Santa Barbara Children’s Chorus Expanding Programs and Opening Up to Younger Singers
NEWS RELEASE/Santa Barbara Children’s Chorus
Santa Barbara Children’s Chorus Expanding Programs
and Opening Up to Younger Singers
(August 23, 2012) Expanding the Santa Barbara Children’s Chorus (SBCC) base of programs this year has a few firsts for the 19 year-old organization which all starts on September 10 with weekly classes and will run through June, 2013. SBCC firsts include a brand new program for children six and seven years old called Vocal Explorations, the launching of the Carpinteria Children’s Chorus, and an option to pay dues all at once or monthly.
With the popularity of the vocal competition shows on network TV like The Voice®, American Idol®, and the series Glee® not to mention director Danny Boyle’s epic Opening Ceremony show for the Summer Olympics where more than a dozen children’s choirs were integrated into the show, the vocal program at SBCC is a great place to get your youngster started. Countless professional and amateur singers have started their own career path in choruses and choirs. The disciplines children learn in the vocal arts also serve them in other aspects throughout their lives. Last season SBCC collaborated with Opera Santa Barbara, a local opera company and a number of local a cappella groups, giving the Concert Chorus members valuable and memorable experiences.
Executive Director, Paul Freeman states, “This year, we want to increase the size and scope of the chorus activities so we’re bringing the program to the kids and opening up our offerings to younger children. Getting kids started earlier is integral to growing the Children’s Chorus. We’re also aware of how busy parents are so having classes closer to home �" whether in Santa Barbara or Carpinteria �"will hopefully increase our accessibility and our membership.”
Returning for her second season, Choral Director Erin Bonski Evans will direct both the Santa Barbara program held at the Unitarian Society of Santa Barbara at 1535 Santa Barbara Street (93101) and the new Carpinteria classes, which will be held at Curtis Studio of Dance, 4915 9th St., Carpinteria (93013).
Freeman, who grew up in Santa Barbara, is the driving force behind SBCC and is focused on providing the opportunities he had here growing up to the current generation of Santa Barbara kids. This year he has envisioned having an All Schools Chorus that would be anchored by participating schools using the SBCC educational program combined with a fun “Glee Club” format.
Last year, community support for SBCC came from Santa Barbara Foundation’s Pillsbury Grant, Santa Barbara Bank & Trust, The Dreier Family Rent Subsidy Fund, Gelson’s Market, Santa Barbara Community Arts Commission and Mrs. Lillian Lovelace.
Theresa F. Brown, Youth Activities and Adaptive Programs Supervisor at the City of Santa Barbara Parks & Recreation Department had high praise for the Santa Barbara Children’s Chorus program which designed “a new and innovative ‘special’ curriculum for the After School Opportunities for Kids, better known as A-OK!”¹ Brown said, “(This program) incorporated social skills, emphasized singing and performing and taught basic songs and rhythmic patterns. (Their) team led a three hour SING! workshop that included overcoming barriers which keep students from fully participating, six hours of active instruction through five different interactive CD’s, specific curricula details in a well-organized teacher training and instruction workbook, and additional help through their Yahoo User Group to assist staff.”
¹ A-OK has been providing a coordinated after school program for 12 years to provide safe and effective research-based homework assistance and curricula to students during their unsupervised after school time. Children are selected into the A-OK program based on low-test/reading scores, are English language learners and/or are in a situation where their family cannot provide a safe environment at home. A-OK serves six Title 1 Santa Barbara Schools for children below the poverty level. Students selected into A-OK are mandated to attend each day school is in session from after school to 6:00 pm.
Santa Barbara Children’s Chorus is a county-wide, non-denominational music education and performing organization for children ages 6-14. We provide children of the community with the opportunity for musical training and performing in a fun and challenging environment. Founded in 1993, SBCC will be here for years to come to serve your children. With the continuing decline in funding for school-based music programs, especially in the elementary and secondary school levels, SBCC is dedicated to filling a vital gap in bringing the benefits of music and vocal performance to children.
ABOUT the Santa Barbara Children’s Chorus Programs:
The Concert Chorus is the primary training and performing program for Children’s Chorus students. This program is open to all students, ages 8-14 years and is available in Santa Barbara and Carpinteria locations. Students entering this program are divided into levels based on experience, time in the chorus and other factors. Each level provides an increasing progression of music education and performance experience. Skills assessments are performed annually to track student progress in theory, vocal ability, ear training and sight singing. Classes run two hours long, one day per week.
Vocal Explorations offers chorus lessons for young singers interested in exploring singing individually and with a group. This class is designed to provide a fun and educational environment for boys and girls who might want to continue on to singing in the Concert Chorus once they reach third grade. The educational focus is on learning proper singing technique, breath control and basic ear training while still having fun singing songs they will be familiar with. This class is 45 minutes long, once per week.
Concert Chorus Plus+ is vocal training designed to offer intermediate music theory, vocal and ear training as well as choral technique. Students who attend this program will receive one additional hour a week of group and individual vocal instruction with an emphasis on advanced techniques and singing skills. This class includes participation in the Concert Chorus and is three hours in duration, once per week.
Register now for the 2012/2013 season. Three different programs are being offered this season, so please select the program that best fits your child when registering. For more information on our programs, please see the Programs section of our website. www.sbchildrenschorus.com
SBCC program structure has changed slightly in 2012 so be aware of the following:
1) Programs begin in September 2012 and end in June 2013. Enrollment periods for Concert Chorus are in Aug/Sept and Dec/Jan. Students may enroll in Vocal Explorations at any time. For students who wish to join the Concert Chorus mid-year, please contact the chorus administration at firstname.lastname@example.org, or submit your registration and a member of the staff will contact you.
2) You may choose to pay monthly (on the 1st), or pay for the full program amount (10 months) at registration for a 5% yearly discount. Partial scholarships are available for qualifying students.
3) Students will attend once a week at the times listed for each (see website).
4) Chorus Plus+ program includes the regular Concert Chorus, plus an additional hour of group vocal training from 6-7pm.