About Us

Who We Are

Ovation! is a uniquely versatile vocal ensemble made up of dynamic, high-school aged performers. Audiences hear a broad range of music each season, including jazz, musical theater, classical, soft rock, and popular styles. Ovation! singers enjoy an exciting blend of performance and education experiences. Singers train in vocal production, complex harmonization, ensemble technique, stage movement and choreography. Ovation! concert engagements are designed to include solo and small ensemble performance opportunities.

The gentlemen of Ovation! are graduates of Portland Boychoir. Upon joining Ovation! they continue to strengthen their musical knowledge while also filling an important mentoring role for the younger boys of Portland Boychoir. The gentlemen of Ovation! periodically join with Portland Boychoir for larger choral works.

The ladies of Ovation! are accepted after an intensive study in Ovation! Girls Training. Musicianship skills, including rhythm and sight-singing, ear training, and vocal performance are the main focus of their training, as well as basics of stage movement and choreography.

The success of Ovation! as a vibrant performance ensemble has as its foundation in the depth of training received in Portland Boychoir and Ovation! Girls Training. Having enjoyed a high-quality, personal level of instruction, Ovation! singers are prepared to perform at a level that showcases their passion and skill in the performing arts.


Ladies & Gents Choir – high school girls and boys
Group size: 10 – 35

Core Curriculum: With an increased emphasis on a study of music literature in many different styles, training continues in music literacy, vocal production, ensemble technique, and stage presence. Regular rehearsals, retreats, and summer camp provide each member the opportunity to develop as an individual performer and independent musician. Singers work with microphones and learn complex harmonization.

Repertory: Specialize in jazz, musical theater, classical, rock, and popular styles.

Performances: 4-10 concerts and guest appearances throughout each season.

Girl’s Training Choir – 
girls ages 12 – 14
Group size: 5 – 20

Eligibility: Audition that demonstrates confidence as a soloist and the ability to sing harmony.

Core Curriculum: Training in music literacy, vocal production, improvisation, microphone technique, part-singing, ensemble technique, movement, and stage presence.

Repertory: Literature consists primarily of jazz, musical theater, classical, rock, and popular styles.

Performances: 2 – 3 recitals or appearances throughout the season.

Advancement: By invitation after 2 years of training and demonstrated achievement of skills.


Ovation! Ladies
Group size: 10 – 12

Eligibility: Ladies advance to Ovation! after completion of (2 years) training in Ovation! Girls Training, usually upon entering 9th or 10th grade in high school.


Ovation! Gents
Group size: 10 – 25

Eligibility: Gentlemen advance to Ovation! based on their maturity and quality of performance as a Performing Choir singer in Portland Boychoir. This occurs around the time that their voice begins to change, usually upon entering high school.



Portland Choirs is a 501(c)(3) non-profit arts organization whose mission is: “to provide music education and professional-quality performance opportunities that develop self-esteem, depth of character, and advanced music skills in boys 6 to 18.” Ovation & Ovation Training are affiliated with Portland Choirs, a host organization for Portland Boychoir and Ovation, a show choir for high school age boys and girls. Need-based scholarships are available. Portland Choirs does not discriminate on the basis of color, creed, disability, national origin, race, religion, or sexual orientation. Portland Choirs is not affiliated with any school or religious organization.



The seeds of Portland Boychoir were planted by Portland Symphonic Choir through an outreach program called Portland Symphonic Boychoir. David York was hired as its director in 2000, and in 2003, Portland Boychoir was established as an independent non-profit organization. A high-school program for boys and girls was added in August 2005 and was named Ovation soon thereafter. The two programs operate under an umbrella organization called Portland Choirs. Singers in both Portland Boychoir and Ovation Show Choir receive rigorous training in music literacy, harmony, ear training and stage presence.

While there are other children’s choirs who operate in the Portland area, none offers the three main ingredients that make Portland Choirs unique: 1) a design model ensuring low student to teacher ratio with Artistic Director, David York, 2) a training program that addresses the specific needs of boys and honors the traditional boychoir art form, and 3) a small, portable high-school aged showchoir. Each student who participates in our program is well-known to the artistic director and enjoys the benefits of personal attention to meet each child’s unique vocal needs and talents.