“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.

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

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 staff

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

Michael Ross (Cantabile, Ragazzi)

Michael Ross has worked for the Madison Youth Choirs since 2003, first as Artistic Director, and since 2013 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.

Carrie Enstad (Con Gioia)

Carrie Enstad spent 20 years directing choirs in Minneapolis/St. Paul before moving with her family to Madison. In Minnesota she taught at Minnetonka High School and The Blake School. Carrie is passionate about working with children’s choirs, and has served on the 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. In 2002 she was honored by The American Choral Directors Association of MN with their Outstanding Young Conductor Award. Carrie graduated with honors from Gustavus Adolphus College, and earned an MA in Music Education from The University of St. Thomas. Here in Madison, Carrie teaches music at Edgewood Campus School and directs the Jubilee Singers at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church. She is thrilled to be joining the MYC staff.

Calli Ingebritsen (Introductory choirs)

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 daughter. She is an active musician in area community ensembles and theaters. She enjoys reading anything she can get her hands on and crocheting.

Margaret Jenks, (Purcell, Holst, Cantilena, and Introductory choirs)

Originally from Holland, Michigan, Margaret is a summa cum laude graduate of the Lawrence University Conservatory of Music, with degrees in Music Education and Vocal Performance. Her teaching and performing career has taken her from Freiburg, Germany to Eagan, Minnesota and to Waukesha, Wisconsin, where she taught at Butler Middle School and later at North High School. While at Butler, Margaret created the Bridge Ensemble, an innovative choir which gained attention for its unique approach of pairing gifted and talented students with cognitively disabled students. The Bridge Ensemble appeared by invitation at the January 2001 Wisconsin Choral Directors State Convention, in a moving and memorable performance.

Margaret has performed extensively as soprano soloist in such works as the Bach Magnificat, Haydn’s Creation, and Handel’s Messiah. Presently, she designs and teaches the Introductory Choir programs of the Madison Youth Choirs, Tallis (for boys) and Colla Voce (for girls). Margaret’s idea of a choir for boys before, during, and after voice change led to the founding of Holst, and has resulted in invitations to work with other boychoirs. In 2010, Margaret led the first ACDA Central Division Young Men’s Honor Choir in Cincinnatti, along with colleague Randy Swiggum. She and Randy also were invited to conduct the APAC Choral Festival in Seoul, Korea in 2009, and work with music teachers from across southeast Asia in a two-day conference focused on comprehensive musicianship.

Margaret serves as the WCDA Boychoir Repertoire & Standards Chairperson and especially enjoys the challenge of finding unexplored choral works for elementary and middle school boys. As a member of the Wisconsin CMP (Comprehensive Musicianship through Performance) Team, she helps teach a summer institute for teachers in Wisconsin and Iowa, focusing on a deeper rehearsal experience for young musicians. Since 2004, she has lived in Madison with her husband Andy, and their own lively boys, Nathaniel and Simon, who are planning to sing in the boychoirs until they are old enough to direct them. She loves to read, cook without recipes, and create scavenger hunt clues for boys.

Lisa Kjentvet (Choraliers and Capriccio)

Lisa 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. After serving as co-artistic director of the Madison Youth Choirs during its inaugural season, she added to her conducting responsibilities and currently directs Choraliers and Capriccio. Her choirs have appeared at regional festivals and the North Central American Choral Directors Association Convention. Additionally, she now serves as the Education and Outreach Coordinator for Madison Youth Choirs.

Lisa graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in General and Choral Music Education. She has previously served as choral director at Kettle Moraine Middle School in Dousman, Wisconsin and choral director and general music teacher at Sherman Middle School, Jefferson Middle School and Memorial High School in the Madison Metropolitan School District. In addition to her work with the Madison Youth Choirs, Lisa currently teaches part-time at St. Francis Xavier School in Cross Plains and is active as a clinician, performer and private piano and voice instructor. She is a member of the VoiceCare Network.

Marie McManama (Con Gioia)

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!

Margaret Stansfield (introductory choirs)

Margaret (Maggie) Stansfield is a magna cum laude graduate of Luther College with a Bachelor of Arts in Music and German Studies.  She has been teaching voice privately and in the schools since 2006.  She directed the high school choirs at Lakeland Union High School in Minocqua, WI and, most recently, instructs choir, voice, guitar and piano to 5-12th grade students at Madison Country Day School.

“The Margarets” aligned when Maggie, a disciple of CMP, met Margaret Jenks and Randy Swiggum at the 2011 Wisconsin CMP workshop. When not teaching or singing, Maggie likes to do anything outside, but especially: gardening, walks, swimming and photography.

Randal Swiggum (Britten, Holst)

Besides conducting Britten and Holst, Randal Swiggum has served as Artistic Director of the award winning Elgin Youth Symphony Orchestra (Chicago) since 1998. He is also has 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 Link-Up concerts. Each February, he conducts the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra in a choral masterwork concert for young audiences, which has featured 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. In 2009, he conducted the Scottish National Youth Symphony and returned to Seoul for the APAC Choral Festival, which he 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 the Americas. 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.