I came to know the Colorado Children's Chorale many years ago when I was accepted into the program my 5th grade year. While I liked singing, I really wasn't sure that I wanted to be in a choir, but I had auditioned to appease my mother. Thank goodness for mom! The Colorado Children's Chorale was THE defining activity of my childhood. I honestly can attribute much of who I am today to my Chorale experience.
Being in the Colorado Children's Chorale is much more than *just* singing in a choir. Beyond teaching me about music, I learned how important it is to be a part of a team and to do your part to contribute to the team's success.
I learned to be confident in front of people, unafraid to share my thoughts or opinions. (That came in particularly handy for speech classes later on...)
I learned that it's important to stand tall, extend your hand for a firm handshake and look someone in the eye when greeting him/her. And, of course, to make sure to speak clearly and not mumble.
I learned that kids who lived in neighborhoods that were vastly different from the neighborhood I lived in had many of the same hopes, dreams and fears that I had. And we became friends, joined by our love of music.
I was fortunate to tour China (in 1980!) with the Chorale and had a lifechanging experience sharing music with people who literally lived on the other side of the world from me. I learned how small the world can be.
I learned that there is something indescribably beautiful and spine tingling about that moment at the end of a song, and you KNOW you did a good job and that it sounded great, when that last note is hanging in the air and the audience is as hushed and breathless as you are.
The Colorado Children's Chorale changed my life, for the better.
To be clear, I am a volunteer, and donor, and a new board member. I would like to share a letter I wrote regarding the Colorado Children's Chorale and the impact it has made on the lives of my family and others.
"As a former child musician, I know personally what an amazing experience it is to be a performer in an exceptional musical group. The feeling of making music with the music surrounding you is very personal, and quite different from being in the audience. It is unusual for a child to have the opportunity to experience this with a challenging musical group that is so excellent. But this is what the Colorado Children's Chorale is providing my two children, Derek, in Transitions and Devin, in Tour Choir.
Derek started Chorale in 5th –grade, a shy, serious boy who asked if he could join a choir. He learned through hard work, focus, and commitment, excellence could be achieved. He was proud to perform in the Children’s Chorale. The real impact on Derek occurred during his Regional Tour. This tour went to Southern Colorado and New Mexico. They were gone for about 15 days. Derek was in 7th-grade at this point, and ready to spread his wings. He came home with new friends, new experiences, and new independence. These children build bonds through their performance experiences—helping and supporting each other through the incredible nerves, and giving each other strength. They build each other up, and those moments are never forgotten. In the years since graduating from the Chorale, Derek has continued to build his singing skills and his passion for singing.
Devin has grown amazingly through his Chorale experience. He has learned that discipline and persistence are important ingredients to meeting great challenges. And, he just loves singing and performing!
I find it most important to note the passion and dedication of the entire Chorale staff to what they do. The organization is inspiring by their dedication to providing the Chorale experience to every qualified child, regardless of income. Their commitment and hard work continually leave me speechless. These folks have dedicated their entire lives to the success of their organization and the kids. Each of them attends every rehearsal, every concert, and there are many! In addition to planning their rehearsals and performance success, they are out in the community helping spread the joy of successful music throughout the areas’ schools. There are constant performances within schools and the community, and then there are the tours. The time each of these folks put in to making the Colorado Children’s Chorale what it is cannot be paralleled. Their leadership by example affects the lives of the children and families associated with the Chorale and beyond.
We are so grateful for what they do."