Susquehanna Youth Chorale
The Susquehanna Youth Chorale, directed by George H. Diehl, is part of the Educational Outreach Program of the Susquehanna Chorale and provides a focused rehearsal and performing opportunity for students within the Susquehanna Valley. The Youth Chorale was founded in 1988 and consists of 60 students in grades nine through freshman year of college.
The Chorale was formed to complement existing school music programs, giving talented young singers a chance to rehearse and perform with other highly motivated students at an advanced level of artistic excellence. Students are auditioned for membership and are required to pay a membership fee. A scholarship fund has been established to provide financial assistance for any deserving young musician who has auditioned successfully for the Chorale.
The Chorale rehearses two hours each week for ten weeks during the fall. Rehearsals focus on a Scholarship Benefit Concert and the annual Youth Choral Festival in November. The program's repertoire includes pieces from many periods of music history and encompasses a wide range of styles, from sacred music to folk songs. Emphasis in rehearsals is on fine choral literature and developing good vocal habits through choral techniques.
The Youth Chorale has sponsored a conducting internship each season, offered to area college juniors or seniors. Interns are chosen based on application and recommendations from college music directors.
Youth Chorale members are offered a course in sight-singing/sight-reading each week for eight weeks, taught by Nancy Bonnet.
Many members of the Youth Chorale have appeared as soloists with the group, have won Pennsylvania State Choir honors, and have gone on to major in music at the college level. Many of the student conductors have gone to graduate school and are involved in or planning careers in choral music. One has come back as a member of the adult Susquehanna Chorale.
The Youth Chorale has performed for the Central Pennsylvania Scholastic Awards, the Founder's Day program at the Milton Hershey School, at the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank's Taster's Luncheon, as part of the Harrisburg Symphony's Christmas Pops Concert, as well as for area churches.
George H. Diehl, Conductor
George H. Diehl graduated magna cum laude from Susquehanna University and holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree in Vocal Performance. He has also received his certification from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards and is currently pursuing a Masters in Music Technology degree from Valley Forge Christian College. Currently, Mr. Diehl is the Central Dauphin School District’s Secondary Vocal Music Department Chair and teaches at Central Dauphin East High School, where he conducts the Select Women’s Ensemble and instructs Music Theory and Introduction to Recording and Sound.
He is an active member in the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association, where he has been a guest director and a clinician. As a vocalist, Mr. Diehl has performed in numerous Central Pennsylvania community theatre and operatic productions. He most recently was seen on the Theatre Harrisburg stage in The Secret Garden, The Full Monty, and The Sound of Music. He is a native of Erie, Pennsylvania.
Nancy Bonnet, Accompanist
Nancy Bonnet is a retired music teacher from the Central Dauphin School District, and is a private piano teacher. She is in the bell choir at Paxton Presbyterian Church and accompanies local choirs and theatrical productions.