All-Ohio State Fair Youth Choir

All-Ohio State Fair Youth Choir

The All-Ohio State Fair Youth Choir (known as the AOSFYC or the All-Ohio Youth Choir) is a singing organization of high school students that meets every summer five days prior to the opening of the Ohio State Fair and performs as entertainment for the duration of the fair. Dubbed in 1965 as "Ohio's Singing Ambassadors of Goodwill" by Governor James A. Rhodes, the group is composed of singers from many of Ohio's 88 counties. The group also meets in the winter during a "Winter Pops Concert" in which the Coshocton Community Choir hosts the young singers in a reunion concert.


The All-Ohio Youth Choir was founded in 1963 by Glenville D. Thomas. He created the group after directing the Greater Zanesville Youth Choir from 1959-1962 and using that group as a basis for the first "All-Ohio Youth Choir", which performed for the first time at the 1963 Ohio State Fair. This gave high school vocalists the opportunity to share a musical experience that rivals that of the "All-Ohio State Fair Band".



Assembling for the first time, the All-Ohio Youth Choir performed at their first Ohio State Fair in 1963. Performing without audio assistance, the choir, through the formulative years of the 60's, comprised 325 voices from all 88 counties of Ohio.


Following the success of 1963, the Choir was formed again in 1964 with some returnees from the 1963 Choir. The '64 choir recorded a total of two records; one in a private recording session while at the fair and one just before leaving on the first All-Ohio Youth Choir European Tour. This tour was the group that revived the call to entertaining people by recoining the phrase "The Red Coats Are Coming". After this group's success, the European Community looked forward to annual visits from Ohio's talented teenagers.


In the summer of 1965, 122 members of the '64 choir embarked on their first European tour after a day of performances at the New York World's Fair. Performing in packed houses in both the British Isles and on the continent, the groundwork was set for European tours in years to come, with the proceeds from the concerts going to cancer research. This was the first time that the choir was called "Ohio's Singing Ambassadors of Goodwill" by Governor James A Rhodes, who championed the choir through all four of his terms as governor and was one of the choir's biggest fans.During the fair that year, the '65 choir was constantly reminded that the European Tour Choir would be coming to the fair on the last Saturday of the fair to show the new choir "how it was done." This created a friendly rivalry between the different years of the choir. This only caused each choir to want to perform even better. Throughout the many years to follow there were many small changes each year. Some changes were made because of advances in technology, some because of economics. But from the first beginning years to the present the All Ohio State Fair Youth Choir remains one of the greatest musical experiences that a teenager from Ohio can be a part of.


This was the last time singers were allowed to return to the State Fair for multiple years until 1993.In the summer of 1966, The European Tour choir from the 1965 State Fair choir prepared for its trip to Europe. The trip began on a difficult note, with an airline mechanics' strike, the flights from Columbus to New York and from New York to Shannon, Ireland, were both canceled. The choir took busses to New York where a flight on Icelandic Air was booked to Ireland. Once in Ireland, the choir preformed throughout the British Isles before moving on to Switzerland, Spain and Portugal. When the time arrived to return home, the flight was canceled because of the ongoing strike. After spending 3 additional nights in Portugal (in a monastery, of all places), a flight was finally booked to bring the choir home. Busses were again used to move the choir from New York to Columbus.


The following are the contents of the very first letter sent to alumni members:

March 17, 1967
Dear All-Ohio Youth Choir Members:
This letter is to acquaint you with a new organization....
It is open to all members who have sung in the All-Ohio Youth Choir.
If enough interest is shown in the organization, you will be hearing from us concerning the activities of the Choirs, and interesting bits of news about past members. At present, Mr. Thomas plans two publications a year.
It will be up to you to keep the mailing addresses correct, so please fill out the enclosed card and return to the SECRETARY, with a lone dollar, check or money order. This is a non-profit organization, but we need a few supplies to get started.
The 1967 European Tour Choir sang at the Sheraton Hotel in Chicago Dec. 2, 1966 for the International Fair Managers Association. One thousand Fair Managers from all over the world were in attendance, and this program brought an invitation to sing in York, England during the tour next summer.
Mr. E.J. Keirns, Manager of the Ohio Expositions Commission, received a citation in Chicago for having the largest and best Junior Fair in the world. He requested the appearance of our Ohio Youth Choir to demonstrate one of the reasons why he was given the award.
On Friday, Jan. 13, 1967 we presented a short concert for the Ohio State Fair Manager Association at Columbus Sheraton Ball Room. We were happy to see some of our past members there.
The 1967 European Tour Choir is working very hard at rehearsal, in preparation for the take-off on July 11th... to England, Scotland, France, Switzerland, Italy, Germany, and Portugal. We have been immensely proud of each of you during the State Fairs and the European Tours. Mr. Thomas and I look forward to seeing you again in Columbus or at one of the concerts. At this writing, we have a concert scheduled for Solon on April 29 and for Marion on April 30. If we have missed anyone, please let us know about them, and we will send along this information.
Alumni Day at the Fair will always be the Saturday before Labor Day. Save the date now (Sept. 2, 1967) and plan to attend.
This is your Association, we can't do anything without your help, so LET'S GO. Best Wishes from both of us, and keep singing.

Glenville Thomas, Director
Vance O'Donnell, Alumni Secretary


The Choir members pool their money and purchase the Reserve Grand Champion Lamb at the 1st Sale of Champions.


The 1969 European Tour is stranded in Italy by an airline pilot's strike. For the next few years the choir flies on private charter jets to eliminate any travel problems.

The 1969 Fair Choir purchase the Reserve Grand Champion Lamb at the Sale of Champions. During their stint at the Fair, they appeared on the then locally broadcast "The Phil Donahue Show", which was filmed live on the Fairgrounds. Eddie Arnold joined them on one number. After the close of the Fair, the members were joined by the 1969 European Tour Choir to travel to Wapakoneta, Ohio for the homecoming celebration of Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon. They taped an hour-long television special for the Christmas season. Once during the year, the Hollywood comedian/actor, Bob Hope, acted as a guest conductor and honorary Choir member for the singing on the "Battle Hymn of the Republic." The 1970 European Tour included Wales, England, Denmark, France, Switzerland, Italy, and Portugal.


The Choir starts a tradition of performing Handel's Messiah. This tradition will last almost 10 years with Choir Alumni traveling to churches and concert halls throughout the state.


In 1971, the 1970 edition of the Choir performed in the Rose Garden, for then President Richard Nixon.

The 1971 Choir appeared on The Phil Donahue Show with Maria von Trapp and sang selections from The Sound of Music. Other songs included: Ohio Theme Song, Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In, Spinning Wheel; Schooldays; Sunshine in My Soul; Rock-A-My-Soul; Old Irish Blessing; Love Story; Hosanna; Battle Hymn of the Republic;

The European tour included -- Sanctus and Benedictus from St. Cecilia Mass; Canticle of Praise; Jesus, I Live to Thee; All Through The Night; Hymn to David; Put Your Hand in the Hand; For All We Know; Alexander's Ragtime Band; Fill the World With Love; Theme Sublime of Endless Praise.


The Fair Choir appear on the "50/50" Club with Bob Braun, which was broadcast live every day at noon from the Grandstand, prior to the daily harness racing card. The Choir also appears on The Early Show at 4 PM with from the WBNS pavilion. They also sing on a talk show out of Dayton hosted by none other than Phil Donahue. In addition, members of the Choir are contestants on network gameshows, which are broadcast live from the WBNS and WLWC (now WCMH) pavilions at the Fair.


In 1974, the Alumni Association was incorporated and the Choir was invited to perform in Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. With the custom-made portable amplification systems for each singer, known as "Voice-Paks", this allowed the choir to become the first known marching choir. This tour included not only marching in the parade, but a performance on the Today pre-parade show, from the rooftop of Tower 1 of the just-opened World Trade Center. Also, as part of that trip, was an appearance on the Tomorrow Show, hosted by Tom Snyder. When leaving the taping of this show at 30 Rockefeller Center, the choir gave an impromptu parade appearance stepping off down Broadway as all of the Thanksgiving eve theater goers were exiting the shows.


After arriving in New York City to perform in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, the first assignment was to tape a show with Shari Lewis and Lamb Chop on top of one of the World Trade Center towers. Thanksgiving day they marched in an incredible rain storm.In 1975, the Choir went to Hollywood with the first of an unprecedented four trips to the Tournament of Roses Parade.


The 1976 edition of the Choir performs in a commercial for the Ohio Department of Travel and Tourism. The commercial was titled, "The Nine Wonderful Worlds of Ohio" and was taped in the field that was the Natural Resources Area.

Three weeks after the Fair, the 1976 Fair Choir performs a concert at Public Hall in Cleveland.

The Choir Alumni march in the Mid-America Thanksgiving Day Parade in Cincinnati, Ohio.

The Alumni perform "The Messiah" in Mount Orab, Ohio and Coburn United Methodist Church (Mr. Thomas' Church) in Zanesville.

As a tune-up for their European Tour, the 1976/77 Choir gave concerts at Memorial Hall in Lima, Ohio, Colonel Crawford High School in North Robinson, Ohio, the Great Lakes Shopping Mall in Mentor, Ohio, and for the Ohio Commission on Aging in Columbus.

The 1976/77 Choir then rehearsed for a week at Muskingum College in New Concord and performed two final concerts before departing for Europe, one at West Jefferson High School, in West Jefferson, Ohio and one at Brown Chapel on the campus of Muskingum College. In between those two concerts, 1976/77 edition of the Choir marched in the Zane Grey Days Parade in Zanesville, Ohio prior to departing for Europe.

The choir flew out of Port Columbus on a private charter jet, at 6 PM, on Monday, June 26, 1977 and landed at Glasgow, Scotland at 7 AM the following day. After a much needed rest at Edinburgh University, the Choir performed a sold-out concert at Edinburgh Playhouse. The following day, the Choir traveled to York and after another day of sightseeing the Choir sings to an SRO crowd at the York Town Hall. The next day, the Choir pulled up stakes at York University and spent their first night in a hotel, in Birmingham. The next night the Choir participated in a joint concert with the Norwegian National Youth Orchestra, in the Birmingham Town Hall. From Birmingham, it was on to Mr. Thomas' motherland of Wales.

After three sold out concerts in cradle of choral singing, the 1976/77 headed for London and their triumphant Queen's Silver Jubilee Command Performance at Fairfield Hall in Croydon. After a much needed Independence Day break from performing, the trip was made to the coastal resort of Brighton for the final performance in the British Isle. With this final show, the 1976/77 choir raised 40,000 British Sterling and performed before more than 10,000 fans.

Following a rugged crossing of the English Channel, the Choir landed in the Hague and went on to Amsterdam and a performance at a small church outside the city in one of the remote villages. Following a day of sightseeing in the Dutch capital, the Choir moved on to Brussels and an impromptu concert (Mr. Thomas was famous for these) in the city square. Next stop, Paris...

Paris and Bastille Day, what a combination. More impromptu concerts, Notre Dame (Jesus I Live to Thee), Arc de Triomphe(Every Valley), the Eiffel Tower during the French Independence Day's fireworks. From here, on to Switzerland. In Lucerne, they had an outdoor concert to a small but enthusiastic crowd. After the final night soiree, they got ready for the long flight home; it was interrupted by an emergency landing in Gander, Newfoundland where the plane blew a tire on the right landing gear.

The 1976/77 Choir is the only Choir to record two live albums, one at their Parents Concert at the Fair, the other at a concert after their return from Europe in the Auditorium at Lancaster Methodist Campgrounds.


The Choir begins performing their now famous arrangement of the hymn "How Great Thou Art".

This arrangement was given to the Choir by the country music group the Statler Brothers, after they heard the Choir perform in the Grandstand. This arrangement was never charted and the piano accompanment was written and performed outstandingly for years by the late Dr. David Place.


The Choir returns for their second appearance in the Tournament of Roses parade. This trip includes marching in the daily parade at Disneyland and performing in the pre-parade show for NBC with Lucille Ball. The 1976 Alumni, who marched in parade, performed a concert for the Tournament of Roses committee, also in the audience was 1978 Parade Grand Marshall, former President Gerald R. Ford.

The Choir performed three songs while marching the 7 1/2 mile (they told you it was five)

* "I Believe in Music" - Mac Davis
* "Daybreak" - Barry Manilow
* "Joy to the World" - Three Dog Night

The 1978 Fair Choir is instrumental in an October re-election commercial to help the Choir's biggest cheerleader, James A. Rhodes, get elected to a fourth term, by performing the "Battle Hymn of the Republic" throughout the commercial.

The 1978 Fair Choir was the first to have an electronic key board. During the fair Mr. Thomas tried out the newest of electric keyboards the YAMAHA electric grand. This was new technology. Mr Thomas asked the choir if they would all chip in to buy this for the choir and before the end of the fair the choir had a new piano purchased by Wendy's. This was the end of the hauling around an organ and two pianos.


The Choir battles the elements as the remnants of Hurricane Fredrick drop over four inches (102 mm) of rain on the Fairgrounds over a five day period and one of the Choir's golf carts is discovered floating down High St.

The Choir actually leaves the Fairgrounds during the Fair to go up High St. and perform at Whetstone Park (aka the Park of Roses) in Clintonville to dedicate the opening of the new gazebo.


For the final time, the Choir Alumni perform the Handel's "Messiah" at Christmas time, with concerts in Zanesville and Etna.

The 1980 choir performs at Cardington High School on Friday, June 12, 1981 on their annual pre-European tour. The event was hosted by Susanna McClelland, Robin Meyer and Rod Thill. The next night, a category 3 (max. wind speeds 158-206 mph) tornado convert|0.4|mi|km away from the Cardington city center killed 4 people and injured 56 people and caused between $5,000,000 and $50,000,000 in damages.

The Choir performs for Ronald Reagan's Campaign stop in Columbus, Ohio. Mr. and Mrs. Reagan, and Robert Conrad sing Battle Hymn of the Republic nearly getting hit by "THE FLAG".

76 members of the 1980 choir participate in the European Tour. The chairman of the Cancer Research Campaign receives a telegram from Buckingham Palace. It states "The Queen sincerely thanks the West Wickham Cancer Research Campaign Committee for their kind and loyal message sent on the occasion of the fifteenth anniversary concert of the Ohio State Fair Youth Choir at Croydon. Her Majesty as Patron of all the Cancer Campaigns for Research sends her best wishes to all taking part for a most successful event."

The 1981 European Choir is encouraged to get all of their "chameleons" and pictures ready for a great reunion on Alumni Day. The 1980 choir sings on Friday, September 4 at the Millersport Corn Festival and Saturday, September 5 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Columbus for the Enhance Corporation.


Mr. Thomas informs the alumni that the Choir may possibly tour China. He has 70 visas to go from December 18, 1981 to January 1, 1982. This concert tour will include 2 days in Hawaii. There would have 5 to 6 concerts. The cost which would include all meals and transportation, will be $3000.

The 1981 Ohio State Fair was lengthened to 17 days (running from August 14 through the 30th), allowing the Choir to give a then-record 117 performances during the Fair. Notices of acceptance were sent out to choir members in Late April/Early May. Letters informed members of cost of participation in the choir. The music, which included 30 vocal numbers, cost $32.82. Uniforms: shirt (one polo type with blue State of Ohio outline with All-Ohio State Fair choir in print) shorts (red coach's shorts), scarf (for girls), tie (for boys), and windbreaker jacket cost $46.04. Check in was from 6 to 8 pm on Tuesday, August 11.

ongs Performed

*Battle Hymn of the Republic (SATB) Shawnee Press
*Barbra Ann (This song was originally sung by the guys right side of the dorm (L through P?) in the acoustical restrooms. Mr. Thomas heard some of the guys singing this outside and questioned them about it and then all the guys performed it.
*Beautiful Ohio (SATB) Shapiro, Bernstein & Co. Inc.
*Born to Be Free (SATB) Neil A. Kjos, Jr. Publisher
*Broadway Spectacular: (SATB)Jenson Publications
**What I Did For Love from A Chorus Line
**Tomorrow from Annie
**Sunrise, Sunset from Fiddler on the Roof
**Hello, Dolly! from Hello, Dolly!
**Mame from Mame
*Do-Re-Mi (SATB) Williamson Music, Inc.
*God of Our Fathers Hope Publishing Co.
*Go Not Far From Me, O God Spratt Music Pub.
*Happy Days/Making our Dreams Come True Jenson Publications
*How Great Thou Art Arranged by Manna Music
*I Believe/Ave Maria (SATB) Shawnee Press, Inc
*If I Had a Hammer (SATB) The Richmond ORganization
*If I Loved You (from Carousel)SATB Williamson Music
*Lilies White and Fair Southern Folk Melody Belwin Pub. Corp
*Old Time Religion Glory Sound
*Praise Ye the Lord, the Almighty Hinshaw Music
*Put Your Hand in the Hand (SATB) Studio P/R, Inc.
*Reach for a Star (SATB) Jenson Publications
*Rise Up, O Church! Lillenas Publishing Co.
**The Church's One Foundation
**How Firm a Foundation
**Glorius Things of Thee are Spoken
**O Breath of Life
*Shall We Gather at the River (SATB) Beckenhorst Press, Inc.
*Swingin' with the Saints Shawnee Press
*The Lord's Prayer G. Schirmer
*The Rainbow Connection (SATB/SAB)ATV Music Publications
*The Power and the Glory (SAB) Jenson Publications
*Through the Eyes of Love (Theme from Ice Castles) Gold Horizon Music Cor
*The World is Full of Hello's Shawnee Press

On the night before opening day, the fair turns into a media frenzy. The choir performs at the Wendy's restaurant under the blue and white canopy. Wendy's has the world's largest salad bar, workers used rakes and shovels to mix the giant salad. The choir performs Wendy's national advertising jingle:

Wendy's...Ain't no reason to go anyplace else.We give you individual attentionthat's one reason we could mentionWe give you exactly what you wantthat's why you go to Wendy's Restaurant.

Wendy's...Ain't no reason to go anyplace else.You get your hamburger hot off the grillThat's another reason if you willyou get exactly what you wantthat's why you go to Wendy's Restaurant

Wendy's...Ain't no reason to go anyplace else (Repeat)

Admission prices for the fair were $4.00 per person on weekdays and $5.00 per person on weekends. The admission price includes all of the rides, special shows and entertainment.

Opening Day story from the Friday, August 14th edition of the Columbus Dispatch: James Rhodes stole the show at the 6 a.m. opening Friday of the 1981 Ohio State Fair, billed as the biggest ever in the Buckeye state.

Gov. Rhodes was not the attention getter, however. His 21-month old grandson, James Rhodes Markham, was the star of the proceedings as he entertained dignitaries with his enthusiastic clapping and smiling at the ribbon cutting.

As in recent years, Mrs. Helen Rhodes cut the ribbon while the governor held his grandson, the son of Rhodes' daughter, Sherry, and her husband, William Markham, of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. James Markham then wriggled loose and held up a piece of the red ribbon while the delighted crown applauded.

Cassie Shorer, 10, of Powell, Ohio, was presented with a large stuffed bear as the first official visitor to the fair. She won the honor when her number was picked in a 5 a.m. drawing on the fairgrounds.

Cassie has participated in the drawing for several years. Her niece, Chrissie Weymouth, 2, also of Powell, was the first official visitor to the fair last year.

"I'm kind of nervous," she said several minutes before the presentation. She is the daughter of Paul Shorer. She and her family were admitted for free.

Fair Manager John Evans announced during the opening program he expects more than 3 million people to attend the fair, which at 17 days is the longest ever for Ohio.
As he was introducing the governor, Evans commented on how he and his wife, Ruth had spent part of their honeymoon on the fairgrounds sleeping with the cattle they were showing.
"I want to say that John Evans is gettin' up in the world," Rhodes joked. "He's sleeping in a trailer now."

Rhodes called the 1981 fair one for the entire family, and introduced the 13 members of his clan at the opening.

As in previous years, the opening ceremony included some peppy selections by the All-Ohio State Fair Band and Choir as the American and the Ohio flags were raised over the sprawling fairgrounds.
A convert|12|ft|m|sing=on tall Uncle Sam on stilts waved another flag. Uncle Sam, actually Geze Gerer, an Akron, Ohio resident formerly from Budapest, Hungary, has livened up the opening for the past four years.

The 52-year old former circus performer, who came to the United States in 1957, said he comes to the fair opening because, "I love to do it."

A crowd of about 50 people waited outside the 11th Ave. OHIO gate to listen to the opening ceremonies. There were complaints from crowd members who hoped to see the actual ribbon cutting, because the ceremony is held inside the gate and dignitaries and press members surrounded the area. "I think we should have been able to at least see it," commented Jackie Meek, of 4033 Riceknbacker Ave., Whitehall. "That's why I got up at 4:30 a.m.

Alumni Day was held on Saturday, August 29. In order to participate in any of the choir performances, the following dress code has been established. The men will wear white shirts, blue ties and white or black pants. The women will wear white blouses, blue scarves and white or black skirts. You are to wear your blazers if you have them and you are also to wear dress shoes with your uniform. Sue Godez (OYC '70), Ken Ramsey (OYC '78) and Jane Groves (OYC '78) were nominees for Board of Trustees. Tickets for the Annual Alumni Day Luncheon (Rhodes Center Auditorium) cost was $4.75.

The schedule for the day was:10 am Mall concert11 am Grandstand concert12:30 Luncheon, Election and General Meeting2 pm Annual Lawn Sing3 pm Senior Citizens concert6 pm Grandstand concert7 pm Administration Lawn concert8 pm Coliseum concert

On Sunday, August 30th from 2 to 4 pm the 1981 choir sang for the last time at the fair for the parents' concert.

Under the Great Seal of Ohio in the State House rotunda on November 19, 1981, approximately 125 other members of the All-Ohio State Fair Youth Choir, sang songs of praise and thanksgiving for the Legislative Thanksgiving Prayer Breakfast. The breakfast was attended by over 200 people., including, then Governor James Rhodes, who honored former Governors Frank Lausche and John Bricker.

Following the breakfast, Governor Rhodes and the former governors presented the Choir with a check for $1000 to be used however needed.

The All-Ohio State Fair Youth Choir was the recipient of the Governor's Award at the 1982 Ohio Newspaper Association banquet. The 1981 choir entertained during the dinner prior to the presentation.

The 1981 choir begins its pre-European tour of Ohio singing in the following locations:

Sunday 18, 1982 National Trail High School New Paris, Ohio 3 pmHosted by Judy JordanSunday, April 25, 1982 North Adams High School Seaman, OhioHosted by Lisa Naylor, Rachel Browning, Suzy Scott and Ron RosselotSunday, May 16, 1982 Trinity United Methodist Church Portsmouth, Oh 3pmHosted by Jennifer MerbMonday, June 14, 1982 Millersport Jr. High Auditorium Hosted by David Pierce (and unknown others)Tuesday, June 15, 1982 Mt. Gilead Jr. High Auditorium Hosted by Marna Augenstein, Rene Todd, Tracy Bedwell and Russ MayerWednesday, June 16, 1982 Zanesville High School Auditorium 8 pmHosted by Stephanie Robinson and Jackie NeffThursday, June 17, 1982 West Jefferson High School 8 pmHosted by John Buscemi, Debbie Castor, Sharon Cook, Don Kuhns and Christi Widener Following the concert the choir was treated to supper at the Buscemi's restaurant, Ann & Tony's Resturarnt on State Route 40 in West Jefferson.Friday, June 18, 1982 West Liberty Salem High School Auditorium 8 pmHosted by Brenda Yoder and Jim Stoner

*Alexander's Ragtime Band Shawnee Press
*All the Things You Are Shawnee Press
*Being Yourself (Get High On Yourself) Hal Leonard Music
*Blue Moon Jenson Publ.
*Can't Smile Without You Dick James Music, Inc.
*Corner of the Sky from Pippin Belwin Mills Publish
*Hello, Out There! Shawnee Press
*Hush, No More, Be Silent All Mark Foster Music Co.
*I Don't Care If the Sun Don't Shine Shawnee Press, Inc.
*In a Shanty in Old Shanty Town Shawnee Press
*The Impossible Dream (The Quest) Cherry Lane Music Co.
*Love the World Away Southern Nights Music
*Jubilation, Celebration! Hal Leonard Publishing Corp.
*Look for the Silver Lining Shawnee Press
*On Broadway Jenson Publications
**On Broadway from All That Jazz
**Tradition from Fiddler on the Roof
**Day by Day from Godspell
**Cabaret from Cabaret
**Side by Side by Side from Company
*Over the Rainbow Jenson Publications
*Sailing Warner Bros. Publications
*Sing Aloud with Gladness (Exsultate Deo) Hinshaw Music, INc.
*Smiles (A Choral Montage of Songs, 1900-1920) by Shawnee Press
**Let the Rest of the World Go By
**Chinatown, My Chinatown
**Poor Butterfly
**Moonlight Bay
**By the Light of the Silvery Moon
**Pretty Baby
*We Still Have Time(Theme from the motion Picture "Tribute")Warner Bro. Pub
*When You Wish Upon a Star Shawnee Press
*The Winds of the 60's
**Both Sides Now
**Moon River
**I Want to Hold Your Hand
**Up, Up and Away
**Blowin' in the Wind

The 1981 Europe tour begins on Thursday, June 24th departing from Cleveland, Ohio. The choir transfers to a different airplane in Boston, Mass.

Arrival at London's Heathrow Airport. The choir board buses to Carthy, Wales. The Hotel is the Posthouse.

Saturday, June 26th Brangwyn HallSunday, June 27th at 2:30 pm Maesteg Town HallSunday, June 27th at 8:00 pm Grand Pavilion, PorthcawlThursday, June 29th Town Hall, Dudley Thursday, July 1st at 7:30 pm Solihull Library Theatre Friday, July 2nd at 8 p.m. Grange Park School, BusheySaturday, July 3rd at Croydon Parish Church Programme announced by John DunnSunday, July 4th at Croydon Parish Church Programme announced by John Dunn


The choir is invited to participate in the Fiesta Bowl Parade.


The Choir Alumni, along with the previous year's Fair Choir, embark on a tour of Europe.


The choir alumni and many members of the 1986 choir embark on a 19 day tour of Europe to benefit cancer research.


The Choir appears for the final time in the Tournament of Roses Parade and participates in Disneyland's Magic Music Days.

Some of the songs that the 1988 choir performs and records during their run at the fair are:

It's a grand night for singing Shine Down In a Shanty in Old Shanty Town Puttin on the Ritz Together We Stand The Star Spangled Banner Finale How Majestic is Your Name Rise up and Greet the Sun Old Time Spirituals I Believe/Ave Maria How Great Thou Art Battle Hymn of the Republic


In 1990 the choir continued the traditional selection of state fair standards such as "Shanty Town", "How Great Thou Art", and "The Battle Hymn of the Republic", but added a medley of Rodgers and Hammerstein songs and songs from Disney´s "The Little Mermaid".

During the Ohio State Fair the choir performed for thousands of people including then Gov. Richard F. Celeste, former Gov. James A. Rhodes, and the President of Togo.

After the fair, the 1990 choir performed at the Preble County Pork Festival in the autumn and in December at a private corporate dinner which incorporated a number of Christmas holiday songs. Large numbers of the choir reunited in January 1991 to march and sing in the inaugural parade for Gov. George Voinovich.

Choir members bound for Europe participated in concerts throughout the state during the 1990-1991 school year, including at Portsmouth, Seaman, and Springfield. The choir also joined with the FFA choir at their annual convention in Columbus.

The Choir toured England, Wales, France, and Switzerland in 1991. All but one of the concerts were in the United Kingdom. The British concerts benefited local chapters of the British Cancer Research Campaign (now Cancer Research UK) and Sandwell District Hospital Radio. One free outdoor concert was held in Switzerland. The 1990 choir was the last choir to tour the United Kingdom and Europe under the direction of Glenville Thomas.

The 1990 choir reunited at the Ohio State Fair on Alumni Day 1991 and sung their last concert together.

Alumni from the 1990 choir have a MySpace website (see external links below).


On January 4, 1992 the board of Trustees met and elected the following officers for 1992: President - Tom Tompkins, Vice-President - Eddie Keller, Treasurer - Mary Kay McMillian, and Secretary - Jan Reinhard.

Tom Dudley, tour escort for the choir in both Europe, for many years, and Tournament of Roses in Pasadena, CA several years, died on Friday evening, January 31 in the hospital. He had been ill for many months and was unable to be with the choir on their 1991 tour. Tom was 47 years old.

The board of directors of the alumni association announce the formation of The Conductors' Club. This club is open to all members of the alumni association, as well as parents, friends and corporations. The goal of this group is to raise enough funds to build the choir its own building for rehearsals, meetings and alumni gatherings on the fairgrounds. The board feels that a central meeting place, designated for the choir and alumni memorabilia, is long overdue.

* Charles R Snyder's first year as director of the AOSFYC
* Choir members travel to Port Columbus the night before the Fair opens to greet VP Dan Quayle


First year since 1966 that Choir Members are allowed to return for multiple years.

Alumni Day was held on Saturday, August 21st. Every year was represented. The following board nominees were presented: Alan Endicott, John Sullivan, Cathy Banfield, Jennifer Long, Karen Bellamy and Mari Thomas.


Saturday, August 20th was Alumni Day. 413 alumni answered roll call.

There following board member nominees were presented for election: Jeff Cisco, Tom Boucher, Penny Bruning Butts and Mark Ferrell.


The 1995 Theme was "One Moment In Time".

This was the first year for the Cardinal Chorale. This is a group of 40 select returning veterans. This group was created so they could perform in smaller settings where the entire choir could not fit or would not be appropriate.

Alumni Day was held on Saturday, August 19th. Roll call was answered by 384 people.

Nominees for board trustees were Cathy Banfield, Heather Hixon, Paul Jarvis, Russ Mayer, Heather Miller, John Sullivan and Ricardo Winterstein.


The choir consisted of 250 high school students from all over the state of Ohio. The main theme for the choir was showtunes which featured songs from various musicals and television shows.

Alumni day was held on Saturday, August 17th. 396 alumni answered the roll call.

A presentation was made to Mari Thomas.


There were 922,307 visitors to the fair. The least busy days were Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

Alumni day was held on Saturday 16, 1997. 92 alumni answered the roll call during the meeting. 342 alumni signed in on the pads at the tables.


The 1998 Fair runs from August 7-23.

Alumni Day was held on Saturday, August 22nd.


Alumni Day was held on Saturday, August 14th.

Answering roll call were 303 alumni. Nominees for board trustees were Scott Brown, Erik Kruger, Karen Hildreth and Stacy Worley.


Alumni Day was held on Saturday, August 12th. 281 members attended the meeting.

Board nominees were: Keri Kelgerman, Mark Ferrell, John Sullivan and Zach Wolfe.


Alumni Day was held on Saturday, August 11th. 129 people attended the alumni meeting, 420 alumni signed in at the tables.

-Alexander's Ragtime Band -Amazing Grace (Mel Porter) -America, America (Andy Sper) -America the Beautiful -And This is My Beloved (Chris Everhart) -Anything You Can Do (Jami Addison and Josh Marks) -Battle Cry of Freedom -Battle Hymn of the Republic -Bye, Bye Blues# -Can't Help Lovin' dat Man (Jessie Sowers) -Consider Yourself -Dixie -Don't Get Around Much Anymore (David Cush) -Dream -A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes (Katye Wilfong) -Elijah Rock -Empty Chairs at Empty Tables (Erick Anderson) -Everybody Rejoice -Ezekiel Saw the Wheel* -Friends -Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor -God Bless America -Hallelujah -Hark, I Hear the Harps Eternal -He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother (Dan Custer) -Heart and Soul -Hernando's Hideaway (Brandon Gurza and Tom Lewis) -How Great Thou Art -Hush! Somebody's Calling My Name (Aaron Henley or Evan Staggs) -I Can't Give You Anything but Love# -I Have Dreamed (Mary Ann Harris) -I Leave You With a Song -If Ever I Would Leave You (Josh Wentz) -If I Loved You -The Impossible Dream -In A Shanty in Old Shanty Town -Lean on Me -Let Freedom Ring -Let Me Ride -Let There Be Music -Little Innocent Lamb -The Longest Time (Pat Lammie or Marc Mobley) -Lord, Make Us Instruments of Thy Peace -Mister Sandman -Mood Indigo -The Nearness of You* -Ol' Man River (Matt Hayes) -One Song (Erica Stubbs, Emily Patterson, or Hannah Nutt) -The Pledge of Allegiance -Ride On, King Jesus (Robbie Wells and Zane Buxton) -River in Judea (Beth Dulaney) -Shout to God* -Side By Side -Sixteen Tons -Siyahamba* -Song of Farewell -The Star-Spangled Banner -There's No Business Like Show Business -These Things Shall Never Die! -This is My Father's World -This Land is Your Land -To Everything There is a Season -We Love You, Conrad -We Will Stand -What'll I Do? -When You Wish Upon a Star -Yankee Doodle -Yankee Doodle Boy -Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah # depicts songs performed by the Counselors-In-Training (Heather Allen, Estella McKinney, Gretchen Raymond, Justin Lehigh, Donel Duffy, and John Reardon) * depicts songs performed by the Cardinal Chorale Misc. Song Lyrics or Revisions: Hurrah! Hurrah! Hurrah!

Board member nominees were James Gano, Lana Bieber, Stephen Snyder, Cathy Banfield and Zach Wolfe.


The Choir leaves the fair to sing for the Ohio-Reads convention with the former Miss America.

Alumni day is held on Saturday, August 10th. 78 members answered roll call. Nominees from board members were: Gail Weygand, Karen Hildreth, Erik Kruger, John Sullivan and Dawn (Collen) Romine. Those elected were Karen Hildreth, John Sullivan and Erik Kruger.


The alumni association sponsors a pizza party for the current choir members. The theme is a Hawaiian Luau. Choir members are given leis to wear.

The annual meeting of the alumni board was held on Saturday, August 14th. 40 people answered roll call.

Nominees for the alumni board were: Cathy Banfield, Lana Bieber, Beth Holdgreve and Steve Snyder.

John Sullivan was congratulated on being inducted into the Ohio State Fair Hall of Fame.


The alumni association sponsors a pizza party for the current choir members. The theme for the party is Christmas in July. Choir members, staff and alumni members get candy canes, sit on Santa and Mrs. Claus' laps, dance and decorate Christmas cookies. A couple of returning choir members think that the theme will be last year's Hawaiian theme so they show up in Hawaiian shirts and leis.

442 alumni attended the annual meeting.

Awards presented at the meeting included: Furthest Traveled - Laura McPherson from Africa Outstanding Alum - Dean Newsom Honor Year Trophy - 1964/2000

Nominees for the board were: Cathy Banfield, Karen Hildreth, Russ Mayer, John Sullivan, Erik Kruger, Vicki Sussman, and Keri Helgerman. Those elected were Karen Hildreth, John Sullivan and Erik Kruger.


The alumni association sponsors a pizza party for the current choir on Friday night before the fair. The theme of the party is a western hoe-down. Choir members, staff and alumni members square and line dance with cowboy hats, bandanas and sherrif's badges.

Choral Assistants: Wendy Jobes & Tracy Schurch (Soprano) Joanna Van Sickle & Sam Turner (Alto) Corbin Neike & Andrew Robinson (Tenor) John Pollock & Patrick Mullen II (Bass)

Candidates for board were Kris Weldy, Malcolm Spence, Dean Newsom, Amy White Erickson, Mark Ferrell, Keri Helgerman, Russ Mayer and Brian Skidmore. Those elected were Dean Newsom, Mark Ferrell and Russ Mayer.

544 alumni gathered for the meeting for roll call. 341 alumni signed in on the pads at the tables.

The alumni meeting presented the following awards: Furthest traveler - Marilyn (Hardman) Knize from San Diego, CA Alum of the Year - Ricardo Winterstein Honor Trophy - 1976 with 52 alums and 2002 with 43 alums Presidential Thank You - Steve Hildreth


The 2007 theme was "Keepers of the Light" and this year found the Alumni Association providing a Pirate Themed pizza party for the choir, complete with eyepatches, pirate hats (from Long John Silver's restaurant), hoop earrings, and bandanas. This was also the 45th Anniversary of the choir.

Choir members arrived at the Ohio Expo Center on Thursday, July 26th. The Ohio State Fair began on Wednesday, August 1st and runs through Sunday, August 12th.

At the joint concert of the choir and band held in the Celeste Center on Sunday, August 5th the Ohio Music Educators Association presented a citation to both groups. Both groups were directed by Ohio's First Lady, Mrs. Strickland. Cabot Rae of WCMH-TV served as Master of Ceremonies for the program.

Recurring Issues

Relationship with the All-Ohio State Fair Band

In the past years, the All-Ohio State Fair Youth Choir and All-Ohio State Fair Band had been bitter rivals because of former directors, but as of 2007, the members started to bond with each other and even had an ice cream event with each other. Even some members of the band joined the youth choir.

Thomas and Snyder Alumni Schism

In the years after Mr. Thomas' death, there was a great deal of conflict among the Choir Alumni - the Thomas years Alumni and the Snyder years Alumni. In recent years, this conflict has subsided and Alumni have been able to put aside their differences in order to support the youth in current choirs.

Relationship with the Ohio State Fair

There are some times funding questions about the AOSFYC.

Alumni Association

The Alumni Association serves as a booster club for the current Choir and as an organization to keep the Alumni involved and informed about the Choir.


Glenville Davies Thomas

Glenville Davies Thomas had a rich heritage in choral music. His roots went back to Wales, "Land of Song," where he was born near Swansea, South Wales.

As a young boy, he and his parents moved to the United States and settled in Cleveland, Ohio. Here he sang in church choirs and as tenor soloist. He received his education at the Baldwin-Wallace College Conservatory of Music, Capital University and The Ohio State University.

As a soloist, Thomas appeared with the Brooklyn Symphony Orchestra, in concert at the famed Carnegie Hall in New York City, in "La Bohème" as the tenor lead, Rudolpho, and other principle operatic roles. He also appeared in numerous New York City church presentations.

For almost thirty-seven years Thomas worked as a music director and educator. In 1990, he retired as Supervisor of Vocal Music for the Zanesville City Schools and director of choirs at Zanesville High School. He developed the four-part choirs to sing in sets of quartets, which produces a fine stereo sound.

As founder and director of the All-Ohio State Fair Youth Choir, he gained international fame. Besides taking a group on a European concert tour each summer, he developed the first marching choir ever to participate for its fourth time in the world-famous Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, California.

Professional affiliations included the National Association of Choral Conductors, Ohio State Teachers Association and Music Educators Conference. He was also a thirty-second degree Mason.

For his leadership as director of choirs and as an educator he has received recognition including the Baldwin-Wallace Conservatory of Music Alumni Award, Ohio Newspaper Association Governor's Award, Ohio Music Education Association 25-year Award and the Ohio State Fair Hall of Fame Award. His hometown honored him as the Grand Marshall of the 1986 Zane's Trace Commemoration Parade. In March 1990, he was recipient of the Search for Excellence Award in Zanesville/Muskingum County.

In addition to the All-Ohio State Fair Youth Choir, he directed the State FFA Chorus in Ohio, the Greater Zanesville Singers and the Aladdin Temple Chanters.

In 1991, Mr. Thomas was elected to the Zanesville City Schools Board of Education.

Mr. Thomas died Friday, December 2, 1991 while preparing for a concert with the Greater Zanesville singers. He was survived by his wife, Mari, two married sons, Richard and Brian, and three young grandsons.

Charles R. Snyder

Charles Snyder is the current director of the choir, taking over in 1992.

Charles R. Snyder received his musical training at Capital University, where he was a protégé of Ellis E. Snyder, a soloist with the university’s famed touring Chapel Choir, and for two years, the student assistant to Dr. Snyder in the voice department. In 1969 he served the Chapel Choir as associate conductor.

Mr. Snyder has completed further musical study at Kent State University, The Pennsylvania State University, State University of New York, VanderCook College of Music, Lutheran Theological Seminary and Westminster Choir College. He has studied with Daniel Moe, Leland Sateren, Richard C. Johnston, Fred Waring, Norman Luboff, Helen Kemp, John Rutter, Frauke Haasemann, Sir David Willcocks, Donal Neuen, Sandra Willetts, Anton Armstrong, Craig Arnold, Weston Noble and Paul Christiansen. In 1982, Mr. Snyder spent a fall sabbatical studying with Dr. Christiansen at Concordia College, Moorhead, Minnesota.

For two years he served as director of vocal and instrumental music for the Highland Local Schools in Morrow County, and returned to Coshocton in 1970 to teach the newly-opened Coshocton Middle School. There, for the next four years, he involved half the school’s 1100 students in five select choirs and three ensembles in addition to his regular teaching schedule.

In 1977 he joined the staff of The Presbyterian Church, Coshocton, Ohio, where he continues to serve as minister of music and education.

Mr. Snyder is the music director and conductor of the Coshocton Community Choir, a 100-voice auditioned ensemble he founded in 1971, and director of the Coshocton Children’s Choir, a regional choir for young voices which he organized in 1988.

Mr. Snyder has been a contest adjudicator, a choral and handbell clinician at area schools, churches and colleges, an all-county festival, and has served as musical director at the Coshocton County High School players since its inception in 1987.

He had conducted the chorus at Scouting’s Order of the Arrow national conferences, and in recent times has been a contributor and music editor for several professional journals. He is a member of the American Choral Directors Association, the Ohio Music Education Association and the Presbyterian Association of Musicians. In the Spring of 1992 he was selected in a statewide search as the conductor for the All-Ohio State Fair Youth Choir.

Mr. Snyder’s contributions in the area of youth leadership have been recognized with the presentation of Scouting’s Silver Beaver Award, the Distinguished Service Award from the national Order of the Arrow, and the God and Service Award for distinguished service to youth and the church.

In 2008, Mr. Snyder was honored as one of the recipients of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra's Music Educator Awards for his work with community music education.

ee also

*Ohio State Fair

External links

* [ The All-Ohio State Fair Youth Choir and Alumni Association]
* [ AOSFYC Yahoo! Group]
* [ AOSFYC 1990]
* [ Columbus Dispatch Front Page article from 2007]

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