The Southern Youth Choir was formed in 1992 by Maureen Smith and Anthony Ritchie. It is comprised of young singers between the ages of 16 and 25 years; some from secondary schools, most from the University and some continuing to be members after starting their working lives.
The choir aims to up-skill young singers in the Dunedin region to participate in four-part choral music and present their programmes two or three times a year to local audiences. The choir benefits from the support of the University of Otago by rehearsing once a week in Marama Hall over the two-semester University period.
Over the years, the Southern Youth Choir has been led by conductors who have gone on to become well-known. They include Anthony Ritchie, Tecwyn Evans, Jonathan Lemalu, David Burchell, Holly Mathieson, Josh Clark and George Chittenden. Dunedin-born Benjamin Madden was appointed Music Director in 2017.