Mesa’s new Sing School Children’s Choir will its first concert this holiday season.
“Joy to the World” will be performed at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 6 at the Love of Christ Lutheran Church, 1525 North Power Road, Mesa.
While admission is free, the choir will be collecting donations of fast food gift cards from $5-$15 to donate to the Sunshine Acres Children’s Home in Mesa.
Conducted by Missy Gardiner, Aubree Fry, and Jamie Law, Sing School is a choral and vocal arts education program for children ages 5-18 who love to sing.
There are four choirs of different age groups and they all promote “healthy vocal technique, sound musicianship, and performance skills, all in a fun, uplifting atmosphere,” Gardiner said.
She said she and the other two directors are on a mission to “enrich the lives of children” and “share the joy and unity choral singing fosters.”
Fry said children “experience the camaraderie of singing together in a choir.”
It’s this camaraderie motivating singing groups to strengthen their communities not only through music but also through service, they said.
They learn to work together for the benefit of each other, their audiences and other community members.
“The children in Sing School want to make a difference for other children in the area,” Gardiner said. “After the concert, the young choir members anxiously await their visit to the Children’s Home to present their collected gift card donations.”
The gift cards are used often by the Sunshine Acres Children’s Home to provide meals for the children in their care.
Sunshine Acres’ mission is to “provide a loving, wholesome, Christian home for children who are separated from their parents and help them establish long-term relationships with stable parental figures, preparing them for success in adult life.”
A member of both the National Association of Teachers of Singing and the American Choral Directors Association, Gardiner has a bachelor’s degree in vocal performance and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in music education.
Fry has a bachelor’s degree in choral music education and has taught general music and choir classes at elementary and junior high schools.
Law holds a bachelor’s degree in music education with an emphasis in choral education and substitute teaches in the arts departments at Heritage Academy in Mesa.
All three women have taught piano and voice lessons for several years, and have also participated in many elite choirs themselves.
The women ramped 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, not only producing successful choirs, but strengthens our individual musicians as well.”
The two women 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 to 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.”
“We want the children to experience a wide variety of all the very finest music available,” Gardiner said.
Added Fry: “We feel strongly about providing an uplifting, musical experience for children in the Mesa area. 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.”
Sing School choirs include Do Re Minnows (grades K-2), Harmony Stars (grades 3-5), Octavo (grades 6-8), and the High Seas (grades 9-12). The choirs meet to rehearse Thursday afternoons at the Love of Christ Lutheran Church.
Registration is currently open for the Winter 2020 semester, with rehearsals running Jan. 16 through April 30 and a concert on May 1. Tuition is $155-185.