Ensemble-in-Residence of the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music Preparatory and Community Engagement.

The Cincinnati Youth Choir is an educationally based choral ensemble program. Participants learn healthy vocal technique, sight-reading, music history and music theory while experiencing performance excellence using the philosophies and techniques of Carl Orff, Zoltan Kodaly, Jacques Dalcroze and Jerome Brunner.
The learning environment is creative, explorative and fun. The children form lasting relationships with children outside of their community and develop a lifelong appreciation of music.

CYC members have toured Italy, Japan, China, Scandinavia, England, Ireland, Wales, Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, Canada, and the United States.

Founded in 1993,  as the Cincinnati Children’s Choir, the organization updated it’s name to the Cincinnati Youth Choir in 2018 to better represent the age range of our member base.

CYC has recently received wide acclaim by winning the following awards:

  • 2018 Chorus America Education and Community Engagement Award
  • 2016 Chorus America ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming
  • 2015 American Prize in Choral
Performance for Youth Choirs
  • CityBeat’s Best of 2015 & 2017 Reader Picks for Best Local Vocal Arts Group
  • Gold Medal Choir, Youth Choirs of Equal Voices, World Choir Games 2012
  • Winner of the 2008 Scripps-Corbett Award, Artist Category


The Cincinnati Youth Choir envisions a thriving global community strengthened and transformed by musical artistry.


It is the mission of the Cincinnati Youth Choir to offer all children and youth the opportunity to experience musical excellence in a creative environment.
Participants demonstrate musical understanding, artistry, achievement and confidence through passionate performances and collaborations with premier ensembles and children’s/youth choirs throughout the world. The Cincinnati Youth Choir (CYC) builds stronger communities by creating a comprehensive foundation that supports music educators and develops tomorrow’s leaders.

CYC DEIA Statement

Cincinnati Youth Choir commits to demonstrating choral excellence by intentionally promoting diversity and inclusivity in membership and repertoire, celebrating the benefits of musical participation for youth of the community at large, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, physical ability or socioeconomic status, remembering that diversity does not always present itself visibly.



The Cincinnati Youth Choir provides a learning environment that is creative and nurturing. Singers are informed and reflective building upon their knowledge and musical understanding as they become independent musicians.


Participation in the program fosters joyful fulfillment, a sense of achievement, increased independence, confidence and leadership qualities in our choristers.


The Cincinnati Youth Choir provides entertaining programming of artistic and cultural merit that promotes unity and understanding between people of varied backgrounds. CYC strives to support the Greater Cincinnati community by providing training and networking opportunities for music professionals, providing choral opportunities for singers in far reaching suburbs and collaborating with various cultural organizations.


The Cincinnati Youth Choir enjoys collaborating with area music educators, composers and arts organizations. Joint ventures enable a greater exposure of CYC to the community and provide our singers with invaluable learning opportunities.


The Cincinnati Youth Choir operates with responsibility and accountability to those who support and collaborate with the program whether they are stakeholders, volunteers, donors or families. We honor these relationships and realize the importance of open and honest communication.


The Cincinnati Youth Choir provides a safe haven for young singers. Through the welcoming environment, each singer is valued and accepted. Need-based tuition assistance is made available throughout the year and outreach programs are developed to meet children and youth in their communities focusing on underserved. Singers explore diversity in membership and repertoire performed providing opportunities to build personal friendships with others outside of their community, transforming young lives.


Robyn Reeves Lana

Founder, Managing Artistic Director and Conductor

Kathleen Riemenschneider, EdD

Executive Director

Heather Vest

Director of Choirs & Education

Erin Horton

Director of Operations

Keri McGuire

Cincinnati Choral Academy Director

Gregory Miller

Associate Director

Caitlyn Lana McGlynn

Associate Director

Hollyn Orr

Associate Director

Mary Okotie


Rachel Feldman

Richard Wesp Assistant Director

Sandra Bosher Thornton

Assistant Artistic Director

JULY 15, 1981 – MAY 13, 2023

Sandy served as a graduate assistant for two years before moving to Texas and Louisiana, respectively for a year each, and then returning to Cincinnati in 2008 with her husband, Ken.  At that time, she joined the CYC conducting team and has been by my side, an integral part of the program for the past 15 years.

Sandy’s impact on our singers and program is immeasurable.  I am thankful for the friendship-turned-family, for being at each other’s sides through difficult times, and for the bright light she is to all of us who loved her.


Sandy Thornton conducting at CYC’s “Home for the Holidays” concert, December 2022

Board of Directors

David Sherrard, President 

Marc Katz, Vice President  ~  Lauren Morris, Treasurer   ~   Timothy Lana, Secretary  

William Caldwell, Member  ~  Mollie Cappel, Member  ~  Eric Oliver, Member   ~   Geneva Woode, Member   

Heather Cameron-Johnson, Parent Liaison ~ Anne Cushing-Reid, CCM Liaison ~ Steven Sunderman, May Festival Liaison



Advisory Board

Dr. Earl Rivers

Director of Choral Studies
University of Cincinnati

Henry Leck

Founding Director
Indianapolis Children’s Choir

Jack Lee

Ta Fong Children’s Choir
Taipei-Hsien, Taiwan, R. O. C.

Lori Lobsiger


Isidore Rudnick

Cincinnati Public Schools, Fine Arts Curriculum Manager

Teacher Advisory Board

If your school district is not yet represented and you would like to serve on the board, please contact us.

TAB will offer many professional development and networking sessions during the year:

TBD for 2020-2021 season.


Crescendo Project – Promoting Growth Together 

Want a CYC staff specialist to come to your school?  CLICK HERE for full details


CYC’s Teacher Advisory Board (TAB) consists of a committee of educators representing many school districts from across the Tri-State. Through our work with TAB, we hope to better connect CYC with the Greater Cincinnati community of music educators.

The Cincinnati Youth Choir is pleased to welcome the following teachers onto the Teacher Advisory Board:

Music Teacher



Neil Stewart Academy of World Languages CPS
Katie Settleberry Ayer Elementary School Forest Hills
Karen Allen Batavia Elementary School Batavia
Tari McKee Bridgeport Elementary Hamilton City
Chelsey Sweatman Bridgetown Middle School Oak Hills
Alan Greeb C O Harrison Elementary School Oak Hills
 Andrea Leffler Camp Ernst Middle School Boone County
Leslie Hicks Central Academy Middletown Monroe City
Della Enns Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy Private School
Carolyn Dillon Columbia Intermediate Kings Local
Bethany Hamann Crossroads Elementary School Campbell County
Jeanine Jason Dater Montessori School CPS
Chelsea Lamping Delhi Junior High School Oak Hills
Allison Croskey Elda Elementary Ross Local
Dee Dee Hamlin Forest Hills – Retired
Lawrence E. Coleman Sr. Frederick Douglass School CPS
Rachel Henry Highland Elementary Hamilton City
Alice Bohn Indian Hill Elementary School Indian Hill
Carolyn Quinn James N. Gamble Montessori High School CPS
Kay Tyler Lynchburg-Clay Elementary School Lynchburg-Clay
Annie Hobson Mariemont City Schools Mariemont
Catherine Clippinger Mason Intermediate Mason
  Julie Geiger Mercer Elementary School Forest Hills
John Jung Midway School CPS
Andrea Baker Mt Airy School CPS
Elena Ivanova Mt. Washington CPS
Faith Diehl Nagel Middle School Forest Hills
Wesley Barnfield North Avondale Montessori School CPS
Elena V. Wahl Oyler CPS
Sabra Thomas Parker Woods Montessori CPS
 Elena Stevenson Pleasant Hill Academy CPS
Amy Liming Pleasant Ridge Montessori School CPS
Maria Kitsinis Pleasant Ridge Montessori School CPS
Tara Hill Private lessons
Keri McGuire Rees E. Price Academy CPS
Anna Calhoun Roll Hill School CPS
Ruth Mappes Ross Middle School Ross Local
Laura Max Saylor Park School CPS
Robin Wilson Seven Hills Lotspeich School Private
Dr. Deborah L. Jackson Sharonville Elementary School Princeton City
Lisa Newell Sherwood Elementary School Forest Hills
Ligaya McGee Springdale Elementary Princeton City
Pat Powers St Andrew Middle School Independent Catholic
 Jenny Bates St Catherine of Siena School Cincinnati Archdiocese
Pat Powers St Elizabeth Seton Elementary School Independent Catholic
Mr. Bethune St Gabriel School Cincinnati Archdiocese
Christina Reardon St Martin of Tours School Cincinnati Archdiocese
Charlotte Loflin St Ursula Villa School Independent Catholic
 Stacey Moyer Summit Elementary School Finneytown
Ken Holdt Sycamore High School Sycamore
Kelly Case Talawanda Middle School Talawanda
Delaney Roberts/ Sarah Markey Union Elementary Lakota
MaryLee Venemeyer Mason Intermediate Mason
Jay Bailey Westwood Elementary CPS
Heidi Johnson Whitaker Elementary School Finneytown
Katie Hayward/ Jason McKee William Mason High School Mason
Donna Doran Summit Country Day School Independent Catholic

Past Tours

The Cincinnati Youth Choir has performed to international audiences with tours of Japan, Italy, China, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Ireland, England, Wales, Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic, England, Canada, and the United States.

Sights & Sounds