Our Beginnings

A Community Youth Choir is Born

Sharon Ziel

Sharon Ziel, Founder

In 2005, Sharon Ziel, a retired music teacher in the Hillsboro School District, saw a need in the greater Hillsboro community for a youth choir that could supplement the public schools in educating and inspiring our youth in choral arts.  Her dream was to focus on middle school ages, where school choir budget cuts were most acute.  This choir would be one to encourage a life-long love of singing, and to embrace all aspects of the community, including public, private, and home-schooled youth.

After pulling together a beginning board made up of many of our city leaders, Cindy Uecker was hired to be HCYC’s first Artistic Director.  Together with the board, she formed a vision that focused on musical excellence with a deep sense of community.  Starting with just one auditioned choir of 40 for grades 4-8, HCYC soon expanded to include an auditioned high school ensemble for grades 9-12 and two preparatory choirs for younger ages.

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Cindy Uecker, Founding Artistic Director

Sharon remembers the very first sound from the choir in 2005.  It was the premiere of HCYC at the March 2005 concert with the Oregon Chorale.  Forty children, ranging from grades four through eight, nervously walked to the front of Hillsboro’s spacious St. Matthew’s Catholic Church.  The first tones of the piano and flute introduction led into the opening of the Russian folk song, “The Little Birch Tree”.  A sweet unison sound, these children melted the hearts of our community.  From these simple beginnings, HCYC has sung a rich variety of music with diverse groups, both professional and community.  These experiences have had tremendous impact on our youth, who have felt the power of music not only in their own lives, but have seen how music ties us all together, no matter our age, ethnicity, or musical experience.

 

HCYC is now here to stay!  Thanks to her creative vision and hard work, Sharon’s dream was indeed realized. Benjamin Noyes is our new Artistic Director, and he will lead the choir to further wonderful adventures.

Past Season Highlights

Highlights from our 2016 – 2017 Season

  • Retreat with Georgina Phillipson (Premiere & Encore Choirs) (October 2016)
  • Performance at The Grotto, Portland, OR (November, 2016)
  • Performance with the Oregon Chorale (December, 2016)
  • Winter Concert “Sing with Joy!” (December 2016)

Highlights from our 2015 – 2016 Season

  • Winter Concert “Ring in the Holidays!”
  • Performance for Hillsboro Arts & Culture Council (HAAC) awards banquet. HCYC is the first ever recipient of the Hillsboro Endowment Fund
  • Fall pop-up performance at M&M Market (Hillsboro) with Una Voz Mariachi high school band
  • Fall pop-up performance at the Affordable Art Show (Hillsboro)
  • Concert: The Hills are Alive” featuring Rodgers and Hammerstein’s The Sound of Music
  • A collaborative performance with the Metropolitan Youth Symphony (Portland) and Una Voz Mariachi high school band “Vivaldi Strings & Symphony Orchestra” at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall
  • Spring Concert “Take Flight”

Highlights from our 2014 – 2015 10th Anniversary Season

  • Winter Concert “Holiday Salutations!”
  • Performance with the Oregon Symphony
  • Handel’s Messiah and Judas Maccabeus performance in collaboration with the Portland Chamber Orchestra
  • ¡Cantar! Concert in  collaboration with HSD Mariachi Band, “Una Voz”
  • Performance with the Oregon Chorale of Bach’s Mass in B Minor
  • “To Music!” Tenth Anniversary Concert and Celebration
  • Performance of National Anthem to launch Hillsboro 4th of July CAT Walk & parade float
  • Summer Musical Performance Camp *Carnival of the Animals – with Puppets!* at the Walters Cultural Arts Center

Highlights from our 2013 – 2014 Season

  • “Northern Lights: Songs from the Lands of the Aurora” Winter Concert
  • Performance with the Oregon Symphony
  • Performances at ScanFair and Lucia Festival
  • Handel’s Messiah performance in collaboration with the Portland Chamber Orchestra
  • “The Sound of Silents: Music from the Dawn of Film” Spring Concert – a delightful concert featuring guest organist Paul Quarino and choral music from the era of silent films.
  • Oregonian Feature [Link to article]
  • Summer Musical Performance Camp at the Walters Cultural Arts Center

Highlights from our 2012 – 2013 Season

  • “Ode to Joy” Winter Concert
  • Performance at The Grotto, Festival of Lights
  • Handel’s Messiah performance in collaboration with the Portland Chamber Orchestra and the Oregon Chorale
  • “Down by the Riverside” Spring Concert – a fabulous concert featuring camp meeting songs, slavery and freedom songs, Civil War songs, and post-war legacy choral works, as well as poetry and readings
  • Summer Musical Performance Camp at the Walters Cultural Arts Center

Highlights from our 2011 – 2012 Season

  • “Caroling, Caroling Near and Far” Winter Concert
  • Performance at The Grotto, Festival of Lights
  • Handel’s Messiah in collaboration with the Portland Chamber Orchestra and the Oregon Chorale
  • “Hillsboro to the MAX,” – a musical revue of Hillsboro’s history, in collaboration with Linda Needham, local writer, and Kay Demlow, Hillsboro Historical Society
  • “Magical Kingdom” Spring Concert

Highlights from our 2010 – 2011 Season

  • Kids’ Concerts at the Venetian Theatre in Hillsboro, OR
  • “Joy in My Heart” Winter Concert
  • Performance at The Grotto, Festival of Lights
  • Handel’s Messiah in collaboration with the Portland Chamber Orchestra and the Oregon Chorale
  • “Hands Across the Ocean” Spring Concert

Highlights from our 2009 – 2010 Season

  • “Where Love, Peace, and Hope Abide” Winter Concert
  • Performance at The Grotto, Festival of Lights
  • “Generations in Song,” an inter-generational concert in collaboration with the Intel Singers and the Cornell Estates Chorale
  • “How Can I Keep From Singing?” HCYC 5th Anniversary Spring Concert
  • Collaboration with the Oregon Chorale’s 25th Anniversary Concert: Premiere of Vijay Singh’s Echo My Soul for SATB, Children’s Chorus, and Strings

Highlights from our 2008 – 2009 Season

  • Thanksgiving Interfaith Service in Hillsboro, OR
  • “Here We Come A-Caroling” Winter Concert
  • Performance at The Grotto, Festival of Lights
  • “The Joy of Childhood” collaboration concert with the Oregon Chorale
  • “This Land is Your Land” Spring Concert

Highlights from our 2007 – 2008 Season

  • Thanksgiving Interfaith Service in Hillsboro, OR
  • “Light One Candle” Winter Concert
  • Performance at The Grotto, Festival of Lights
  • “A Tribute to Norman Leyden” collaboration concert with the Hillsboro Symphony Orchestra
  • “Our Voices Through Song” Spring Concert

Highlights from our 2006 – 2007 Season

  • “A Time for Joy!” Winter Concert
  • “Compelled by a Dream” – Martin Luther King Day celebration in Beaverton, OR
  • 3rd Annual Treble Choir Workshop and Concert with the Bella Voci Women’s Vocal Ensemble
  • Prelude series with the Oregon Symphony
  • “Hold Fast Your Dreams” Spring Concert

Highlights from our 2005 – 2006 Season

  • HCYC Inaugural Concert with the Oregon Chorale at St. Matthew’s Catholic Church in Hillsboro, OR
  • “Come to the Garden” Spring Concert