.D.

    Retired, Superintendent, Kutztown Area School District

    “What a wonderful opportunity! The BYC provides an additional, and exceptional, musical experience for school-age students. As a former music teacher and recently retired school superintendent, I see first-hand how the BYC enhances the music instruction of our schools and further provides outstanding performance opportunities for children from across the county.” (7/24/08)

  • Mike Jupina

    Vice President, Communications & Marketing, St. Joseph Medical Center

    “My daughter’s experience in Training Chorus provided her with more than just a musical education. It also gave her the confidence to perform (and in front of large audiences, too!), and is helping her to understand the value of working as a member of a group. She also learned about the importance of practice and organization. But, most of all, she has had fun, made new friends and is looking forward to moving up to Choristers.” (7/21/08)

  • Tom Work

    Vice-Chairman, The Reading Hospital and Medical Center;
    Former Board Chair, Reading Musical Foundation

    “BYC consistently achieves the finest in music education through ensembles that are committed to excellence in musical performance. Research tells us that the lessons in discipline, personal commitment, reliability and teamwork children learn through BYCÕs program of instruction will materialize in adults who are bright, energetic, engaging members of the community and likely to be among our most effective leaders and volunteers. BYC is worthy of our support on two counts: Its concerts are superb entertainment, and it is a sound investment in our children and Berks County.” (7/1/08)

  • Peter Brye

    Music Director, Reading Symphony Youth Orchestra

    “The BYC continues to be a treasure of the Berks County artistic and educational community! The professional training coupled with outstanding performance opportunities provide artistic experiences for young musicians that of which many communities can only dream. I can easily say that the collaborations between the BYC and the Reading Symphony Youth Orchestra have been nothing short of exceptional! Bravo BYC!” (7/1/08)

  • Phyllis McLaughlin

    Executive Director, Community School of Music and the Arts

    “The Berks Youth Chorus is truly a treasure to our community! Comprised of children from all cultural and economic areas of the community, learning to sing from their hearts, it defines harmony in every sense of the word.” (7/2/08)

  • Linda M. Anderson

    Managing Partner, The Anderson Group

    “The Berks Youth Chorus is a rare find and a wonderful opportunity for parents and students to enrich their musical experiences. The singers learn much about themselves, the discipline needed to achieve excellence, and the absolute joy of singing in “one voice.” Parents of creative, musically-inclined children have many options, but participating in BC3 should be high on the list.” (7/10/08)

  • Susan Pe–a

    Reading Eagle & Times

    “The [BYC] MasterSingers showed their polished, lovely sound and perfect diction in Gershwin’s ‘I Got Rhythm/Fascinating Rhythm’ and ‘A Foggy Day,’ and in a Berlin medley whose highlight was a precise, hushed ‘Puttin’ on the Ritz.’” (1/22/06)

    “The Berks Youth Chorus presented a segment with the group’s usual precision and sweet sound.” (12/14/99)

    “The BYC’s subsequent performances were beautifully prepared and precise to the last completely memorized syllable.” (12/14/98)

    “The BYC has maintained its reputation for precision and musicality.” (12/16/97)

  • Jean Ashworth Bartle

    Founder & Music Director, Toronto Children’s Chorus, Toronto, Canada

    “What a privilege it was for me to conduct the Berks Youth Chorus at the Heritage Music Festival in New York City last April [2001]. The choristers sang not only with beautiful tone quality, great musicality, and impeccable diction, but also with strong commitment and infectious joy.” (5/22/01)

  • Judith Willoughby

    Founder, Temple University Children’s Choir, Philadelphia, PA;
    Associated Director of Choral Activities, Oklahoma City University, Oklahoma City, OK

    “The Berks Youth Chorus is an outstanding musical resource for the children of northeast Pennsylvania. They sparkle with their beautiful tone, sophisticated musicianship, winning ensemble and stage presence. They are a community treasure!” (8/6/01)

  • Greg Funfgeld

    Artistic Director & Conductor, The Bach Choir of Bethlehem, Bethlehem, PA

    “The Berks Youth Chorus is a precious thing in our world-an ensemble of gifted and disciplined young people, impeccably prepared by passionate and nurturing mentors. Their artistry and the beauty of their singing are truly impressive. It has been a privilege to work with them. These young singers help ensure that the future of the choral art in America is in very good hands indeed.” (8/20/01)

  • David DeVenney

    Music Director of the Reading Choral Society

    I have always found [BYC] thoroughly prepared, actively engaged in the musical process, and mature in the presentation and musicianship.” (10/15/99)

  • Sidney Rothstein

    Music Director of the Reading Symphony Orchestra

    “The musical discipline shown and heard each time that the BYC has sung with the RSO is indeed impressive.” (10/15/99)

  • Philip A. Metzger

    The Morning Call, Allentown

    “One of the treats of the first half was the Berks Youth Chorus.” (5/8/99)

Hear what music educators say about the magic of BYC!

  • Andrea C. Brumbach

    Music Teacher, Exeter Township Senior High School & BYC Parent

    “I have found that the BYC singers that are members of my choirs tend to be more disciplined; have a more developed head tone and tone quality; have more range; have excellent intonation and have experience with more difficult literature. They lead their sections, and have more advanced musicianship skills.”

  • Sandra Sittler

    Retired, Music Teacher, Reading High School

    “Berks Youth Chorus has been nurturing the musical skills of our young people for over ten years. The young singers who participate in the chorus learn a wide variety of musical and personal skills that will stay with them, and enrich and change their lives and the lives of those who are fortunate to hear them perform.”

  • Donnasue Thompson

    Music Teacher, Cornwall Terrace Elementary School & BYC Parent

    “Students who participate in BYC enjoy the challenge of higher level choral reading skills as well as the joy of meeting new friends who share in their love of music.”

  • Kathryn Wadsworth

    Music Teacher, Governor Mifflin School District & BYC Parent

    “As an elementary music teacher, I am often asked by parents to recommend a voice teacher. I always reply that the best training for children’s voices available in this area is BYC. As the parent of a MasterSinger, I have also experienced the joy of watching my son create breathtaking music as part of an outstanding musical ensemble.”

  • Rosemary Barrell

    Music Teacher, Oley Valley Middle School & BYC Parent

    “As a music educator and parent of a MasterSinger, I have found Berks Youth Chorus to be a wonderful way for talented young people to expand their school music experience. The training they receive proves invaluable in all their endeavors.”