Between them, Mesa residents Missy Gardiner and Aubree Fry have 12 kids and university degrees in music.
In a way, they have a plan that will bring them more of both, though the kids won’t be living under their roof.
The two women are ramping up a children’s choir and singing school for the simple reason they believe the East Valley could use some more young, trained voices.
“We feel strongly about providing an uplifting, musical experience for children in the Mesa area,” said Gardiner, the mother of nine. “There are so many wonderful benefits from being a part of a choir, and we truly want to share our love of music with these children. It is something about which we are very passionate.”
Added Fry: “We hope to develop a strong reputation for a quality music education program that not only produces successful choirs, but that strengthens our individual musicians as well.”
The two women are starting Sing School, which will provide choral and vocal arts instruction to children 5 to 18 who love to sing.
“Our choirs focus on healthy vocal technique, musicianship and performance skills in a fun and uplifting atmosphere,” Gardiner said, stating their pupils will “gain confidence, develop friendships and learn musicianship skills that will help them thrive,
They also want to provide “a quality choir program to the children of Mesa” because they think the area needs one,” Gardiner explained, adding:
“We have taken it upon ourselves to found and grow a quality program right here in Mesa to ensure our children have access to the wonderful benefits that come from choral singing.”
Rehearsals begin Aug. 15 and will be held Thursdays after school at Love of Christ Lutheran Church, 1525 N. Power Road.
Though it’s a long way off, the two women said they need to sign up youngsters now so they can be assured they’ll have enough students.
Neither woman is a stranger to formal music training.
Gardiner has a degree in voice performance from Arizona State University and is now working on her masters in music education and gives individual and group voice lessons. Fry has a bachelor’s degree in choral music education from Northern Arizona University.
Gardiner has taught piano and voice lessons for years and has performed with various choirs and toured many different countries with Brigham Young University Young Ambassadors, a show choir. She also directed both adult and children’s choirs.
Fray has taught private piano and voice lessons for six years. She also has taught in both elementary music classes and junior high choirs and has been a choir director for her church.
They will have four choirs, While membership in the choir for kindergarten to second grade will be capped at 20, they hope to have 30 to 40 for the three others: grades 3-5, grades 6-8 and one for high school students.
While they plan to have some sacred repertoire in the mix, “the choir is separate from the church and will not be used for church services. Our performances will not take place at the church,” Gardiner said. “We want the children to experience a wide variety of all the very finest music available.”
“We feel strongly about providing an uplifting, musical experience for children in the Mesa area,” added Fry. “There are so many wonderful benefits from being a part of a choir, and we truly want to share our love of music with these children. It is something about which we are very passionate.”
Tuition is $155-175, with discounts for early registration through June 2. There is also a discount for registering more than one sibling and a $30-$35 registration fee to cover things such as folders, music, and other classroom items.