To Ontario District
The Barbershop Youth movement is alive and thriving in Ontario! Thank you Ontario District members, quartets, and choruses for making a difference in so many young lives. Barry and I are in the enviable position of receiving the thank you's from the young men whose lives are being touched by the O YA program. We hear from the parents, who make extraordinary sacrifices of time and effort to afford their young man the opportunity to rehearse and perform with the O YA Chorus. They are overwhelmed by the support and encouragement that their young men receive from the Ontario District Barbershop community. They all appreciate the support that the Ontario Barbershop community has given their young men, many of whom would not be able to participate without your support. All we can do is pass along to you the THANK YOU'S...you are making a difference in these young men's lives and helping to create a Barbershop culture in Ontario that will sustain the barbershop style of music far into the future. If you were at the Ontario District Fall Convention, you witnessed some of the future as some young members performed at high levels for the assembled audiences at the competitions, in quartets or choruses. If you were lucky enough to have attended the House Of Delegates meeting at the convention on Sunday, you witnessed this year's bumper crop of young men (55 of them) having their third rehearsal and performing two songs for you.
As you know, it takes a lot of dedicated hours and some dollars to accomplish getting the ONTARIO YOUTH A Cappella CHORUS to the Barbershop Harmony Society International Youth Festival. Our chorus of young men is one about 20 choruses planning to perform at the 2017 Festival. They have the opportunity to participate in 3 days of singing barbershop with young men from all over the USA and Canada. We know that this experience of preparing for and performing in the Youth Festival is the hook (do you remember what your hook was?) that keeps many of these young men coming back for more " Barbershop". The guys that have been with us for a year or two are bringing their brothers, cousins and friends and that is testimony enough that we are doing something right. We are seeing Grandsons of current Barbershoppers joining us (there are now 6 ..they are not all ours :) ) They now think what Grandad does is kinda cool! Since the O YA CHORUS started we have seen a flourishing Barbershop music program (it is now a music credit course at BCI ) happen in Brantford under the tutelage of Shawn Oakes with the help of our Youth Quartets in the last few years starting with Chameleon (they were young once), Rendezvous, ''Shoptimus Prime, Here Comes Treble, Pitch Please, and Yonge Guns. We have young men from Stouffville, Barrie, London, Kingston, Belleville, Toronto, Brantford, Waterloo, Cornwall, Ottawa, and Guelph.
Most of the current chorus are students, most of whom rely on parents to get them to and from the rehearsals held in various places around the province, Belleville, Brantford, Toronto etc. and some take buses and some even hitch rides in tow trucks....it is not easy to be an active member of this chorus. It takes time, self-motivation, and the wherewithall to accomplish what we accomplish with relatively few rehearsals.
The final deadline for qualifying for the O YA Chorus is Nov 1st... With a view to make the trip to perform at the next Barbershop Harmony Society International Youth Festival
WE NEED YOUR HELP!
This is our plea for financial assistance for the O YA CHORUS. We hope to be able to cover the airfares and up to two nights hotel. Harmony Foundation helps all youth choruses by sponsoring each youth for their Midwinter Registration and a couple of nights hotel based on four to a room. We have to get them there and we have one or two additional hotel nights not covered by the Harmony Foundation. As well some of our guys have grown substantially over the year so uniform replacement is always in the budget along with the purchase of the music we sing all year and the cost of rehearsals. We will be counting on a profit from the O YA SHOW as well as your help!
Using the 2015 New Orleans Youth Festival as an examplew for budget purposes, we have a sizable amount of funds to raise. If each member of the District could just send $35.00 we would meet the budget of approximately $39,000.00 that we will need to get our young men to an International Youth Festival!
Air fare approx. $450.00 per person (typical, varies by year and location)
Hotel $100.00 per person (2 nights, 4 per room)
Transfers in host city $40.00 per person
Total $590.00 per person
Each member of the chorus is expected to pay for all of his own meals and spending money.
This year as in the past we find ourselves with a few dedicated young men that have no means of financial support from home so we will have to rely on our "angel fund". Please help if you can.
If you have not made your donation to the Ontario Youth A Cappella Chorus (O YA Chorus) as an individual or a Chapter, please go the O YA website DONATE NOW button below and contribute what you can to this cause... you will be glad you did.
You can also send Donations by mail to
O YA Ontario District
c/o Box 209
Zephyr, Ontario L0E 1T0