Cary Apex Youth Choir Offers New Class, Growth, & Life Balance at 5-Year Mark 

When Cary resident Laura Delauney started the Cary Apex Youth Choir (CAYC) in the fall of 2018, she had just 18 singers. Today, as the choir celebrates its fifth season, it has continued to grow — despite the pandemic — adding new music opportunities, spreading community reach, and maintaining its signature “life-balance” approach.     

This spring, CAYC is launching a rare offering: a pre-choir prep class for young singers. With it, the class brings a new associate director, as well as a potentially expanded footprint for the organization.   

The Life-Balance Approach  

As a local executive with three kids, Sonna Raman explains that “this group takes the best of the ‘recreational sports’ approach — but the music education is very serious. There are very structured lessons that are pre-planned. It’s a solid program with expectations, attendance, bringing your music, writing notes. There is a level of expectation and performance out of the kids.”   

Yet that commitment is balanced with low-key logistics: “Practice is once a week,” Raman continued. “There is some level of responsibility to practice at home, but we don’t feel the stress of that.”   

“We’re all-in. We love Laura,” Raman said. “I’m amazed that she can get them to sing beautifully with only once-a-week practice. I’m sure she’d love to practice more, but once a week is very manageable.”  

Filling a Gap in Choral Education 

Today, CAYC counts more than 55 singers across two choirs: a training choir (Prelude) as well as a performance choir (Lyric). This March, the organization is launching an additional 10-week introductory class: Discovery Choir.   

“I felt there was an unmet need for something to come before choir,” said Delauney, who developed the idea for a “choir prep” class this fall — but lacked the time to teach it herself. In a serendipitous twist, Delauney connected with Seattle transplant Jessy Williams, who had just moved to Holly Springs and was searching for a choral position.    

CAYC Associate Conductor Jessy Williams will lead the new Discovery Choir class. Aimed at 1st through 4th graders, the class is designed for those who are not yet eligible for Prelude Choir or not quite ready to commit to a full season (September to May).   

Bringing Choir to the Community  

As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, CAYC is supported by local sponsors, donors, and arts organizations, including grants from the Town of Cary and the United Arts Council of Raleigh & Wake County.   

“We love CAYC’s mission and how diverse our choirs are after only five years,” said Raman, who has two children in Lyric choir. “And yet Laura is looking at how she can add more diversity. She’s keenly aware of the lack of availability of quality programs to underrepresented populations. She is interested in trying to diversify the choirs and giving back to the community.” This includes a limited amount of scholarships for singers.   

Raman also describes the group’s “flexibility, lower level of pressure, and a lower barrier of entry” as some of the key reasons it was easy to join — and easy to commit.    

In celebration of their five-year anniversary, Delauney and CAYC “invites everyone to our spring concert, focused on mothers and caregivers, and held on Mother’s Day weekend,” said Delauney.   

The concert on Saturday, May 13, at 4 p.m. will feature all three of the group’s choirs (including the new Discovery Choir class). The concert will take place in downtown Cary, and $5 tickets are available to purchase online.    

To learn more about joining, purchasing tickets, or supporting this 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, visit their website at   



1 Comment

  • Katelin Wagner says:

    The CAYC is such an amazing experience that I’d recommend to anybody. As a lyric singer, I have been singing with this choir for 3 years, and it’s been so helpful with developing my voice. Please sign your kids up for choir! 🙂

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