Knoxville Symphony Youth Choir

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The Knoxville Symphony Youth Choir (KSYC) provides the region’s young singers a choral community to develop vocal technique, create music through practice and performance, foster a love for vocal music, and build relationships with peers. Students enrolled in this program will acquire musical knowledge through a wide variety of repertoire. The KSYC works to provide students in East Tennessee a safe atmosphere to explore their voices in an educational and fulfilling environment.

Click here to apply to Knoxville Symphony Youth Choir

Erin Johnson, Knoxville Symphony Youth Choir Director
Email Erin Johnson

Mario Lopez, KSO Director of Education and Community Partnerships
Email Mario Lopez | 865-521-2305


Thank you to Julia Caroline White for your generous support of the Knoxville Symphony Youth Choir. 

  • Eligibility

    The Knoxville Symphony Youth Choir is open to all vocal ranges of students grades 3rd through 8th. Previous choral experience is preferred but not required.

  • Faculty

    Erin Johnson
    Erin Johnson is a graduate of the University of Tennessee Knoxville, where she completed a Bachelor of Arts with the highest honors in Music Education and Vocal Performance. As a Knoxville native, she has been a longtime choir member at Church Street United Methodist, where she serves as a scholarship singer and assistant director for the children’s choirs. She was also recently appointed as the choral assistant for the Parish Adult, Youth, and Children’s choirs. Throughout her time at Church Street, she has been a featured performer and soloist in works such as Faure’s Requiem, Bob Chilcott’s St. John’s Passion, Vivaldi’s Gloria, Lauridsen’s Lux Aeterna, Rutter’s Gloria, and Handel’s Messiah. Erin has a wide range of musical training in sacred and secular settings, from choral and musical theatre styles, to classical and operatic styles in solo voice. Throughout her time at UTK, she studied private voice with Cecily Nall and was a member of the Opera Theatre program, VolOpera, Chamber Singers, and Concert Choir. Performances include: CarmenL’elisir D’amoreLe Nozze di FigaroAmelia Goes to the BallPinnochio, and Beethoven’s Symphony no. 9. Erin maintains a voice studio in Knoxville, specializing in the growth of adolescent singers. She is passionate about vocal development and hopes to help young musicians navigate their voices, through choral and solo settings. She is a proud member of the American Choral Directors Association and is ecstatic to bring new musical opportunities to the Knoxville community!


    Jean Helbig
    Jean Helbig is currently the arts department chair at Webb School of Knoxville and has also served as the assistant choral director and accompanist at Webb for 30 years. Additionally, Mrs. Helbig teaches private piano classes and is the accompanist at Robertsville Baptist Church in Oak Ridge. She accompanies yearly for an honor choir at the All East Tennessee Choir concert. She was an accompanist for the Tennessee Ambassadors on their 7-country performance tour of Europe.

    Jean is originally from Melbourne, Florida, and received her Music Education degree from the University of Central Florida. She is married to her husband David and has 3 sons and 7 grandchildren.

  • Rehearsal Schedule & Location

    First Baptist Knoxville
    510 W Main St.
    Knoxville, TN 37902

    Click here for the 2022-2023 Season Rehearsal Schedule

  • Auditions/Application

    Auditions for the 2022-2023 season will be held August 26th and 27th, 2022

    First Baptist Knoxville
    510 W Main St, Knoxville, TN 37902

    Students should enter the church through the lower parking lot on Locust Street

    Click here to apply to Knoxville Symphony Youth Choir

    Audition Fee: $15
    Membership Fee: $250
    The audition process will consist of 3 main sections:

    1. Vocalization/Range Assessment
      1. Audition proctor will guide each singer through several warm-ups in order to assess tone and singing range.
    2. Prepared Songs
      1. The singer will perform their song of choice. (Please prepare a song you feel confident singing)
      2. In addition, each singer will pick one of the following songs to sing:
        1. Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star
        2. Happy Birthday
        3. The National Anthem
    3. Listening Assessment
      1. Singers will be asked to listen and repeat pitches, basic rhythms, and note patterns.
      2. Basic music theory and sight-singing assessments will be provided, based upon ability to read music.