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.
The Music Director for 2018 is Benjamin Madden. Ben is Dunedin-born and educated, with a BMus in Classical Performance (Voice) and a BA in Philosophy. Ben is establishing his career as a choral director and music educator. He has had extensive experience singing in the NZ Secondary Students' Choir, NZ Youth Choir, NZ Chamber Choir, NZ Opera Chorus and St Paul's Cathedral Choir. Ben is also a Tenor Soloist in concert and opera.
The choir rehearses every Monday night, 6.30 – 8.30 pm in Marama Hall. The welcome to new and returning members and the first rehearsal will be on Monday, 4 March. There will be no rehearsal during the mid-semester break.