OAKLAND YOUTH CHORUS

Rating: 4.89 stars   37 reviews

Issues: Arts & Culture, Children & Youth

Location: 685 14th Street Oakland CA 94612 USA

Mission: Oakland Youth Chorus unites diverse communities and transforms young people’s lives through excellence in music education and community performance. OYC offers school and community based music and choral training programs for East Bay children and youth. Through our elementary in-school programs, after school Miracle Choruses, Middle School Choruses, and our advanced Concert Chorus and Chamber Singers ensembles, OYC brings access with excellence in music instruction and community building performance opportunities that increase confidence, community engagement, musical skills, and creativity. OYC was founded in 1974 to nurture the musical talent of Oakland’s youth. Since then, OYC has grown from a single community youth chorus to a comprehensive youth choral music education organization serving hundreds of singers each year. OYC trains youth in a varied repertoire, supporting artistic diversity by providing programs that reflect and contribute to the cultural richness of our region. OYC’s young people develop close friendships across lines of race, class and culture, multicultural respect, and a lifelong love of music, changing lives and our world through the power of the human voice.
Results: Dynamic concerts of world music and Broadway’s greatest hits, connecting across the Bay to support the San Francisco Boys and Girls Club, the Gap Foundation, and Pier 39, and singing for some of the East Bay’s finest arts and social service organizations to celebrate their work and support our community through lifting our voices together: in the 2013-14 season, the Concert Chorus did it all! The performance season began supporting two very special organizations, helping them to celebrate milestones of their own. We lent our voices to the dedication of the new SF Boys and Girls Club Clubhouse at the GAP Foundation, and showed our love for all families in singing for Adopt a Special Kid’s 40th anniversary celebration. December was very special for the Chorus, as we were the voices for Oakland Ballet’s production of the Nutcracker with the Oakland East Bay Symphony- collaborating with organizations we treasure singing with! The spring brought us into an exciting new collaboration with a group of men who became dear friends to OYC through our joint performance of Robert Ray’s Gospel Mass in April. Our experience working with the Oakland East Bay Gay Men’s Chorus inspired our singers, and in the rehearsals one of the singers’ grandmothers’ was heard to remark that history was being made with our joint performance of that work. For OYC, it meant doing what we always do: discovering the common love of music and creating new friendships and understanding of others while we sing together. Miracles’ report card (K-5): During the 2013-14 season…. 99% of singers learned songs from different countries. 90% increased confidence singing in front of others. 89% learned to read music. Over 80% performed in a concert. 91% of K-2 students could maintain a steady beat independently. 89% performed rhythmic patterns with accuracy, and 85% matched pitch. 90% of 3-5 singers accurately matched pitch for complex melodic patterns. 86% matched complex rhythmic patterns. Miracle singers supported Relay for Life, Super Stars Literacy, holiday tree lightings, workshops at the Oakland Public Libraries, and community events in recent seasons, contributing to the vibrant life of their communities through song.
Target demographics: OYC serves children and youth ages 5-19 in Oakland, Alameda, Richmond, and reaching throughout the East Bay.
Direct beneficiaries per year: 650 singers in the 2014-15 season
Geographic areas served: Alameda and Contra Costa Counties
Programs: OYC produces two professional choral concerts per year for all of our singers, performs at Bay Area community events, and tours locally, regionally, and nationally. OYC’s current in-school and after-school vocal and general music training programs reach children in 15 Oakland, Alameda, and Richmond schools and community based sites.
2012 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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EIN 94-2535518
510-287-9700
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Community Reviews

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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

I have continued to be impressed by the work of Oakland Youth Chorus, and its commitment to reaching young people in the local community. I attended last year's holiday concert and was moved to tears by their high quality presentation. The youth seemed to enjoy themselves and were so well-trained. Also, I loved watching the choral teachers encourage the youth backstage. Their interaction seemed warm and genuine. If I was a young person, this is the kind of group that I'd want to be part of.

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

Oakland Youth Chorus partnered with us at Youth Radio this year on the piloting of our new digital media and technology workforce program by taking on an intern for the summer. OYC's staff and leadership showed, and continue to exhibit, deep commitments to improving the lives of Oakland youth through arts education, personal and professional development. Our sincere thanks go out to the small but mighty team at OYC for genuinely engaging our community on so many levels!

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

A lot

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

I work with OYC at Think College Now Elementary School. Ms. JJ gets the students excited about music by playing games and teaching them new things. I know the students love the music program because I hear them humming the songs in all their other classes! This program also opens them up to learning about new cultures that they wouldn't otherwise learn about.

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

A lot

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

OYC is providing an invaluable resource to the Bay Area with its strong musical programming, leadership opportunities for youth, and overall sense of ethics and social justice. OYC demands dedicated practice and performance from the youth, from tiny preschools on up. I've shot pictures of the singers in rehearsal and was impressed with the musical standards and the personal attention paid to each student. Standards are high; make no mistake, which gives these students a vision of all that they can be. OYC is a GREAT non-profit serving the needs of individuals and the community with high standards and a strong vision.

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

Participating as a member of the Oakland Youth Chorus was one of the greatest experiences of my childhood. It gave me the experience and confidence to pursue a career in music. It also provided a great opportunity for developing community, especially among at risk kids. It is a wonderful organization that kids can participate instead of staying at home playing video games or getting into trouble.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I was a member of that organization for about 4 years when I was in junior high and high school in Oakland.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I wouldn't change a thing. It is a very well run organiation.

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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

Oakland Youth Chorus is amazing! As a lifelong musician and music educator with experience in arts administration, I have seen organizations of this type from many sides, and I've never seen an organization quite like OYC. A top-notch administration inspires well-treated and respected educators to provide a high-quality product to a LOT of happy clients. The students deliver truly fabulous performances in a polished, well-oiled setting, giving them not only a solid musical education, but unforgettable performance opportunities that set the bar high for self respect, responsibility, and professionalism. In a city where schools have lost most if not all funding for the arts, OYC comes to the rescue of vocal music, drumming, and dance and fills in that gap.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I remember my time working for OYC as a highlight of my teaching career. From the communications in planning and the respect afforded to employees all the way to the final product of the performances, OYC does it right.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Fund the heck out of it.

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