Pittsburgh Youth Chorus, GCC launch satellite youth choir

Grove City College and the Pittsburgh Youth Chorus (PYC) are teaming up to provide a musical outlet for children in northwest Pennsylvania.

PYC, in collaboration with the College, is expanding its outreach offer a new satellite youth choir program for third-, fourth- and fifth-graders in Mercer, Butler, Venango, Lawrence, Crawford and surrounding counties to provide additional out-of-school music activities.

Auditions for the fall will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, June 1, in the Pew Fine Arts Center on campus. The youth chorus will rehearse weekly on Wednesday evenings beginning in September. To register for auditions, visit www.pittsburghyouthchorus.org.

The concept for the satellite choir came from Dr. Stacy Paparone ’93, coordinator of music education at the College, who worked closely with chorus Artistic Director Shawn Funk to bring the idea to life.

“Everyone at Grove City College is excited to partner with PYC to provide this outstanding opportunity for our area youth,” Paparone said.

Young singers in the new satellite choir will have the opportunity to sing, learn and perform in a non-competitive, education program under the leadership of Amy Kegel, a music teacher in the North Allegheny School District, and accompanied by Rebecca Sopher, a music teacher from the Slippery Rock School District.

Following the PYC curriculum, singers in the satellite choir at Grove City College will be introduced to the concept of ensemble singing rather than solo singing. Rehearsals will focus on basic vocal production and music reading, utilizing solfege and rudimentary rhythmic training. Initially, the music will be predominantly unison and two-part arrangements in English, but the singers will soon be singing in multiple languages and in multiple parts.

“This is a great chance for interested young singer to explore choral music in a creative way that couples music literacy with artistic performance opportunities,” Funk said.

The Pittsburgh Youth Chorus is the region’s premier choral organization for young singers. Since 1983, the organization has trained more than 2,400 young voices and minds. The chorus has performed throughout the United States, receiving awards and accolades for its unique choral sound and choral education programs.

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