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Variations on a Theme

June 6, 2023

We recently asked Barrett, a 9-year-old Chorister who just completed his first year of BYC, what makes BYC special to him:

"Who could have ever come up with this?!

It’s so brilliant and so fun! It's a spot where we can all show who we are."

I love Barrett's enthusiasm.

Alas, BYC didn't 'come up' with singing itself, but we are proud of all the ways it enables our young singers to grow—not just as musicians, but as leaders and as people.

At our spring concert last month, that growth was on full display. Nervous expressions of stage fright transformed into grins of pride for a job well done. Countless singers smiled simply at the joy they had found in harmonizing with each other. And our audience embraced our singers with warm recognition of the time and effort it took for them to be successful that day.

Concerts are a mere glimpse of our singers’ experiences. Each week, our singers blend their unique voices, tune notes they didn’t know they could sing, and discover how their part fits within the whole. That mixture of discovery, teamwork and harmony is what makes BYC what it is. Beautiful music is the vehicle that allows our singers to grow together.

"It’s definitely a place where you can really be yourself. I've made so many amazing friendships that are definitely going to last a lifetime."

Sophie Strick, Chorale

"Berks Youth Chorus is amazing, and it’s a program that cares about its singers year-round. It's a a family that cares about our causes, our craft as singers, and it encourages young kids. And they welcome everyone."

Ellyssa Elliott, graduating MasterSinger/new BYC alumna

We ended our year with a picnic. Our singers and staff wrote notes of gratitude to each other for a year well done. I saw multiple new singers refer to each other as “BFF”s. Many singers, siblings and parents sang karaoke—and quite a few MasterSingers playfully jumped in as backup dancers.

The season of change has arrived. Our seniors are off to their next chapters, and new singers will join our community in the coming year.

Meanwhile, we're planning for the year ahead. Just as no two performances are the same, each new year of BYC is a variation on what came before. We reflect on our successes and pitfalls, and we constantly search for new ways to improve our singers' experiences.

Every step of the way, we’re thankful for our singers, our supporters and every person who has propelled BYC forward.

All of us at BYC wish you a summer of reflection and new beginnings.

Until we meet again,

Sam Barge

Executive & Artistic Director

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