The New Jersey Youth Chorus provides a unique musical education that encourages a love and appreciation of choral music while nurturing personal growth and creative development.
The idea in starting the Somerset Hills Children’s Chorus, whose name was changed in 2002 to the New Jersey Youth Chorus, was to give the children of the community a unique opportunity; one that would involve quality repertoire, sound teaching, a warm and inviting atmosphere, and a chance to perform. Our mission, philosophy, and goals continue to revolve around that which is most important – the choristers and the music. It is far more than singing. We teach values, we nurture, we inspire.
“We are not teaching music to children,“ said Trish Joyce, Founder and Artistic Director. "We teach children through the power of music. We have high musical expectations, and we strive for high standards of musical excellence. We also believe that we should teach the whole person. To quote Helen Kemp – "body, mind, spirit, voice.” We believe that through the choral art – through the NJYC choir family – the musical journey is about fellowship, compassion, commitment, taking risks, growing, nurturing, beauty, joy, and passion.
We are here to inspire children to discover, learn and perform beyond their expectations. As Eph Ely wrote, our goal is to "discover the extra in the ordinary.”
Founded in 1992 by Trish Joyce, the New Jersey Youth Chorus, previously known as the Somerset Children's Chorus, is an auditioned choral program for children in grades three through twelve. There are five performing ensembles in NJYC: Primo Coro (girls, grades 3-5), Sola Voce (girls, grades 6-8), Coro Vivo (boys with unchanged voices, grades 3-8), Camerata (boys with changing and changed voices, grades 7-12) and Coriste (girls, grades 9-12.) NJYC is home to choristers from throughout northern and central New Jersey.
We pride ourselves on providing transformative musical education, as well as premier performance and touring opportunities. The chorus has performed with many professional ensembles such as the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, Canadian Brass, Chieftans, Celtic Tenors, Ronan Tynan, Marvin Hamlisch, Bill Conti, Barry Manilow, Cantus, and Queen Latifah at Superbowl XLVIII. We have performed in venues such as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, The Kennedy Center for the Arts, NJ Performing Arts Center, Prudential Center, State Theater, and the White House.
We have been a featured choir at multiple music educator conferences, such as ACDA, OAKE, and AOSA. We often host visiting youth choirs, and music educator workshops are a regular part of the Chorus’s offerings. NJYC has sung the national anthem at several professional sports stadiums and has participated in numerous national and international festivals and tours.
The choir's "Kids for Kids" initiative includes opportunities to perform and assist children’s organizations and charities, such as Goryeb Children’s Hospital, Relay for Life, the Brooke Healey Foundation, and many more. NJYC produced and distributed a CD entitled Stand Together: Music for Hope and Healing, a project benefitting cancer patients in local hospitals.