Time to sing at Grand Valley Children’s Choir
Parents looking for a way to add a little music to round out their fourth- or fifth-grader’s sports and academic lineup have an upcoming opportunity to do so through the Grand Valley Children’s Choir.
The choir will have an informational meeting for parents at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 8, in the Redlands Middle School cafeteria, 2200 Broadway.
At the meeting parents can learn about the choir as well as sign their kids up for auditions, which are scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 10.
“If your kid loves to sing, they should come and audition,” said Dazie Kirtland, who directs the choir with Danielle Behrens.
Even those children whose own parents might (secretly) think their kids really can’t sing or are tone deaf should audition.
Very few people are actually tone deaf, Kirtland said, and you might just be surprised at what your child can do or learn.
For the audition, “we like them to come prepared with a song they want to sing for us,” Kirtland said.
That song could be one the child learned at school or church, a folk song, the national anthem or even “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star,” Kirtland said.
“We’d rather not hear a Taylor Swift song,” she said.
That is because they want to hear each child’s natural singing voice, their head voice, she said.
During the audition they also will do some vocal exercises for vocal range and pitch matching.
There are typically between 40 and 50 children in the choir each year, and once a child has joined the choir he or she often can continue through sixth and sometimes seventh grade, Kirtland said.
The longer each child can sing with them, “that just makes our choir better and better,” she said.
Most of the choir’s practices are from 6:30–7:45 p.m. on Thursdays beginning in September and continuing through March, with a long break in November and December for the holidays.
As part of the choir, children learn how to read music and will sing in several different languages. They also sing fun songs with movements, said Kirtland, recalling one song the choir sang in the dark with flashlights.
“We go about it with a classical style of singing so they learn the proper techniques,” she said.
Kids gain leadership skills and confidence, and “it’s a really good, positive environment for your kids to be a part of,” she said.
“It’s a great activity. It’s high-achieving, low commitment ... and you learn a lot,” she said.