In the news: Prelude Choir changes singing opportunities for youth.

– Original story: PEDRO ARRAIS / TIMES COLONIST / APRIL 30, 2017 04:40 AM  –

Younger children now have an opportunity to raise their voices in unison with one of the top choirs in the country by joining the Prelude Choir ensemble of the Victoria Children’s Choir.

The ensemble, which premièred last September, offers an introductory choral experience for 25 children between the ages of seven and nine, the youngest intake in the local choir’s history.

Music director Teodora Georgivia-Gitberg likens the non-auditioned choir program to “an experimental playground” for participants. A positive experience for new choristers might well empower their future musical pursuits. They might eventually audition for Victoria Children’s Choir’s Concert or Recital ensembles, designed for singers (up to 18 years of age) who have controlled or mastered their vocal abilities.

The choir rehearses for one hour every week. The goal is to expose young singers to the marvels of the voice and the joy of singing in a group in a fun and interactive environment.

The current program, which runs until June, was successful from the start.

“Clearly, there was a desire for choral training at the younger ages, and parents have embraced the non-auditioned component of this program,” said Carla Tadla, executive director of the Victoria Children’s Choir. “For the first time it opens the door to youngsters to train with a world-class, audition-based choir.”

The success of the program, made possible thanks to funding from the Victoria Foundation, has prompted organizers to double their admission, to two groups of 25, for the upcoming season.

“We are so grateful for the support of the Victoria Foundation,” said Tadla. “We could not have launched this new initiative without them.”

The Victoria Children’s Choir is recognized as one of Canada’s leading children’s choirs, performing with orchestras, for dignitaries and at high-profile events. It is the sole provider of this level of choral training in Greater Victoria.

Registration is already underway for the Prelude Choir program in the fall. Fees are $65 a month, with a non-refundable deposit of $50 at time of acceptance.

Rehearsals are 4 to 5 p.m. on Tuesdays, September to June, at St. Aidan’s United Church, 3703 St. Aidan’s Street.

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