A rare combination of talented musicians here in the Mid-South has won the hearts of U.S. presidents, dignitaries, and international and local audiences.
The West TN Youth Chorus (WTYC) is now celebrating 20 years of operation since its founding in 1996 by director Martha Wrightas a program for vocally and musically gifted children. This afterschool program includes a training chorus (the West TN Children’s Chorus, or WTCC) and rehearses one day week.
Mid-South boys and girls ages 9-15 who would like to audition for the WTCC/WTYC (no previous experience necessary) may call (901) 753-3918 or visit www.WestTennesseeYouthChorus.com for more information.
The WTYC was founded with six areas of focus: Proper vocal technique for the age level, sight-singing, ear-training, part-singing, educational performances and tours, and service.
Wright’s vision for the WTCC/WTYC is to eventually build a rehearsal and performance facility.
Supporters who wish to make a tax deductible donation to the WTCC/WTYC may call( 901)753-3918 or visit www.WestTennesseeYouthChorus.com.
Two decades of achievement
- 1996: West Tennessee Youth Chorus founded
- 1997: WTYC opened the Kiwanis Club International Convention in Nashville to 15,000 Kiwanis at the Nashville Arena also performed at Opryland Theme Park
- 1998: First European tour included Munich, Germany, Innsbruck, Salzburg, and Vienna, Austria
- 1999: West Tennessee Children’s Chorus added by Martha Wright
- 2000: Participated in National Pageant of Peace, the lighting of the National Christmas Tree in Washington, D.C., for President Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton, sharing the stage with child star Billy Gillman, country music favorite Kathy Mattea, Welsh opera sensation Charlotte Church, and the Broadway cast of “Fossie,” while accompanied by the United States Navy Band. Also recorded first CD.
- 2001: Second European tour included London and Paris, completed with an hour concert at the High Altar of Notre Dame Cathedral
- 2002: Hosted James Hyter’s (Ol’ Man River) 80th birthday celebration
- 2003: Participated in the Pacific Rim Children’s Chorus Festival in Honolulu, Hawaii, under the direction of prominent choral clinician, Henry Leck
- 2004: Second invitation to perform at The National Pageant of Peace in Washington, D.C., for President George W. Bush and Laura Bush, sharing the stage with operatic tenor Carl Tanner and Grand Ole Opry members Marty Stuart and Connie Smith, while accompanied by the United States Marine Band
- 2005: Methodist Healthcare Cancer Center Luncheon with keynote speaker former first lady Barbara Bush. Also toured Italy, performing at the historic Basilica San Marco, culminating in a visit to the Vatican and being publicly acknowledged by Pope Benedict XVI
- 2007: Performed “Mass of the Children” at Carnegie Hall under the direction of famed conductor and composer John Rutter. Also recorded award-winning song entry for 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing, China
- 2008 to present: Host choir for the Crossroads Children’s Chorus Festival, culminating each year with a historic concert collaboration featuring Broadway leads Lawrence Hamilton, Tom Wopat, Sutton Foster, operatic soprano Kallen Esperian and country legends Ronnie Milsap, Riders-in-the Sky, Collin Raye, Irlene Mandrell and Jamie O’Neal at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville, Tenn.
- Conducted by Stephen Hatfield, Dr. Sandra Snow, and Rick Gabrillo. Martha Wright is artistic director and producer.