Powell River soloists and choir from New York delight Kathaumixw audiences and jury
‘They had everything,’ he added. ‘A lot of choirs are very good in voice production and stylistic singing, but they had proper style, movement, a varied repertoire and everything was very polished.’
It was not just their onstage performance that impressed James and the other jurors.
‘It was also their attitude, presentation and interaction with other people,’ said James. ‘It was impressive for kids.’
Programs offered by the Young People’s Chorus are open to all children. Most who join have no musical background or singing experience. Singers practice an average of six hours per week during the year with much more time dedicated to rehearsals before a performance or tour.
Academic success and life skills are another big component of the program. Tutors are available for choristers in all academic subjects as well as special courses on SAT preparation and financial literacy. To date, 100 per cent of the choristers have gone on to post-secondary education and more than 80 per cent receive scholarships.
‘We’re very mindful about it,’ said Nunez. ‘We send children out into the world and some of them go into music as a career but most of them do not. We’re trying to create good citizens.’
Singing in a choir is an exercise in teamwork and community, according to Nunez, something she said was remarkable about the choir’s experience in Powell River.
‘We were so impressed and delighted with the people we met and so amazed by the number of volunteers it takes to run the Kathaumixw festival,’ she said. ‘What a beautiful thing it is for your city. What struck me the most was how much the volunteers and the town cared about the arts and about music. It was really fantastic to be there.'”
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Young People’s Chorus of New York City
212.289.7779, Ext. 31