Monday night, in partnership with New England Conservatory, Boston Children’s Chorus will host the Chicago Children’s Choir (if your sound is on, this link will delight you right away!) and the Young People’s Chorus of New York in a live prime-time telecast (WCVB Channel 5–ABC–in the Boston Area) of its fourth annual concert celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. This year’s theme “Struggle, Unity, Spirit & Freedom” promises to bring the audience to their feet, and elevate their souls. I love that MLK Day is really celebrated in ways that remind us to be our best selves as the great preacher himself did. (Unlike, say, Presidents’ Day when we are exhorted to go car shopping.)
Beyond that, here are some things I like about my children’s participation in a children’s chorus:
- They learn to sing; they learn a great deal about the universal, emotional language of music.
- They collaborate with a variety of children beyond their school and neighborhood to make something beautiful. Having social success and an area of competence outside of school can be extremely important for some children. Good working relationships–essential in a chorus–go a long way toward attaining mutual respect. Children take pride in what they can accomplish together, as when they come home from rehearsal energized and satisfied and announce, “We sounded great!”
- The young singers become an important part of public life. They are in demand to mark special events in the lives of various civic groups or as an attraction to another group’s fundraiser. They learn about what’s important to the people they sing for.
- The older choruses occasionally travel to sing. We can learn by hosting singers from other cities as we will this weekend, or by singing in other cities and even countries!
If it fits your child’s interest, it’s an experience I recommend highly.