There will be a bit more music gracing the hills of Lynn Valley this spring. The Lynn Valley Voices Choir is expanding to include a children and youth choir this April.
The established community choir at the Lynn Valley United Church, Lynn Valley Voices, is growing with the grit and adaptability it sowed over the pandemic.
“Music is big here,” said Frank Zieginson, minister of music at Lynn Valley United Church. “One of my things here is the LVV community choir (LVCCC). Once it was established and had its feet under it, I wanted to open up community singing to children and youth.”
While the adult choir has been going for a number of years now, covid has made it challenging to start the new project. Crossing his fingers for the appropriate public health orders, Zieginson hopes to launch the new Lynn Valley Voices Kids Community Choir April 7.
“Like all programs at the United Church the choir is about inclusion,” he said. “Whoever you are, wherever you are. Experience singer or not. You just have to be open to learning these skills.”
Children and youth six years and up are invited to join the choir for a weekly afternoon practice on Thursdays.
“We want to create a safe place for all ages, regardless of identity, or faith.
The music is thoughtful and uplifting,” said Zieginson. “The power of singing or making music together creates a sense of community connection of being able to achieve something they don’t think they can on their own.”
Adapt and thrive
Zieginson has seen those achievements first hand when he launched the adult choir and had to adapt it to be a covid-safe online version.
“We held zoom rehearsals every week. It was a bunch of heads in boxes singing Brady Bunch style,” he explained. “Sometimes they would rehearse and record pieces solo and send them to me. I would produce them and layer them together so people were singing beside who they would in person. We would then play that at rehearsal to show how they were progressing. It was a lot of work but it was really important to gather regularly.”
Together the choir and director were able to host virtual concerts and for the start of the 2021-22 season return to in-person rehearsals.
“There is something about a song sung in a choir,” said Zieginson. “When a song and a message takes hold it changes the way they sing and can even change the way they look at the world.”
How to raise your voice
When the children’s choir launches in April it will be more than two years of limited social and community connections for children – especially the arts. The hope is to provide an important outlet of expression and a chance for like-minded kids to work together, said Zieginson. The goal is to join the LVVCC at its annual spring concert in June.
Interested families can sign up here. Children do not need to audition to participate. There is a $100 fee for the duration of the program, but in the spirit of inclusivity families with financial concerns can reach out to Zieginson to ensure participation for all interested kids. As full vaccination becomes available, youth are expected to present proof of vaccination.
The adult LVVCC officially launches its season in September but welcomes singers to join at any time. Participants can register here. Adults are asked to participate in a non-determining audition. Basically, an assessment to see where you best fit within the choir and to determine how the choir can best support your musical growth explained Zieginson. The choir is especially in need of bass and tenor voices. The winter term has a delayed start of Jan 20th in guidance with current health priorities. Proof of vaccination is required.