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CSA Children’s Choir prepares for fall

August 19, 2010

"CSA children's choir"Children ages 8 to 13 who enjoy singing will love becoming a member of the CSA Children’s Chorus. The group rehearses from 4:30 to 6 p.m. Wednesdays in the choir room of the NIU Music Building and begins rehearsals Sept. 15.

Those interested in joining the choir are expected to reserve times for placement auditions on Wednesday, Sept. 1, or Thursday, Sept. 2. Auditions begin at 4:30 p.m. and are mandatory for all, including students who were members last year.

Thanks to a donation from a local group, the choir now has a talent scholarship program. Partial scholarships will be awarded partly on the basis of the placement audition. Talent scholarship application forms are available online or by calling (815) 753-1450.

The mission of the CSA Children’s Chorus is to develop the musical skills of children in the greater DeKalb area through the study and performance of high quality choral music of different genres. Through the choral music experience, students will build important musical and life skills.

Director Mary Lynn Doherty believes that children enjoy singing in the chorus because they get the chance to sing interesting and challenging music, give special performances and meet other performers, all in a supportive and encouraging environment. 

“Singing gives kids the chance to communicate in positive ways. We are lucky to have excellent music programs in our schools. However, this choir gives the children wonderful musical opportunities that they will not get anywhere else,” Doherty said.

“We have a great time in our rehearsals,” she added. “I enjoy seeing the excitement of the children when they sing together. Giving a good performance is important, but the day-to-day rehearsal process is often where you see the most growth and development.”

Doherty is a children’s music specialist and has taught in Iowa, Wisconsin and Illinois at the K-12 and university levels.

Most recently, she was director of music education and associate conductor of the Chicago Choir Academy, a charter school in Chicago. This choir school, founded by the Chicago Children’s Choir, is the only public choir school of its kind in the country. 

The CSA Children’s Chorus is one of many ensembles and classes offered by the NIU Community School of the Arts in fall. The program is sponsored by the College of Visual and Performing Arts. Teachers are faculty and students in the NIU schools of Music and Art.

For more information, call Renee Page at (815) 753-1450.