Education Programming of The Chorus of Westerly
Through its multi-generational approach to making music (involving singers ages 8 and up), the Chorus of Westerly's educational programming is multi-faceted. For the 55th concert season, the Chorus has invested heavily in an expansion of its education programming for both its singing membership and the general public.
The Chorus educational ventures include:
1. The Children's Music Program, an after school program at Kent Hall, includes several programs for youths ages 5 to 18 (including our new Music and Movement program).
Main Children's Choir: This level includes children who have passed an audition and/or have been singing with the ensemble for a period of time sufficient to the music director's assessment. Children in the main choir - which includes the majority of Chorus kids - sing with the adults on every performance in the symphonic and theatrical season and rescreened annually. Main choir kids rehearse Monday and Friday afternoons for an hour each session until they are in high school. Kids/teens in high school sing with the adults on Monday evenings for two hours.
Training Choir Level 1: New program - Is designed for new child singers and the youngest singers in the Chorus of Wetelry to teach them music fundamentals and prepare them to sing advanced choral music. Singers in this program stay for a length of time determined by the music director. Singers in Training Choir will sing in a variety of performances at discretion of music director.
Training Choir Level 2: New program - Is a secondary, more advance level of the training choir. It is the final step before a singer joins the main children's choir and sings all the concerts with the adults.
All children and teens (in all three levels of the program) are welcome to attend our children's Choral Camp program held each August in New Hampshire.
Music and Movement - The Pre-Chorister Program: New program - For Ages 5 to 7.
Continuing on the success of its recent summer pilot program for early elementary aged children in music, the Chorus will offer in the fall of 2013 and winter/spring of 2014 a special, nine-week, Pre-Chorister program entitled "Music and Movement" for ages 5 to 7. The program will take place at Kent Hall on Friday afternoons at 4 pm and last 45 minutes per session. Children enrolled in the program will be introduced to the fundamentals of music through fun activities, movement, and song. Previous experience in music is not required for children to enroll. The program is directed by Pamela Young, a long-time music educator in Stonington Public Schools, Chorus of Westerly librarian, as well as an expert in Dalcroze and music training for this particular age group.
Click here for more information.
2. For current adult and teen singers: Music Education Classes. On Monday night's prior to adult rehearsal, the Chorus offers (for free to its current members) certain music "classes" designed to augment the singer's musical skills, knowledge, and vocal activitiy. For the fall, the Chorus is offering a "Music Fundamentals" class for its members for three five week semesters and a "Group Voice Class" for members for three five week semesters as well. Other classes are being explored for later in the season. Chorus voice faculty member Eden Casteel directs the Voice Class and Andrew Howell the Music Fundamentals class. Plans are being developed to offer these classes to the general public (and more, different classes) starting sometime next year. Currently, the classes are completely free for Chorus members.
3. New program - THE WESTERLY YOUTH ORCHESTRA
The Chorus will be launching an exciting new instrument program this fall, the Westerly Youth Orchestra. This new orchestral program for youth musicians, directed by Kathleen Monroe, features two ensembles: The String Ensemble and The Chamber Players. Ms. Monroe, a long-time Rhode Island string player and music educator, is the former director of the Musica Dolce Youth String Ensemble. Children ages 10 and up are eligible to audition for program and will be placed into the appropriate program based upon ability. Rehearsals for the program are on Tuesday evenings at Kent Hall beginning in mid-September through early December. The second semester runs from later January to early May 2014. Auditions will take place the weeks of September 3 and September 10, 2013 by appointment. Please call the Chorus office at 401.596.8663 to schedule a time to audition and meet with the director. Audition information and information on the ensembles is available online at chorusofwesterly.org/youthorchestra or by calling the Chorus office.
4. Pre-concert lectures are offered prior to November concert and the May concert, free of charge, for current Chorus members and the general public. The lectures are offered typically the Saturday prior to the concert at noon by the Chorus maestro or specialized guest musicologists.
5. Vocal Master Classes with Guest Artists
6. Summer Music and Movement Day Camp at Kent Hall for Children Ages 5 to 8.
Click here for more information.