York County Honors Choirs, Inc.
PO Box 827 - York, Pennsylvania 17405
Since the first concert for York County's (PA) 250th Anniversary Celebration in 1999, the York County Honors Choirs have celebrated the county's rich diversity through the voices of its youth. The choir's great success during the supposed one-time performance inspired Director Randy Yoder and the Board, led by Judy Simpson, to establish a permanent choir of students in 10th, 11th, and 12th grades from the many school districts of York County. Now known as the York County Senior Honors Choir, this group of 100 singers has sung for President George H.W. Bush and PA Gov. Tom Ridge, performed in the United Nations, the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, St. Patrick's Cathedral, and Carnegie Hall in New York, Canterbury Cathedral and the York Minster in England, Washington National Cathedral, and at Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore. In 2020, Directors Randy Yoder and Michal Buchanan passed the baton to Mr. Carlos Casilla as the new Senior Honors Choir Artistic Director, continuing with the excellent music education that is the hallmark of York County Honors Choirs.
In 2002, Director Donna Knott founded the Junior Honors Choir, for students in the 7th, 8th, and 9th grades. This Choir, 100 singers strong, has been selected to perform at the Naval Academy Chapel, the 2010 Eastern Division ACDA Conference in Philadelphia, PMEA and Pennsylvania ACDA Conferences, and invited to sing for the Music Education Department of Penn State University.
Today, both of these Choirs serve as choral ambassadors of York County, presenting up to 20 concerts annually. The 40-member Concorde Vocal Ensemble of the Senior Honors Choir was selected in a nationwide competition as one of two high school groups to perform in the National High School Choral Festival at Carnegie Hall in New York City in 2011, performed at the ACDA Eastern Division Conference in Providence in 2012, and joined with the Deer Creek Chorale to perform Lauridsen's "Lux Aeterna" in 2013 and "The World Beloved-A Bluegrass Mass" in 2015. The 40-member Synergy Vocal Ensemble of the Junior Honors Choir has performed with the David Benoit Jazz Quartet and “Christmas with The Celts.”
Students audition each year for a position in the Choirs, and they consistently report that, in addition to the musical opportunities, the benefits of participating in the Honors Choirs have far exceeded their expectations. This unique collaboration with choral directors, private music instructors, and families from all over York County gives students the opportunity to share their talents with others who have the same love of music, higher level of dedication, and desire for excellence. As the students return to their home schools and neighborhoods, they serve as leaders and positive role models, and they develop an appreciation for community involvement that extends beyond their school years. After their tenure, Honors Choir alumni go on to achieve success in their communities, benefiting from their confidence and skills obtained through the program.
York County Honors Choirs Board of Directors 2020-21
Holly Kominsky, Chair
Peggy Davidson, Immediate Past Chair
Kate Barclay, Secretary
Elaine Fogdall, Treasurer
Mary Anne Winkelman
Bill Lytle, Donna Knott, Carlos Casilla, ex officio
Beth Inkrote, Administrative Assistant
The Honors Choirs organization is maintained by a volunteer Board of Directors that is responsible for managing the choirs’ operations, fundraising, and marketing efforts. The Board meets bi-monthly. York County businesses, sponsors, and private patrons support the group financially.
The Honors Choirs administrative staff includes Bill Lytle, Executive Director and Beth Inkrote, Administrative Assistant. Together, they work to support the artistic staff and handle all the business of the choirs. The business office resides at Asbury Church, 340 East Market Street, York.
Mailing address: PO Box 827, York, PA 17405
Usual office hours are Monday through Thursday, 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
2019-20 Board Members
First Row (L to R): Executive Director Bill Lytle, Junior Honors Choir Director Donna Knott, Peggy Davidson, Vickie Fazio, Holly Kominsky, Ronda Abel, Mary Anne Winkelman,
Second Row (L to R): Elaine Fogdall, Gretchen Dekker, Kate Barclay, Melanie Hady, Senior Honors Choir Director Randy Yoder, Nathan Eifert, Mark Woodbury, Donna Jones