Frequently Asked Questions 

Interested in joining Oregon Repertory Singers Youth Choirs but have more questions? Take a look at these Frequently Asked Questions to get more information. 

For families of ORSYC students who are already enrolled, please refer to the Family Handbook.

For additional questions about ORSYC, contact the office at [email protected] or 503-230-0652.

Does my child need to have previous singing experience?

Nope. All young people are welcome to sing with ORSYC, regardless of prior singing experience. At the beginning of each term, new singers will be auditioned and placed in musicianship classes based on age and knowledge and musical skills.. 


Is this a competitive choir?

No. Although we are performance-based and believe in excellence, we do not compete with other choirs. Our performances throughout the year at a variety of venues are designed to give singers at every level experience performing in front of large audiences. At the Vivo level, ORSYC students have the opportunity to join ORSYC on tours regionally and nationally. 


Are there auditions? Opportunities for solos?

There are auditions to join ORSYC to receive placement for musicianship classes. There are opportunities for solos during concerts and extra events. Soloists are typically chosen by the artistic director.


What is the Kodaly Method?

Zoltan Kodaly was a composer, ethnomusicologist, linguist, and philosopher who lived in Hungary in the first half of the 20th century. He developed a method of music education called the Kodaly Method in which singers learn to sing what they hear and write what they sing. ORSYC Artistic Director Kimberly Skondin and many of the musicianship instructors are certified in the Kodaly Method.


What type of songs do you sing?

We sing a variety of repertoire that represents different time periods, parts of the world, and musical styles/genres.


Is ORSYC affiliated with Westminster Presbyterian or any other religious organization?

ORSYC has no religious affiliation.


What does my child need to bring each day?

Please have your singer(s) bring their choir binder (provided by ORSYC), pencil, and water to each rehearsal. 


Will there be field trips/ leaving the premise?

No, rehearsal only takes place at Westminster Presbyterian. Students are expected to check themselves in and out with an ORS staff member/volunteer. During off-site performances throughout the year, students are expected to check in with an ORS staff member/volunteer and escorted into the venue.


Are parent volunteers needed? 

Always! We are a large organization with over 200 members and only three office staff. Volunteers are essential to how the organization has continued to operate for nearly five decades. In particular, there are several volunteer positions to support the Youth Choirs. Please reach out the the Volunteer and Programs Assistant ([email protected]) for more information.  


How do I pick-up/drop off? Do I need to come in or stay for any amount of time? Can I choose to observe the classes? 

Pick-up/drop off is at the parents discretion – some parents choose to escort their children inside the venue, others choose to drop-off outside. Either way is fine, as long as children definitely sign in [and out]. Parents are welcome to observe ORSYC rehearsal and musicianship classes as long as the singer(s) are able to maintain concentration.


Will there be a chance to meet the ORSYC teachers and staff before the classes begin?

Yes! Please join the ORSYC Open House on Tuesday, August 27 at 4:15 pm and invite your family and friends! In addition, there are social events throughout the year to give ORSYC students and families the chance to enjoy each others company through singing and dancing games, while building relationships with other families in the ORSYC community.


Are there discounts for families with more than one child?

Yes. Families with multiple children are offered $100 tuition discount per child per season, after the first child.


What is ORSYC policy on diversity, equity, and inclusion?

Oregon Repertory Singers (ORS) does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its activities or operations. These activities include, but are not limited to, hiring and firing of staff, selection of volunteers and vendors, and provision of services. We are committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all members of our staff, clients, volunteers, subcontractors, vendors, and clients.


ORS is an equal opportunity employer. We will not discriminate and will take affirmative action measures to ensure against discrimination in employment, recruitment, advertisements for employment, compensation, termination, upgrading, promotions, and other conditions of employment against any employee or job applicant on the bases of race, color, gender, national origin, age, religion, creed, disability, veteran’s status, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.


Is the facility wheelchair-accessible?

Yes, the buildings we rehearse and perform in are ADA-Accessible. 


What bus routes serve the facility?

The ORSYC weekly rehearsal space (Westminster Presbyterian church, 1624 NE Hancock, PDX) is centrally located in the Irvington neighborhood, near the bustling intersection of NE 15th and Broadway. Routes that serve the church within two blocks walk include Trimet buses #8 and #17. Streetcar and max lines come within a 1-mile walk. 


Is there parking?

Yes, parking is available in the Westminster Presbyterian parking lot, directly across from the venue. Street parking is available at our various concert locations. 


How do I apply for a scholarship, and what is the criteria to qualify?

Needs-based scholarships are offered to families that qualify. Please follow this link to apply.