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posted: 7/24/2014 8:11 AM

Northbrook Park District Tuning Up for Children's Choir

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Choral artistry. Musical excellence. Fun! The Performing Arts Department of the Northbrook Park District is pleased to offer a new children's choir for the community, beginning on September 8. Children ages 8-18 are invited to join the choir to express and cultivate an appreciation of music.

"We decided to offer the choir because of the musical talent in the area. We've seen some of it through the Northbrook Theatre Children's Company," said Drew Kambach, Performing Arts Supervisor with the Park District. "There are few choral opportunities here outside the classroom, and we hope the choir will become a strong presence in the community, known for making great music, and allowing children to bond with peers who are equally passionate about choral music."

The director of the Northbrook Children's Choir is Carling FitzSimmons, a professional singer and children's choir director with a passion for the arts and quality music education. She also conducts the Pro Musica Youth Chorus of Oak Park. "My philosophy is, 'Fun is where you find it,'" she said, explaining that she can turn a music theory lesson into a game and is always looking for opportunities to have fun with music.

The choir welcomes students from all musical backgrounds, and no auditions are required. Weekly rehearsals will concentrate on basic vocal technique and ear training. The first season is called "A World of Song" and will focus on folk songs from around the world.

"This season will celebrate the diversity of choral music by showcasing different countries and their cultures," Kambach explained. "The music will expose children to different forms of music and challenge them to sing with excellent tone and diction in other languages. The musical selections will be varied and enjoyable, offering something beyond what they are singing in school."

Children who sing in choirs typically receive better grades in school than children who don't and have more advanced social and memory skills, according to studies. The Northbrook Children's Choir seeks to introduce a lifelong love of choral singing, with added benefits of self-confidence, problem solving and teamwork.

Rehearsals will be on Mondays at the Leisure Center from 4:30-6pm. Registration is open for Northbrook Park District residents and accepted at the Leisure Center, Northbrook Sports Center, and online at Non-resident registration opens on July 30. For more information, call 847•291•2367.