The West Tennessee Youth Chorus was founded in 1996 by director Martha Wright as an educational program for vocally and musically gifted children to develop their talents. The after-school program, ages 9-16 which also includes a training chorus, the West Tennessee Children's Chorus, rehearses two days a week in Cordova, TN.
The WTCC/WTYC was founded with six areas of focus-proper vocal technique for the age level, sight-singing, ear-training, part-singing, educational performances and tours, and service. Wright's philosophy to provide thorough instruction of the basics and the great performances will follow has been reflected in the impressive resume they have acquired in a very short time.
In 1997 the WTYC performed for the Kiwanis International Convention for an audience of 15,000 and in 2000 they were selected as the featured children's choir for the nationally televised Presidential Christmas Tree Lighting-National Pageant of Peace held at the White House, Washington, DC.
With President Clinton officiating, the WTYC shared the stage with the First Family while providing back-up to Welsh soprano Charlotte Church, country singers Kathy Mattea and Billy Gilman, as well as a featured ensemble accompanied by the US Navy Band.
The WTYC was selected again for the Pageant in 2004, this time with President Bush officiating, giving the young program an opportunity to perform for two US Presidents in a 4 year period. The WTYC performed with Operatic tenor Carl Tanner and country singers Marty Stuart and wife Connie Smith while being accompanied by US Marine Band. Impressed by their performance, Willard Scott invited the WTYC to perform on the Today Show the next morning.
Their performance clips have been used on Larry King Live, CNN, Wolf Blitzer, Fox MSNBC, and Carl Tanner's website. Photos of the chorus have been used on AOL's opening page and the White House and President's Park website.
European tours to Austria, Germany, France, England, and Italy have provided opportunities such as an invitation and acknowledgement by Pope Benedict at Vatican Square, and performances in sacred venues such as the Basilica San Marco, Venice, and the Cathedral of Notre Dame, Paris.