UR Life

Local Choir Heralds New Beginning

Cherie Madill

By Cherie Madill

La Jeunesse Choirs, an internationally recognized local choir, has evolved over the years from its initial beginning as a girls' choir, into one that now welcomes both boys and girls from ages 7 to 18. A New Light Shines Holiday Concert, on Sunday, December 2, heralds a new beginning for the organization, which is currently comprised of two choirs: Senior Choir and Children's Choir.

To reflect its new direction, the organization has unveiled a new logo, just in time for the holiday concert. Gone is the little bird and script font, replaced by a strong, contemporary logo and a new tag line: Find Your Voice.

Debbie Fingas, accompianist for the choir, says "The new logo is appealing to today's kids, and to both girls and boys; important for a choir that welcomes both".

The holiday concert, hosted at Trinity United Church on Division Street in Cobourg, also marks a debut performance of the new Musical Theatre Intensive.

MTI, as it's known, offers local youth professional education in three areas of theatre: music, drama, and dance. Musical Director Markus Howard says "The concert will give the audience a small taste of MTI, a teaser if you will, to hint at the grand debut of the program in Spring 2013."

A large study commissioned by Chorus America found that the benefits of choral singing for children are far reaching: increased academic success across multiple disciplines; increased social skills and better emotional management; increased memory skills and self discipline; and enhanced engagement with the community, lasting into adulthood with increased volunteerism and civic involvement. However, with education cutbacks in schools, today there are fewer opportunities for children and youth to experience organized singing in a choir. La Jeunesse Choirs offer Northumberland children and youth a fun way to reap the benefits of top notch musical training.

Markus Howard and Debbie Fingas point out that there is still an opportunity for new members to join for this year, with an upcoming January registration, and says Fingas, "We're currently doing auditions. We'd love to welcome new choristers for the second half of the season." Interested families can leave a message with the La Jeunesse office at 9053721114 or email ljchoirs@eagle.ca. They promise that auditions are not scary; they are looking for interest and enthusiasm, and shyness is not a barrier.

Knowing the benefits of choral singing, it's an opportunity not to be missed.

Tickets for the concert can be reserved by emailing ljchoirs@eagle.ca, and will also be available at the door on the day of the concert. Adults are $20, children 6 to 14 are $5, and under 6 are free.

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