Young voices to get big boost from trio

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By AN­DREA O’NEIL

Young voices will soar this year thanks to three Porirua women es­tab­lish­ing a choir for Welling­ton chil­dren.

Sixty places are avail­able in the Welling­ton Young Voices choir for 8 to 14-year-olds, which will meet on Mon­days from 4pm to 6pm in Welling­ton City. A pre­view day this Satur­day will al­low kids a taste of the year to come.

Each term the choir will take a dif­fer­ent theme, like ‘‘fam­ily’’ or ‘‘ an­i­mals’’, and sing mod­ern, kid-spe­cific songs on that theme. At the end of each term the choir will give a per­for­mance at a fun, rel­e­vant lo­ca­tion, such as the zoo for its an­i­mal songs or a restau­rant for a food theme.

‘‘It’s not go­ing to be the reg­u­lar ‘prim and proper, stand­ing in three rows’ choir. It’ll be fun but to a high stan­dard,’’ says Pa­pakowhai woman Chris­tine Ar­gyle, the choir’s mu­si­cal di­rec­tor. ‘‘It’s go­ing to be very ex­cit­ing.’’

Ms Ar­gyle started plan­ning the choir in 2011 with ac­com­pa­nist Rose­mary Rus­sell and ad­min­is­tra­tor Judy McKoy. The three have decades of ex­pe­ri­ence be­tween them di­rect­ing, ac­com­pa­ny­ing and singing in choirs.

The women saw a gap in Welling­ton’s mu­si­cal scene for pri­mary and in­ter­me­di­ate-age chil­dren who want to sing but might not have a choir at school.

Many chil­dren only get to sing pop songs at school, which are of­ten far to low for their voices and have adult themes of love and heart­break, they say. Welling­ton Young Voices will em­ploy pieces by top chil­dren’s com­posers like David Hamil­ton.

A trial of the choir was held last July as a school hol­i­day pro­gramme, and was over­whelm­ingly suc­cess­ful, Mrs McKoy says.

Singing helped the chil­dren de­velop their voices and their con­fi­dence, she says.

‘‘For the first time in their lives they stand up in front of hun­dreds and hun­dreds of peo­ple and many think ‘I be­long here’.’’

The choir will cost $125 per term but there is a schol­ar­ship scheme in place to en­cour­age low-in­come chil­dren to join.

Lit­tle peo­ple, big voices: Porirua women Judy McKoy, Chris­tine Ar­gyle and Rose­mary Rus­sell are launch­ing a choir for Welling­ton chil­dren, Welling­ton Young Voices. Al­ready signed up are Send­hil Run­gasamy, 10, Sam Ar­gyle-Wright, 10, Maia Sch­warz, 9, and Rosie Ar­gyle-Wright, 9.

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