Join the award-winning Vocal Department!

Our choirs have won unanimous Superior ratings at all festivals, worked with Grammy-award-winning artist, Avi Kaplan, from Pentatonix, and have toured San Francisco, CA, San Diego, CA, and, most recently performed at Carnegie Hall, NYC!

The Vocal Music Department is a dedicated to maintaining a community based on respect, exemplary musical artistry, and teamwork. We recognize the unique qualities within each person in our “Choir Family” and are committed to creating a safe and nurturing space for all students to explore, build confidence, and grow in as musicians and individuals.

Students in the Vocal Department will find comprehensive instruction focused on a variety of musical styles (Classical, Pop, Broadway, Jazz, Multi-Cultural), healthy vocal technique, musicianship skills (sight-reading and music theory), solo singing, audition and performance technique, and leadership skills. Solo opportunities, including individual coaching, are available for all students and in all styles. Our department strives to offer students unparalleled experiences in vocal education, music careers, travel, and hands-on workshops with professionals in the music industry.

CHS choirs have won unanimous Superior ratings at all festivals, were ranked 1st place Overall for Music in the Parks, and were selected for the 2018 Top Choirs for Nationals in NYC at Carnegie Hall.  Students in our program have worked with Grammy-award-winning artist,  Avi Kaplan, from Pentatonix,  Vanderbilt University’s nationally-renowned a cappella group, Melodores, and The Young American’s touring cast.  Additionally, students have received numerous clinics and scholarship opportunities from visiting university faculty.

Students from the Choir Family have shared that being in choir has helped them build essential skills in leadership, teamwork, public speaking, and self-confidence, to emerge as confident young adults with a lifelong love of music.

Canyon Chorale- Mixed voices, intermediate (audition required)
ARIA (Honors)- Higher voices, advanced (audition required)
Chamber Singers (Honors)- Mixed voices, advanced (audition required)
Extra-curricular Opportunities- A Cappella, Barbershop, and Beautyshop Groups.

Types of Choirs


•   Do I need to have a good voice to join choir? No— all students and all levels are welcome! You will learn to sing in a group setting that is safe and supportive.

•   Is choir an actual class during school hours? Yes. Choir class is during the school day just like any other class. There are no choir classes after school.

•   Can I do choir as well as sports/drama/AP courses? Absolutely! We have students in all of the mentioned activities, from varsity football to the musicals after school. Just speak with your counselor to get choir onto your schedule.

•   What kind of music will I learn in choir? You will learn all types of music, from Broadway and Pop (rock, funk, jazz, indie, etc) to Classical. Students will never be forced to sing a solo, however, solo opportunities are available to those who are interested.

Program Advisor: Jeffrey Derus

Jeffrey Derus holds a B.A. degree in Choral Music Education and Conducting with a Secondary Music Education Credential from California State University of Fullerton and a M.A. in Education and Curriculum Design from Brandman University.


He is an American composer and educator. His music has gained national and international presence with commissions and performances from a variety of ensembles such as Choral Arts Initiative, INSPIRARE, Constellation Men’s Ensemble, Inversion Ensemble, KC VITAS, the Nova Scotia Choral Federation, QED Vocal Ensemble, Magpies & Ravens, the Afternoon Singers, Temple University, Vanguard University, Saddleback College, and the Temecula Master Chorale. 


Hailed as “elegant” by the Voice of OC, Jeffrey’s music is recognized by critics, performers, and audiences for its lyrical voice and lush soundscapes. He is the recipient of the composer residency with the Britten-Pears and Holst Foundation in Aldeburgh, UK. Jeffrey is also a founding board member and choral artist of Choral Arts Initiative.