Is there a young singer in your household?
Vivo Children’s Choir marks its 17th season this year, and new singers are being invited to join. New registrations are welcome throughout September.
The choir – which describes itself as “New Westminster’s best-kept musical secret” – is an inclusive choir that’s open to all children in grades 2 and up, no auditions required.
It’s led by three accomplished musicians and music educators: Carrie Taylor, Anne Wilson Unger and Ingrid Verseveldt. They founded the choir in 2002 to create a musical experience for their children and others in the area.
Director Carrie Taylor, who teaches at Burnaby Central Secondary School, said the choir provides many benefits for young singers.
“Vivo kids learn proper vocal technique, they sing quality repertoire, and they build one more community to belong to and feel good about,” she said in a press release. “They also tend to continue with singing throughout high school and beyond. Several Vivo kids perform in the provincial Honour Choir and other enrichment programs in the city for advanced singers.”
Unger, a member of the B.C. registered Music Teachers’ Association who teaches piano locally and leads choir at Glenbrook Middle School, noted the choral experience has even deeper benefits for singers than just the music itself.
“Music education and the arts are such an important part of who we are as humans,” she said in the release. “We focus so much as a society on academics and sports but forget to encourage and support the creative side of our children’s personalities. In choir they learn to be part of a team, and they develop focus, self-confidence and artistry. The emphasis is on the whole group, not the individual, so all voice types feel encourages and supported and not singled out.”
Moreover, she noted, the children learn to sing in different languages and they learn about the different cultures the songs come from.
Vivo performs two concerts annually, in the winter and the spring, with invited guest choirs from local high schools, plus occasional community appearances.
The choir meets Wednesdays at Olivet Baptist Church, 613 Queens Ave. Singers take part in three different choir levels: Animoso, for grades 2 and 3, meets from 4 to 5 p.m., while Bravura (grades 4 and 5) and Concento (Grade 6 and above) meet from 4 to 5:30 p.m.