More high school students have an opportunity to be part of a unique choir experience this fall. 

Registrations are now being accepted for Eastman Youth Choir for students who will be in grades 9 through 12 in the fall. 

Shannon Sawatzky says, this time, they are opening this opportunity to more students. 

“In other years, we’ve done an audition process. This year, we just want to get kids singing again, and so that is completely waived,” she explains. “If you’re interested in singing, you just need to visit our website and sign up.” 

Sawatzky says previous participants have often commented on the comradery that makes this choir so very special. 

"One of the kids said the other day, ‘nobody sits on the bench in choir. You don’t have to have special equipment; everybody is part of the team.’ I think Eastman Youth Choir, part of it is the camp experience. You just grow so close so quickly. And lifelong friendships.” 

Sawatzky says that high school can be a tough time for many of our youth, and that is one reason this choir experience can be so beneficial for many of the students. 

“It’s hard to find, in some of these big schools, the people they connect with. And that’s why this program is so amazing. The kids have an instant common ground over music, and they make lifelong friends while they’re gaining confidence and learning musical skills, and just making something beautiful together with like-minded kids.” 

While the registration deadline is June 30th, Sawatzky says they will accept sign-ups into the early part of July. Details can be found on the Eastman Youth Choir website or by emailing

The busy season happens in September and October with two weekend camps which will be followed by a 4-day tour that will include up to 12 concerts. 

Sawatzky says the choir needs all voices, including male voices. 

This year’s choir will be conducted by Victor Pankratz.