“At MYC, wonderful learning takes place within a positive, creative environment where every singer is welcomed and valued, all are encouraged to become better peers and mentors to one another, and lasting friendships are forged.”
– Jennifer C., MYC parent

Madison Youth Choirs (MYC)

In everything we do at MYC, we work to nurture curious, open-minded, caring, and thinking individuals who value one another’s voices.

We’re continually amazed to see the way that meaningful music education seems to bring out a kind of superpower in each of our singers, a unique blend of honesty, courage, and empathy born out of studying the multitude of ways that artists throughout history and around the world have expressed themselves in song.

We invite you to join us as we strive to fulfill our mission to inspire youth with a choral experience that fosters creativity, reflection, and the exploration of ideas.

Our impact

Founded in 2003, when Madison Boychoir and Madison Children’s Choir joined forces to become Madison Youth Choirs, MYC includes singers of all experience levels, annually serving more than 1,000 young people, ages 7-18, and over 20,000 audience members through a wide variety of choral programs. Cultivating a comprehensive music education philosophy that inspires self-confidence, personal responsibility, and a spirit of inquiry leading students to become “expert noticers,” MYC creates accessible, meaningful opportunities for youth to thrive in the arts and beyond.

MYC regularly collaborates with a diverse range of local organizations, including Madison Symphony Orchestra, Madison Opera, Opera for the Young, Madison Bach Musicians, Mt. Zion Youth Choir, Madison Choral Project, The Road Home, and the Hmong Language & Culture Enrichment Program. We’re committed to breaking down barriers to music education, whether financial, physical, or perceptual, and welcome a vibrant community of singers who reflect the cultural tapestry of our community.

Our teaching staff

Our artistic staff is an energetic, creative, and thoughtful team of master educators.

Michael Ross has worked for the Madison Youth Choirs since 2003, first as Artistic Director, and from 2013-2021 as Artistic/Executive Director. He was previously the Music Department Chair and Vocal Music Teacher at Madison West High School. Michael was the Tallis (training choir) instructor for the former Madison Boychoir for ten years. He has both Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Music Education from UW-Madison, where he studied with Robert Fountain, Beverly Taylor, Julia Koza, and Anthony Barresi. Michael has also taught at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Summer Music Clinic, conducted the University Chorus at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and led the former Basso Continuo choir of the Madison Boychoir.

Michael has been active in state music organizations, having been the choral chair for the Wisconsin Music Educators Association, accompanist for the Wisconsin Choral Directors Association’s Next Direction conference, and both section leader and accompanist for various WSMA and WCDA State Honors Choirs. Michael is a member of the Voice Care Network, and has been named several times to “Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers”. He is also an active clinician throughout the United States; in 2014 he conducted the WCDA (Wisconsin) All-State Children’s choir and in 2016 he conducted the Colorado Middle All-State Treble Choir.

Michael lives in Madison with his wife, Kirsten; they have two children: Ethan and Elliot.

Carrie Enstad has directed choirs of all ages in Minneapolis and Madison for over 20 years. In Minnesota she taught in Minnetonka Schools and The Blake School, and served on the conducting staffs of The Music Association of Minnetonka and Angelica Cantanti Youth Choirs.  In addition, she directed choirs at various churches and The University of St. Thomas.  Carrie is passionate about working with children’s choirs, and is thrilled to be part of the MYC family, an organization she values deeply, as a professional and as a parent. Carrie graduated with honors from Gustavus Adolphus College, and earned an MA in Music Education from The University of St. Thomas. In 2002 she was honored by The American Choral Directors Association of MN with their Outstanding Young Conductor Award.  In addition to her work with MYC, Carrie currently teaches music at Edgewood Campus School and directs the Jubilee Singers at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church.

Calli Ingebritsen is a member of the intro choir staff of MYC. Calli graduated summa cum laude from the University of Wisconsin–Whitewater in 2008 with a Bachelor of Music degree in choral and general music education. Since 2009, she has taught choir and general music at Mount Horeb Area Middle School. Calli met and worked with Margaret and Randy at the CMP workshops, and is thrilled to be a part of the MYC team with such amazing educators. She currently lives in Mount Horeb with her husband, Jeff, and their children. She is an active musician in area community ensembles and theaters. She enjoys reading anything she can get her hands on and crocheting.

Margaret currently teaches choral, general music and theater at Velma Hamilton Middle School in Madison Metropolitan School District. Since 2012, Margaret has been a regular presenter for Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute, working with the Music Educator Workshops, Link Up, Play USA and most recently, Musical Explorers. Margaret is a frequent guest conductor for state and regional honor choirs and has directed choirs and led teacher workshops across the US, in Europe, and Southeast Asia.
Margaret is the chair of the Wisconsin Comprehensive Musicianship (CMP) Project and is committed to raising the bar for music education, both in her teaching of K-12 students and in her work mentoring and training teachers. Using strategies that promote critical thinking and self-reflection, and empowering students to see themselves as capable learners, listeners and creators are some of the ways Margaret strives to use her role as a music educator to create a more equitable society.
Madison Symphony Orchestra named Margaret its first “Music Educator of the Year” in 2014 and in 2019 and 2021 she participated in the Yale Music Symposium, where she received  the Yale University “Distinguished Music Educator” award.
When not teaching she loves to visit with her  (MYC Alum) sons, who go to college in places that are fun to hike, bike and explore. Tallis, her Great Pyrenees that is named after the first MYC choir she conducted, is a huge choral music lover and unofficial MYC mascot.

Lisa Kjentvet has worked with the Madison Youth Choirs and the former Madison Children’s Choir since 2000. Her history with the organization began as the conductor of Capriccio for the Madison Children’s Choir where she subsequently served as Artistic Director for two years. She served as Co-Artistic Director of the Madison Youth Choirs during its inaugural season and most recently as Education and Outreach Coordinator. A member of the VoiceCare Network, Lisa currently conducts Choraliers and Capriccio. During her tenure. her choirs have appeared at regional and international festivals and the North Central American Choral Directors Association Convention. A graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in General and Choral Music Education, she has previously taught in the Kettle Moraine School District, Madison Metropolitan School District and the Catholic Diocese of Madison while maintaining an active schedule as a clinician, performer and private piano and voice instructor. In 2017, Lisa joined the administrative staff of the Madison Symphony Orchestra where she serves as Education Assistant.

David Olson is thrilled to be an intro choir teacher at MYC.  In 2013 he graduated from the University of Wisconsin – Madison with a Bachelor’s degree in Choral and General Music Education. Since then he has taught grades K-12 in rural and urban areas across the state of Wisconsin.  David is the choir teacher at Spring Harbor Middle School as well as the K-1 general music teacher at Van Hise Elementary School, and works as the assistant director of residential life and student engagement at Summer Music Clinic through UW Madison.  He is also a member of the Chant Claire Chamber Choir based out of Milwaukee, and enjoys performing in weddings, pop up orchestras, and impromptu barbershop quartets.

Besides conducting Britten, Randal Swiggum is the Arts Teacher Leader for the Madison Metropolitan School District, where he works with all K-12 music, art, theatre, and dance teachers as a coach and support. Randy was Artistic Director of the award-winning Elgin Youth Symphony Orchestra (Chicago) for over twenty years. He has also served as education conductor for a number of professional orchestras including The Florida Orchestra, Elgin Symphony, Milwaukee Symphony, and Boise Philharmonic. With the Madison Symphony he has conducted concerts for young people, including Symphony Soup, the Fall Youth Concerts, and the Carnegie Hall Link-Up concerts. Each February, he had conducted the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra in a concert for young audiences, which over the years has featured masterworks such as the Faure Requiem, Vaughan Williams Dona Nobis Pacem, Poulenc Gloria, Bernstein Chichester Psalms, and Mendelssohn’s Elijah.

Randy was Artistic Director of the Madison Children’s Choir from 1996-2000 and led the first international tour for Ragazzi and Cantabile to Brazil in 1998. He has also taught at Whitefish Bay High School, Verona High School, UW-Milwaukee, and Lawrence University. A frequent guest conductor of orchestral and choral festivals, he conducted the first ever Pennsylvania All-State Junior High Choir, as well as the MENC All-Northwest Honor Choir in Portland, New York City Interschool Choral Festival, Mansfield (PA) University Choral Festival, American Mennonite Schools Orchestra Festival, Northern Arizona Honors Orchestra, and both the Wisconsin Middle Level Honors Choir and Orchestra. Recently he has conducted orchestra or choral festivals in Aberdeen, Scotland; Seoul, Korea, and Singapore as well as the All-State Orchestras in Georgia and Illinois. He has conducted the Scottish National Youth Symphony, and the APAC Choral Festival in Seoul, Korea, co-conducted with colleague Margaret Jenks. He and Margaret also were invited to co-conduct ACDA Young Men’s Honor Choirs in Cincinnati (2010) and Madison (2012).

A passionate advocate for a richer learning experience in the rehearsal, Randy serves on the Wisconsin CMP (Comprehensive Musicianship through Performance) Project. He has addressed the Pennsylvania MENC and ACDA, Minnesota ACDA, Iowa ACDA, Illinois ACDA and IMEA, Maryland MENC, the ACDA North Central Division and Eastern Division, the Texas Orchestra Directors Association, and MENC National Conventions in Phoenix and Kansas City. He often works with music teachers in workshops and in-services across the U.S. With colleague Margaret Jenks, he recently taught a CMP workshop in Hong Kong for teachers across southeast Asia. They both also continue to serve as faculty for the Carnegie Hall Music Educators Workshop in New York City.

Randy has led concert tours throughout Europe, Canada, and South America. He has music directed over thirty stage works including the 1991 premiere of the Theatre X opera, Liberace. He created the music for celebrated director Eric Simonsen’s new production of Moby Dick for the Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, named by TIME magazine as one of the 10 Best Theatrical Productions of 2002, and was Music Director for the Milwaukee Repertory Theatre’s beloved annual “A Christmas Carol” for thirteen years. He is author of Strategies for Teaching High School Chorus (MENC 1998), and co-author of Shaping Sound Musicians (GIA 2003). He is currently a Ph.D. candidate in musicology at UW-Madison.

Eliav Goldman joined the MYC family as a boychoir member in 2013 and instantly found a home. When he graduated a year later, he was determined to keep MYC in his life, one way or another. Throughout his time studying Music Education at UW-Madison, Eliav remained connected to the MYC community as a choral intern, assisting a variety of choirs and eagerly accepting any and all opportunities to learn and grow with MYC students and staff. Eliav is eternally grateful for those opportunities, particularly all the guidance and wisdom that he has soaked up from the truly world-class MYC conductors and staff, whom he is so honored to call his colleagues.

Outside of MYC, Eliav works as the Choir, General Music, and Theater teacher at Toki Middle School in Madison. He is a Herb Kohl Fellowship Award winning educator and an MMSD LGBTQIA+ Ally Award recipient. He is fiercely interested in the frameworks of Hip Hop Pedagogy and Comprehensive Musicianship through Performance (CMP). Other topics of interest include baking and cooking, soccer and tennis, and floral fashion, but there are few things that Eliav loves more than a good story and a good question.

Originally from St. Louis, Missouri, soprano Marie McManama has performed with the Union Avenue Opera, Cincinnati Opera, St. Louis Symphony, St. Louis Muny, Opera Theatre St. Louis, Grant Park Music Festival, SongFest, and the Grand Teton Music Festival. She is a founding member of the Madison Choral Project and has sung locally as a soloist with Madison Opera, Opera for the Young, Isthmus Vocal Ensemble, Four Seasons Theatre, Middleton Players Theater, and the Peninsula Music Festival in Door County. While completing her Masters at CCM in Cincinnati she also earned her second Bachelors in music education and recently won a scholarship from the Wisconsin Music Educators Association for excellence in teaching. She teaches choir and general music at O’Keeffe Middle School in addition to her private voice studio and is thrilled to be part of the MYC team!