Nov. 21, 2017

Center Stage Youth Choirs and the Bella Voce Singers of Midland Center for the Arts had 12 singers participate in the American Choral Directors Association Michigan Youth Honor Choir in October.

The young singers traveled to the Dalton Center at Western Michigan University to work with Judy Hanson of the Chicago Children’s Choir for over 7 hours on Oct. 28, learning three songs with harmony and choreography: an Afro-Cuban folk song; a South African freedom song; and an American R & B song that came out of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. They practiced ways to connect to the music, and learned meanings behind the songs. They discussed freedom, Apartheid, the history of slavery in the USA and much more. The message for the day was one of inspiration, inclusion, hope, and being the best you can be.

“Our Youth Choirs singers were some of the youngest – and most enthusiastic – participants at the conference,” said director Heather DeGroot. “I’m so proud of how they represented our region. They were engaged, asked good questions, performed very well, and made us all really proud!”

Representing Center Stage Youth Choirs were: Bethany LaPrad of the Bella Voce Singers; Lydia Schramm and Lily Wallaker of the Bel Canto ensemble; Kaitlyn Mann, Natalie Schramm & Ella Joy White of the Lyrica ensemble; and Kaya Floyd, Carmen Mata, Trinity Rowe, Camdyn Sabourin, Evelyn Schramm, Rylee Young of the Prelude ensemble.

The youth are locally under the direction of Tracey Kempsell, Jillian Struble and Heather DeGroot.