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How the Ontario Youth A Cappella Chorus started...
A message to all singers
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O YA is on a for an exciting announcement in the future...

For everything there is a season and a reason!


The Ontario Youth A Cappella Chorus is on a hiatus at this time.


The reason for the O YA Chorus was to introduce young men to a cappella music Barbershop style. Starting with an idea launched in the Fall of 2009, under the desire, drive, and commitment of Sharon and Barry Towner, the tutelage of Barry Towner and Shawn Oakes with the assistance of Charlie Henderson, and the early years development assistance of Jordan Travis and Dan Austin, and the literally thousands of personal hours administrator and chorus mom, Sharon Towner, put in organizing, communicating, urging, communicating, cajoling, and communicating, we successfully introduced well over 200 young men and their families to BARBERSHOP over the course of 7 years.

Largely assisted financially by Sing Canada Harmony, some individuals, some chapters, several quartets, and the Ontario District we;

  • staged 7 very successful January Thaw Shows ...that delighted Barbershoppers and others
  • participated in 6 very successful International Youth Festivals...that showed BHS what was happening in Ontario
  • held quartet extend Barbershop learning and grow Barbershop in Ontario
  • held a director grow directors and youth
  • reached out to high school music introduce Barbershop Harmony and Ontario District
  • held several workshops in high schools in southern Ontario...that demonstrated top quality Barbershop to youth
  • inspired a Barbershop credit course in one secondary school...receiving both school and Board support
  • appeared at the OMEA (Ontario Music Educators Association) Conference twice...exposing over 1200 music educators to great barbershop music
  • sang in Koerner Hall (U of T Music Faculty) for the grand standing ovations and praise for Ontario District
  • appeared on several stages at the 2013 Barbershop Harmony Society International the invitation of the Society Board to entertain VIPs
  • appeared on many Chapter Shows ...introducing young men engaged in the Arts as never before
  • appeared at the original SING Festival in Toronto...helping in it's formative year to make it an ongoing success
  • sang for the Ontario District HOD on many occasions... to thank Ontario District Leaders for support
  • entertained audiences at Harmony Ranch annually...where there is a hub of Ontario Barbershoppers and their friends
  • held a very successful workshop and show in Indianapolis this past February...sharing talents across the border


  Rehearsal Opportunities were given to members of the O YA Chorus to participate in quarteting and directing as well being coached by top notch coaches. Many O YA members have chosen to become members of chapters, and are contributing to the success of their chapters. Several O YA members have continued on in music studies intending to become educators and or professional musicians. One O YA original member has now become the front line director of a prominent chorus in Alberta,  another original member is a music educator in Saskatchewan, while another became the chorus choreographer.  


O YA It's Been a Great Season..... We would like to thank all of the young men that have enjoyed the program. We have enjoyed working with you.

  • Thank you to all of the Parents that supported their young men in the program since 2009.
  • Thank you to SING CANADA HARMONY SCHOLARSHIP FUND.....we could not have done it without you
  • Thank you to Ontario District
  • Thank you to the Chapters and individuals and Quartets that have physically and monetarily supported the O YA Chorus.
  • Thank you to Global Kingdom Church for their ongoing support
  • Thank you to Brantford Collegiate Institute for their ongoing support
  • Thank you to Joanne and Lyle Southam for all of their website and technical assistance since the beginning.
  • Thank you to Bruce Herdman for taking over and looking after the finances
  • Thank you to Doug McCloy, our number one chaperone and supporter
  • Thank you to NANA Bryers for all she did for the program
  • Thank you to Charlie Henderson and SHAWN OAKES. We wish every school had music educators like them.

Barry and Sharon Towner  ( O YA CHORUS CoOrdinators )



  • If you are between the ages of 14 and 30, like to sing and are self motivated, Here's How to Join Us!

  • If you are reading this and you are not between the ages of 14 and 30, that’s too bad but if you know someone that fits the above description be sure to pass the message along.


Barry and Sharon Towner, Co-ordinators Contact Coordinator   Shawn Oakes, Music Director  Contact Coordinator


O Ya Chorus 2016 gratefully acknowledges the assistance of:

Barry & Sharon Towner
Lyle & Joanne Southam
Mary & Morgan Lewis
Joe Van Pinxteren
Elmer &nd Marg Down
Stephan Ivers

Al & Helen Davis
Lou Bergnor
Frank Knoll
Jim & Debra Wilson
Duncan MacGregor
Paul Ellingson
Bob Laing
Oshawa Backseat Drivers
and a theatre full of appreciating fans at the 6th Annual January Thaw Show on Saturday, January 16, 2016
You can donate here on the Supporters Page!

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