The title of this spring concert, “Music Made Together”, was suggested by choral director Bruce Swank.
“The music is primarily a collaborative effort and on many occasions the singers are amazed at how they can combine their simple vocal part with other parts and create a song that is beautiful, inspiring and moves their soul,” says Swank. . “Humans yearn for this beauty, and music is a wonderful example of what can result when they work together for a common goal.”
Choir staff worked closely with Levitt Pavilion and Montgomery County Public Health to ensure the safety of singers and members of the public. There are no fixed seats, so you are encouraged to bring lawn chairs.
The current artistic directors are Jennifer Jauss and Christina Smith. “This upcoming concert is the culmination of all the hard work the singers have done over the past eight months,” says Smith. “Everyone in the KCC worked really hard to give our singers a place to be creative even when they couldn’t be in the same place at the same time. I love hearing our choirs because I know how happy they really are when they perform together.
What you will hear
Selections range from folk and spiritual songs to classical and general choral repertoire. The finale will feature the band’s signature song, “See the World Through Children’s Eyes” and a special arrangement of “O Shenandoah” by JD Frizzell. Thanks to a grant from the Dayton Foundation, one of the special experiences the choirs had this spring through Zoom was the opportunity to meet and chat with Frizzell about the arrangement and his career as a composer, arranger and conductor. orchestra.
Some of the younger members of the Kettering Children’s Choir warm up during a Zoom rehearsal. CONTRIBUTED
Surviving a pandemic
Michele Ellinger’s daughter Maddie, in fifth grade at Driscoll Elementary School, was the first singer to enroll in this unusual season. Ellinger says they saw the value of the enrichment and growth her daughter experienced as a member of the choir. “With COVID, she had limited other extracurricular activities available to her, so KCC was a particularly good choice,” Ellinger says.
The choir survived thanks to weekly Zoom rehearsals and a live rehearsal in March, April and May hosted by NCR Country Club. The annual Christmas program was completely virtual.
Leigh Pope, whose 10th grade daughter Marian sings in the Concert Choir, says that despite the pandemic, they “never for a moment” considered not registering this year. “Marian really wanted to continue and continue her connection with the band, and keep learning so that she wouldn’t be late when they could be together again in person,” her mother explains. “She also wanted to be able to see her friends regularly, even if it was only on Zoom. We saw this as an opportunity for her to not only learn new musical skills, but also to increase her knowledge and familiarity with the technology involved. But we will always be very happy to come back to live concerts and rehearsals. “
Guitarist Jim McCutcheon will be the main guest at the upcoming Kettering Children’s Choir concert. CONTRIBUTED
Better known as Guitar Man, McCutcheon is the recipient of the 2017 Governor’s Award for the Arts in Arts Education. He has taught at the University of Dayton, Wright State University, and the University of Miami for over 40 years, released three children’s CDs, and hosts a weekly Dayton Public Radio show on Discover Classical called “The Intimate Guitar ”.
“I will be playing between KCC sets during the outdoor concert, ”says McCutcheon. “It will be a mix of music including classical guitar, an original song from my recent album, ‘Guitar Man Goes to School’, and maybe a jazzy fingerstyle piece.
Roberts, a hammered dulcimer artist, has been performing for over 25 years. She is currently a rehearsal pianist for the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra Chorus and director of music and liturgical ministries at Christ Our Hope Anglican Church in Fairborn.
Hammered Dulcimer artist Amanda Roberts will be the special guest at the upcoming Kettering Children’s Choir concert. CONTRIBUTED
Music makes memories
Spencer Hajarian, a senior from Northmont, spent seven years performing with the band and particularly remembers performing for “Angel Night” at Calvary Cemetery. Homeschool student Caroline Benton has many “amazing” memories of her years in the choir. my time in Dr. DeHorn’s homeschool choir and singing “Children’s Mass” with the Dayton Philharmonic Youth Orchestra.
Springboro high school student Faith Bergeron says she’ll never forget to sing her first KCC song, “Cradle Hymn,” without music. “When our art director Mark Jauss first said we were going to do this, I didn’t think we could,” she admits. “I thought it was too much to ask, too soon – but boy, was I wrong!” Total amazement at how much we knew and how much we could sing together after what seemed so short was unlike anything I’d experienced before. This moment has been with me ever since, and I look back on it to remind myself of how powerful music can be and how capable we singers are.
HOW TO GET THERE
What: Kettering Children’s Choir Spring Concert, “Music Made Together” with guitarist Jim McCutcheon and hammered Dulcimer artist Amanda Roberts
When: 7:00 p.m. Saturday May 15 (The concert will take place in case of light rain. If there are strong winds or lightning, a rain date is scheduled for 7:00 p.m., Saturday May 22.)
Seats: Bring lawn chairs.
Car park: Available at the convention center garage for a small fee or on any of the area’s surface streets.
KCC summer Sing! is a choral festival for singers ages 8-18, open to all existing KCC singers and students of Miami Valley schools. The two-day festival will take place in the Creative Arts Building on the Wright State University campus on Saturday August 7 and Sunday August 8. Singers will be introduced to a wide variety of new music, musical skills and music. games, culminating in a Sunday concert for families, teachers and community members. For more information and registration forms, please contact [email protected]
The auditions for the 2021 season will take place on Saturdays June 12, July 10 and August 7.Auditions will take place at the Creative Arts Center at Wright State University. For more information call (937) 701-4893 or email [email protected]
DID YOU KNOW?
The Kettering Children’s Choir was founded in 1986 when Dick Benedum, who was head of the Bach Society at the time, recognized the need for a vocally trained children’s choir in the Dayton area capable of joining groups like the Bach Society, Dayton Philharmonic and the Dayton. Opera. Benedum convinced Natalie DeHorn to take on the task.
Starting with a small group of around 25 years old, it soon became apparent that a second group (Chorus) was needed as a training group for the original singers (Concert Choir), and eventually a third group (Chorus) was added for younger singers. Finally, when the older boys got annoyed about having to leave KCC when their voices changed, a fourth choir (Cappella) – a group of four singers for high school singers – completed the lineup.
The age of the members varies from 7 to 19 years.
Unlike the name, not all of the singers live in Kettering – they come from all over the Miami Valley: Beavercreek, Bellbrook, Centerville, Dayton, Englewood, Fairborn, Kettering, Lewisburg, Liberty Twp., Miamisburg, New Carlisle, Oakwood, Springboro, Springfield, Sugarcreek Twp., Tipp City, Trotwood, Union, Versailles, Waynesville, Wilmington, Xenia and Yellow Springs.
Almost a third of the members are homeschooled; the others attend 44 schools in the region.