Pagosa Springs Girls’ Choir to form in May


    Special to The PREVIEW

    There is some exciting news for girls in fifth through eighth grades who like to sing and want to further their music education.

    The Pagosa Springs Girls’ Choir is forming under the direction of Linda Parker, offering young girls the opportunity to learn about vocal and choral techniques and to perform in a select choral group. This is an opportunity to get in on the ground floor of a girls’ chorus that is bound to become a Pagosa Springs musical hallmark.

    Auditions for the Pagosa Springs Girls’ Choir will be held Friday, May 3, from 4-6 p.m. and on Saturday, May 4, from 9 a.m.—-noon in the Pagosa Springs Middle School band room. There will be an orientation meeting at St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church, 225 S. Pagosa Blvd., on Tuesday, April 23, from 5-6 p.m. to help answer any questions from parents and students.

    Letters and audition forms for girls currently in fourth through seventh grades will be available from the music teacher at their schools. Forms are also available in the school offices. If you have questions or would like more information, call Linda Parker, 264-1434.

    In the Pagosa Springs Girls’ Choir, singers will learn to perform high-quality choral music in a variety of styles, including pop, folk and country, and some music will include choreography and props. The girls will also be provided opportunities to participate in trips to places including the Santa Fe Opera and Popejoy Hall in Albuquerque.

    Rehearsals will be held on Monday afternoons from 4-5 p.m. in the Pagosa Springs Middle School music room beginning the Monday after school begins in the fall. The tuition fee for PSGC will be $200 per year for each girl. In addition, there will be a $10 audition fee. If the student is selected for the choir, the $10 will be credited toward the tuition cost. The audition fee will be refunded if the singer is not selected. A payment plan for the tuition will be offered and scholarships will also be available. Fund-raising opportunities will be offered to help cover costs.

    “No child will be turned away due to an inability to pay,” said Parker. “If there is a need for financial assistance, we will help the family find it.”

    Linda R. Parker retired last May from a successful career of teaching general and choral music to all grade levels in Texas and New Mexico. She received her education from Southern Methodist University, gaining a bachelor of music education degree and a master of music degree, both with high honors. Since that time, she has received Kodaly Certification from the University of Texas at Dallas, studying with Lois Choksy, and certification in movement and folk dance from the Highscope Institute in Clinton, Mich., under the direction of Phyllis Weikart. Parker has served as elementary vice-president of the Texas Music Educators Association and elementary vice-president of the Texas Choral Directors Association.

    She was the founder and director of the Richardson All-District Elementary Choir in Richardson, Texas. Under her direction, the choir was invited to perform at the Texas Music Educators Association, and the choir served as a demonstration group for several choral workshops by directors including Mary Goetze and Glenda J. Casey. In 2011, Parker was awarded the Batchellor Award for Excellence in Elementary Music Education by the New Mexico Music Educators Association, and she also received an award from BP Oil for Excellence in Teaching. She is a member of St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church where she directs the handchime choir and sings in the church choir. She also has served as pianist for the Curtains Up Pagosa! production of “Man of La Mancha,” is a member of the Pagosa Springs Community Choir and serves on its board.

    Local musician Sally Neel will be the choir’s accompanist.

    “I am so excited to have Linda Parker in Pagosa Springs!” said Neel. “She has already brought her extensive experience and enthusiasm to the arts, teaching music to local homeschool children, participating in Pagosa Springs Community Choir, and assisting Curtains Up Pagosa! We are very fortunate to have someone of her skills and experience in our midst. I am really looking forward to working with her and helping her establish a first class girl’s choir for Pagosa Springs.”