ATLANTA YOUNG SINGERS champions musical excellence,
inspires artistic creativity, and promotes personal growth
in children and youth through exemplary choral performance.
Our mission is reflected in all of our policies, practices, commitments, and expectations.
ATLANTA YOUNG SINGERS (AYS), is Atlanta’s premier choir for children and youth. With the cooperation of dedicated community leaders, schoolteachers, and arts professionals, Stephen J. Ortlip (Music Director for 23 years) founded AYS in 1975 when the idea of boys and girls singing together in a community choir was rare in the United States.
Now celebrating its 43rd season, AYS is bringing music to life for children and youth in metro Atlanta and audiences all over the world.Last year, over 90,000 people heard AYS sing! Workshops, master classes, and lecture demonstrations with skilled instructors and guest artists are offered annually to students and music educators. 20,000+ audience members each year and 2,000+ Alumni and their families have benefitted directly from AYS programs.
Under Music Director Paige F. Mathis (also an alumna) and Executive Director Virginia M. Thompson, AYS provides a diverse and challenging learning environment that inspires intelligent thought, artistic creativity, and personal growth. Over 165 Singers ages 7-18, representing over 100 public, private, and home school environments and covering a 50-mile radius of Atlanta, are accepted each year into one of seven AYS choirs.
These talented children serve the community through performances, free outreach concerts, and volunteer activities; grow and develop life skills such as cooperation, dedication, self-confidence, discipline, pride in performance, and mentoring; learnmusic skills through rehearsals, music theory instruction, camps, and regional and international tours; and sing with other children to create music of highest artistic quality. The AYS Choirs include: two Training levels in four locations; Treble Concert Choir; Tour Choir; and Young Men’s and Women’s Choirs that combine to form a 60-voice Youth Chorale.
Over the past 43 years, AYShas reflected the high artistic capabilities of the young singer through performances with Robert Shaw and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, at the Closing Ceremonies of the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games and at numerous events sponsored by nationally recognized organizations such as the American Cancer Society, the American Choral Directors Association, and the Atlanta Braves. AYS has traveled extensively in 22 countries on over 75 tours, singing in all the cultural capitals of North America and Europe and winning invitations to the most prestigious choral festivals in the world.
Most recently, the Youth Chorale was featured across the country on national radio show From the Top with Host Christopher O’Riley! This summer, the Youth Chorale Tour Team will travel to the African continent, to sing all over South Africa in the Ihlombe! Choral Festival, including a prestigious invitation to perform at St. George’s Cathedral in Cape Town on July 18, Nelson Mandela’s birthday!