The acclaimed Shenandoah Valley Children’s Choir (SVCC), part of the music department at Eastern Mennonite University, will hold newcomer auditions for the 2010-11 year Thursday, Aug. 26. from 3:30-5:30.
All interested children grades 3-7, regardless of their singing experience, are welcome to audition.
A short, 5-minute meeting and game time is all that is required, and no prepared solo is needed.
How to prepare
Children should be ready to sing some familiar songs such as “Happy Birthday,” “Row Your Boat” and an echo game. A parent should be present for the audition, and an appointment is required.
“Most children are surprised to find that the audition isn’t worrisome, stressful, or upsetting,” said Julia J. White, SVCC director. “It is helpful, but not required, to have attended a rehearsal or performance, and to have a teacher recommendation.”
Appointment and tuition info
To schedule an appointment, contact Yvette Peak, SVCC choir manager, at 540-432-4650 and visit the website at www.emu.edu/svcc for detailed information about the program.
Tuition assistance is available to deserving children. A newly-created Judy Leaman Tuition Assistance Fund, honoring the former Choir Manager, will help serve additional children who wish to participate in the community-based children’s choir.
About the choir
The SVCC, now in its 19th year, includes three auditioned choirs, two young children’s classes, nearly 200 children, and a staff of five.
Invitational performances include the American Choral Directors Southern Division Conference (’00, ’02, ’06), the Virginia Music Educators Conferences (’96, ’98, ’04, ’08) the American Kodaly Educators National Conference (’01, ’09) and Children In Harmony Festival (’04).
Collaborations include performances with the American Boychoir (5 times), The Washington Symphonic Brass (3 times), Placido Domingo, and at the White House. The SVCC has sung with the Carnegie Hall Children’s Choir Festival (’98, ’07), the Tuscany International Children’s Choir Festival (’01) in Italy and the Pacific Rim Children’s Chorus Festival (’05, ’09) in Hawaii.
Most recently, the SVCC were guest performers for the Gandhi Awards ceremony at James Madison University for Archbishop Desmond Tutu (2007) and President Jimmy and Mrs. Rosalyn Carter (2009) for audiences of 7,000. Their fourteenth CD, “Songs from the Heart,” will be released this fall, a collection of music from the past two seasons.
In April the SVCC performed for nearly 1,800 area school children at JMU’s Memorial Hall in three 45-minute concerts. Children from Harrisonburg, Rockingham County, Augusta County, Page County and as fall away as Edinburg, Waynesboro and West Virginia participated in the event.
In addition to singing 30 minutes of music the choir presented educational components that included conducting, the boys’ changing voice and an introduction to solfege/sight singing, a mock audition, instruction on how to bow on stage and a sing-along.
Guest musicians Dr. Beth Chandler from JMU played flute and nationally-known folk musician Bill Wellington played the banjo.
Upcoming performances for the 2010-11 year include concerts and masterclasses with the American Boychoir School from Princeton, N.J., in October, joint Christmas concerts with the male a acapella group Sons of the Day and spring performances with the JMU Percussion Ensemble at the new Forbes Center for the Performing Arts at James Madison University.