Yavapai Youth Choirs

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Our Mission

Yavapai Youth Choirs is an educational non-profit organization dedicated to bringing the highest level of choral artistry to our youth while developing a strong sense of community service and social awareness.

Our Vision

Encouraging all singers to become caring, contributing members of their community with a lifelong appreciation for music and service.


Choral Excellence

YYC is committed to pursuing excellence in choral artistry through education and performance.

Accessibility & Diversity

YYC seeks to provide a welcoming and inclusive environment that allows singers from all cultural, religious, racial, and economic backgrounds to experience enrichment through choral music education.


The collaboration of singersthrough choir fosters skills of cooperation andteamwork while bolstering up an individual senseof self within the whole of their choralcommunity.

Personal & Social Growth

Participation in YYCpromotes a sense of accomplishment, pride,leadership, and self-worth through challenge,discipline, and achievement.



Education for singers is presented in a progressive manner providing challenges best suited to individual need and growth.


The opportunity of performances gives the singer a place to see how important their art is in its ability to bring together a community drawn to share in their music. It is a place to share with their audience their skills and talents gained through their hard work.

Community Service

YYC works to build the empathy and compassion of our singers towards humanity through giving to those in need within their community.


Touring is an integral component of the YYC experience. The addition of travel heightens the performance experience. Traveling for outside performances gives additional incentive and motivation to accomplish and achieve at their highest level. The experiential learning gained through these collaborative efforts with choirs of the highest caliber is beyond measure. Touring brings opportunity for awareness of other cultures and countries while engaging in relationships with other choral/musical communities.

Our History

Bootstrap Themes

Background & History

Born from years of dreams and ideas and the love of making music with young singers, the Yavapai Youth Choirs organization stepped onto the stage in the fall of 2015. Co-founders Arlene Hardy and Amy Van Winkle began YYC with the mission to provide and enhance excellence in choral music artistry and education throughout Yavapai County. This mission is still at the heart of everything we do at Yavapai Youth Choirs.

In its first two seasons, the program consisted of two female vocal ensembles: Voci Sorella, the touring choir; and Angelo Voce, a training ensemble for younger students. These ensembles were immediately embraced by the community and audiences applauded their beautiful music and artistry. Both ensembles were featured in a performance of John Rutter’s “Mass of the Children” as well as performing their own concerts throughout the Prescott area.

It wasn’t long before the need for growth became apparent. Seeing the need for ensembles that included young men’s voices and those children of younger elementary age, Yavapai Youth Choirsresponded in 2017 and again 2018 by expanding the number of ensembles to include two more ensembles: Voci Genesi, a choir for elementary students and boys with unchanged voices; and Nova Voce, a touring choir for men’s voices. Shortly after, in 2019, a fifth ensemble was created from selected voices in both Voci Sorella and Nova Voce to establish Colla Voce; YYC’s mixed ensemble of men’s and women’s voices.

During this time of growth, we saw the addition of outstanding new instructors to our team. Michelle Grubert came on board in 2017 to direct Voci Genesi. Scott Neese followed soon after as director of Nova Voce. Both have brought with them new and exciting talents and creativity to Yavapai Youth Choirs.

artistic team

Arlene Hardy

Founder / Artistic Director

Arlene Hardy is the Artistic Director and Co-Founder of the Yavapai Youth Choirs, a nonprofit choral program serving the youth of Yavapai County. She has always had a true passion for music and working with youth.

Mrs. Hardy has 30 years of experience in teaching music at the elementary and collegiate level. It was during her early years of instructing at the elementary level that Arlene found her desire to direct young singers in a choral setting. She had been fortunate to be serving as the Assistant Director to the Red River Boy Choir in Fargo, ND during this period, which only solidified this aspiration. In 2005, Arlene founded and directed the Prescott Women’s Chamber Choir until 2015.

Arlene is currently the director of the Women’s Chorale at Yavapai College where she has also taught as a private voice instructor and had served as the Vocal Music Coordinator from 1996-2004 and the Director of Choral Activities from 2015-2018. Arlene has formed various ensembles for special events such as the premiere of choral works by composer Henry Flurry and performing as an opening act to Jay Leno.

Arlene has enjoyed giving master classes, workshops, and serving as a clinician and guest conductor for AZ high school choral festivals and AMEA CHoDA Women’s Honor Choir. Arlene often adjudicates for AZ High School Regional and State Choral Auditions.Arlene’s desire for choral arts emanates from her own experience as a soloist and chorister throughout the region and the Midwest. Arlene is a lyric coloratura soprano who has earned a Master of Education degree in Vocal Music with an emphasis in performance and a Bachelor of Science degree in Vocal Music Education from North Dakota State University.

Along with teaching at Yavapai College, Arlene maintains a busy private voice studio. She continues to perform various genres of music as a soloist and was a 1995 District Winner and Regional Finalist for the Upper Midwest Region of the Metropolitan Opera Auditions.

Arlene resides in Prescott with her husband Russel where they have raised their three children.

Amy Van Winkle

Founder / Executive Director

Amy Van Winkle is a 35 year veteran music educator in the state of Arizona. She has taught public school children from grades K – 12 in the Tempe Elementary School District, Prescott Unified School District and Humboldt Unified School District. Amy’s teaching has also expanded to adult church choirs at Trinity Cathedral in Phoenix and Trinity Presbyterian in Prescott, AZ. She is also part of the adjunct faculty for Kodaly Levels at Arizona State University specializing in choral music and conducting.

Miss Van Winkle has been honored to be a clinician and adjudicator for many choral festivals throughout the state of Arizona. She has worked with choirs through the AZ Choral Directors Association and the Arizona Music Educators Association.

Amy was the guest conductor for the Arizona All-State Elementary and Jr. High School choirs in the 1990’s and in 2018 she was awarded the Arizona Music Educator of the Year by the Arizona Music Educators Association. In 2021, Amy was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Arizona Choral Educators.

Amy is currently the Executive Director for the Yavapai Youth Choirs and the director for Womensong in Prescott, AZ. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree of Music Education from ASU, has done Master’s work at NAU in choral conducting under Dr. Jo Michael Scheibe and Dr. Edith Copely, and has a National Certification in Kodaly Education, Training and Research through ASU.


Associate Director / Voci Genesi

As a young child, music was like a first language for Michelle who would often sing to communicate and express herself more than she spoke. That early instinct to make music continues to enliven her work in the performing arts as she seeks to ignite the spark of authentic expression in her students.

Michelle has been a teacher, director, actor, and professional vocalist for nearly 30 years. Her past experience includes directing numerous children’s choirs and adult ensembles; performing as a cantor and soloist; teaching music, theater, and English to K-12 youth; participating in all things musical theater; and belting tunes in a harmony-heavy alternative rock band in the 90’s. Michelle’s most precious life experiences have been raising her three daughters and making music with them.


YYC offers 5 Ensembles

If your singer is between the ages of 9-18 and is interested in participating in a program of exceptional music education and vocal training for singers, then Yavapai Youth Choirs has a place for you!


Voci Genesi

An entry-level treble ensemble for boys and girls ages 9-11. Voci Genesi performs repertoire in unison to simple three-part harmony.


Angelo Voce

An opportunity for all young treble singers ages 12-18 to participate in studying the finest in choral repertoire while nurturing and developing the emerging voice.


Nova Voce

Offers choral experiences for young men with changed voices up to the age of 18. This choir has opportunities to participate in festivals and tours.


Voci Sorella

A premiere experience in choral music for women ages 12-18. This auditioned, touring ensemble is for dedicated and talented singers ready to work at an advanced musical level.


Colla Voce

A mixed ensemble of selected voices from Voci Sorella and Nova Voce. The repertoire includes a variety of styles and genres from Medieval chant and madrigals to Vocal Jazz and Broadway charts. This ensemble is an auditioned group and is part of the touring choirs of Yavapai Youth Choirs.



What To Expect At The Audition

Auditioning for the Yavapai Youth Choirs is not as difficult as the term “audition” implies. Our auditions are an opportunity for us to get acquainted with you and a parent/guardian and to hear your voice within a safe and comfortable environment. Our objective in the audition is to determine placement in our program that is best suited for a successful experience for each singer. We look for potential, rather than polished performances. This is an opportunity to get to know each other in a very positive and safe atmosphere.

Audition Requirements:

Sing a song of your choice. This could be Happy Birthday or My Country Tis of Thee.

• General vocal warm-ups to assess overall range, vocal production and intonation.

• Ear training and musical reading activities such as rhythmic clap back, melody echoes and sight reading.

• Brief conversation about singers’ musical background and experience.

Audition Appointments

We are offering vocal assessments in-person and online via the Zoom platform. Your specific meeting time will be confirmed when you sign up for an assessment.