Singers from the “Voices in Bloom” concert

Sooke Youth choir ready for a new season

Another season is on the horizon for young singers

Still in it’s infancy, the Sooke Youth Show Choir is getting ready for another big season of belting it out.

The choir first began in January earlier this year as an offshoot of the community choir, said Stannard, the acting president of the Choir. Their first performance was on March 4, 2013, at the Edward Milne community school’s Spring Sing Out under the direction of Sara Wilson. A video of their debut performance can be seen on their Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/SookeYouthShowChoir.

“The Spring Singout, when all the school choirs and the community choirs get together, that was kind of our big debut,” said Stannard.

The youth choir is open to youth between the ages of five to 16 who are interested in singing collectively, and also to those interested in solo performances. No vocal audition is required for choir membership, although there will be auditions for soloists for the Spring Show on October 23.

“It starts really small, you’re just working together, the group is just making noise and it’s really encouraging,” Stannard explained. “I think any kid, even if you’re shy and don’t like being in public you’re with a group and you’re really free. Singing is such a vocal thing but it’s also kind of physical.”

Besides developing and polishing the mechanics of developing a singing voice, it also offers additional benefits to those who participate.

“It’s a big confidence builder for kids. So any kids who like to perform or certainly just let themselves be heard, be loud,” said Stannard. “Sometimes even if you’re quieter and you don’t have the words, you don’t have the vocabulary, sound can … make you so articulate in such a different way. It’s really freeing, I think, for a lot of youth. And even the young ones, suddenly they have this whole soundtrack to life.”

Rehearsals are on Wednesdays at the Holy Trinity Church starting at 5:30 p.m., and the cost is $60 per child for the season. Registration is on September 4. The first rehearsal begins the following week on September 11. The 2013 spring season saw over 50 singers, ranging in age from five to 16. Since membership is limited, it will be first-come-first-serve.

Parent involvement is strongly encouraged.

Instrumentalists can register for free and participate in the concert.

Singing, says Stannard, “is a real equalizer. Everyone has a voice, and in choir, because we want to include everyone, you can learn to sing … and in a group, you learn how to blend. You tune your ear when you tune your voice. It’s just practice, and it’s really fun.”

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