This March, many of our Concert Choir singers (ages 11 to 16), traveled to Disneyland in Anaheim California to participate in the renowned Performing Arts Programme, as well as to present a magical performance of their own. The trip, as the choristers would attest, was “awesome”.
As part of their music education, the Choir attended two workshops where experienced clinicians demonstrated how business and artistry mix. In one lab, Choristers learned the vital elements of teamwork and self confidence. Through theatre games and exercises, choristers tested their courage and realized that “fear is something false appearing real,” “performers create and share who they are,” and you “never need to ask permission to be yourself.” They strengthened their skills to work as a performing group, which will benefit them as they grow older and meet many challenges in their lives. From Disney, our singers learned much about themselves and each other, and are looking forward to putting their new co-operative skills, energy, and confidence to use in rehearsals and performances.
A highlight of the trip was a special opportunity to perform at the park. Not every group is given the chance to present their work; this exclusive honour is only given to those who are considered “top level” artists. Upon gathering at the informal outdoor stage, the Choir had been advised that it was not unusual for people to enjoy their music while rushing by to the next ride or attraction. Yet we created a little magic of our own that day! Approximately 30 passersby were compelled to stop and enjoy how the children sang their repertoire – particularly the sing-a-longs.
Throughout the workshops and performances we were not shocked to hear our choristers praised for their abilities and maturity. But still, it was an exceptionally proud moment to hear the music booth technician, who sees countless rehearsals and shows, sigh and remark that it was lovely to “hear children singing properly”.
Every incredible moment and whirlwind of tour activity was accomplished with the help of many. From our chaperone parents and volunteers to our staff and board members, and our great sponsors and donors, we feel lucky to have a whole family of fairy godparents who help make our dreams come true.
Story contributors: Madeleine Humer and Hilary Groos