250 MEMBERS OF THE APPLETON BOYCHOIR,
LAWRENCE ACADEMY GIRL CHOIR AND
WHITE HERON CHORALE PERFORM TOGETHER
FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE GRAND OPENING
On Saturday, February 9 205 singers of all ages from the Appleton Boychoir, Lawrence Academy Girl Choir and White Heron Chorale will perform together onstage for the first time since the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center’s Grand Opening celebration in 2002 in a concert called Spirited Songs: A Celebration of Choral Music.
CREATING CHORAL CONNECTIONS
For many members of the Spirited Songs groups, choral music is more than a casual hobby; it's a way of life. Karrie Been has been singing since she was in elementary school and now serves multiple roles in the choir world, performing with the White Heron Chorale and conducting the Primo Lawrence Academy Girl Choir.
Her family is in on the choral fun as well. Been says, “We have four musicians in our house. With all of our concerts and performances, we have very full schedules, but life is never dull.” Been met her husband, David, in their college choir, and they are both active in the White Heron Chorale. Their two children enjoy singing as much as their parents. “To share in singing is more than a casual gathering of friends. We share an intrinsic part of ourselves, the part of our person that is vulnerable. As performers we take away from the performance as much as the audience does – perhaps more.”
For vocal music teacher Melissa Mast, the White Heron Chorale offers an opportunity to continue her musicianship at a higher level and provides her students a role model in becoming a lifelong student of music. Mast says, “The choir allows me to perform in a quality ensemble with other musicians from all walks of life. There are business people, educators, recent college graduates and retirees all blending their voices into a balanced, beautiful choir.” People from throughout the community enjoy singing and can connect socially through a shared love of music.
THE BENEFITS OF SINGING
If you listen closely to Fox Cities households, the Been’s and Mast’s are not the only ones singing a joyful tune. According to a 2009 study by Chorus America, nearly a quarter of American families include at least one choral member. Approximately 42.6 million Americans regularly sing in a chorus, and that number is growing, up 49 percent since 2003.
For children, singing in a choir offers special advantages. Sixty one percent of parents say their child’s academic performance improved after he or she became a member of a choir, and 71 percent of parents believe their child has become more self-confident since joining a choir. Educators also see the benefit with 92 percent of teachers believing that participation in choirs can make students more social or socially skilled.
Spirited Songs: A Celebration of Choral Music will be held in Thrivent Financial Hall at the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center on Saturday, February 9 starting at 7:00 p.m. The program will feature a diverse mix of choral music including American traditional songs, new compositions from American composers, folk music from world traditions, sacred music and familiar tunes. Tim Sharp, executive director of the American Choral Directors Association, will serve as a guest conductor for portions of the performance.
Tickets for Spirited Songs: A Celebration of Choral Music
are $18 for adults and $10 for students.