Piedmont East Bay Children's ChoirCommunity Subscriber
Our mission is to advance the choral arts through education, performance, and collaboration at the highest artistic level, fostering individual development and international relationships.
Re: Beginning Chorus or Voice Lessons for 9y
I highly recommend the Piedmont Choirs. My daughter started with there when she was 7 and has advanced through the different levels. It has been a great experience for her. All of the instructors she's had have been fabulous. Their ''tryouts'' - certainly not a rigorous affair - have already passed, but you should call and express an interest. I think they probably could accommodate a late start. The office number is (510) 547-4441. Their website is www.piedmontchoirs.org. Bob Geary, the choir's artistic director, is FANTASTIC. I hope that you'll try it and am happy to discuss further if you have any questions. Ann
Re: Children's or girls chorus
Check out Piedmont Children's Choirs. You didn't say how old your child is, but Piedmont Choirs starts very young and has multiple choirs through training and performing from about age 6 through high school. My daughter loved her five years, advancing through the training program and then opted for sports when faced with the increased time commitment for the performing levels. Bob Geary is the Music Director and is one of the very best I've ever seen in working with children. He has received numerous choral awards and his top level performing group consistently place highly in their competitions. I have been singing under Bob's direction for about 12 years in one of his adult choirs and he is absolutely terrific. All of the other teachers are also top notch; in fact, Bob sometimes enlists their help in working with us adults. Jody
there are a few children's chorus groups to choose from: for girls, aside from Piedmont Choirs, there is also SF girls Chorus which has a East Bay chapter and Oakland Youth Chorus which was directed by Trent Moore who is a professional singer and teaches children by day and has directed chorus in Woodminster Theatre and other productions=he is wonderful with children and a fantastic magnificent musician. There is the Pacificboychoir Academy which has a pre-school too now for both sexes; My son has been with the Pacificboychoir Academy for 7 years and loves it and they have great teachers that are very motivating and nurturing and practice positive discipline. My daughter was with Piedmont choirs, but I felt that it is too big and my child got lost in the masses. choir mom
Re: Which chorus for 8-year-old?
I recommend Piedmont Choirs without reservation (I don't know anything about the other one). I sing with one of Bob Geary's adult choirs, where we often have the children join us in performance, and I have never seen anyone work with children as masterfully as he. And he is always singing the praises of the other teachers!
My daughter went through the training department, from beginning girls 1 to advanced girls. Upon her promotion to the performance department she had to choose between chorus and soccer--the increased time commitments of both activities would have been too much. She learned so much about music but more importantly experienced that sense of joy common to all choral singers of being a part of something bigger than oneself, something that is impossible to do on one's own. Teamwork, precision, responsibility and commitment, and FUN also come with the territory. For the performing groups, the opportunities are phenomenal. There are tours and camp every year along with the regular performances. Every couple of years or so Piedmont Choirs hosts an international children's choir festival where the choirs all join together to make such joyful music--their signature piece is ''Sing all ye joyful'' commissioned of Kirke Meachem. One note of fair warning: Maestro Geary loves contemporary music and the top performing levels sing a lot of commissioned pieces that are wonderful if sometimes a bit strange! Good luck with your decision. Jody
Re: Alternatives for 5-year-old boy
Piedmont Choirs has a great training department that mixes music education, singing, and fun. The beginning level conductors understand the fidgets of kids and incorporate it into rehearsal. There is rehearsal time devoted to music theory (kids move at a self-pace with support). As they progress through the levels in the choir, the children are expected to grow in their concert behavior, but perfect concert behavior is not expected in the Training Department. The young gentlemen are always a hit at concerts.
My two daughters have been singing with the choir for 5 and 3 years. One entered in the Training Department and one entered in the Performing Department. The choir has given them a good education in theory, intervals, sightsinging, and a continued love of music. Both are in the Performing Department at this time and traveling each year. They are meeting other young singers from all over the United States and the world. It has been a fantastic experience for both of them.
I don't know how old your son will be in September when the choir begins rehearsals. I believe that in some cases, the choir may relax it's age requirement, but you might want to check with Judi Fabrizio in the choir office (547-4441 x304). There are usually auditions in June, September, and January for entry into the choir. Terry, Piedmont Choir Parent
Re: Chorus for 5-year-old boy
I was a member of the Piedmont Childrens Chorus from about 9-13 years old (about 15 years ago). I had a great experience there. The musical instruction is excellent and has given me a solid foundation to continue singing at a high level with choirs and solo. The conductors were excellent and I made wonderful friendships there. I did not have a personal experience with the SF Girls Chorus, but I enjoyed the co-ed experience at Piedmont. Singing in childrens choir is a wonderful experience to give your son, I hope he enjoys it! I would be happy to answer any specific questions you have about the Piedmont Choirs also. Miranda
You also might consider the Piedmont Choirs, which actually has children enrolled from 5 bay area counties! There are 4 or 5 levels in what is called the training department for separate groups of girls and boys. Then they progress to one of several performing groups who travel internationally and are world- known and respected. Contemporary composers frequently create works for the choir. My daughter has studied music theory and vocal technique while preparing for performances. The combined choirs present 2 annual concerts, Winter and Spring, which were held in the Calvin Simmons Theater this year. It is nothing short of awe inspiring to see and hear 350 children from 7-18 singing together! This week my daughter is away at the choir's camp up in Occidental. There they study advanced theory, technique, performance and work on repertoire for the coming year. She enjoys her choir activities and has grown more confident in the process. We found this a very good alternative to driving to San Francisco for the Girls Chorus.