By Linda Parker
Special to The PREVIEW
Are you new to Pagosa Springs, maybe moved here over the summer? Did your daughter miss the May auditions of the Pagosa Springs Girls Choir (PSGC)? No worries. Girls who will be entering grades five through eight have another opportunity to become a member of the PSGC for the 2015-2016 school year.
A final audition will be held on Thursday, Aug. 25, in the Pagosa Springs Middle School band room at 7 p.m.
A coaching class is being offered to help girls prepare for the audition. This class will be held on Wednesday, Aug. 24, at 7 p.m. in the middle school band room. The class is not required, but it is recommended. Girls will not only learn the song for the audition, but they will also learn strategies that will help to make their audition successful. The cost for the class is $5.
For the audition, girls will be asked to sing “America” (“My Country ’tis of Thee”) without accompaniment. They will also be asked to echo-sing simple melodic patterns and echo-clap rhythmic patterns. There is a $10 audition fee.
The PSGC now has two staff members who serve as vocal coaches, working individually with girls who so choose. This service is offered at no charge to the girls.
“Our girls really enjoyed this experience last year. Not only did the girls improve their vocal skills, they also gained confidence in their singing. Both of our vocal coaches are degreed music professionals and have made a huge difference to our girls. Many of our girls want to study voice privately, but are unable to, either because of time or financial constraints,” said Linda Parker, director of the PSGC.
The PSGC has just completed a very successful year, having performed at many events.
Community concerts are favorite performance opportunities for the girls, because it gives the girls the chance to meet arts supporters in Pagosa and people who enjoy music. This past year, their performances included singing at the veterans breakfast, for the Rotary Club and at Over the Rainbow (a PSGC fundraising event). Finally, the girls performed their own Concert at Christmas, A Christmas Celebration, and a spring concert, Let Your Voices Be Heard. Their spring concert was a joint program with the newly formed women’s choir, Sisters in Song.
The PSGC has become very well-known in our community as an excellent and exciting musical group.
The PSGC also offers a summer activity designed to enrich the arts education of each girl by focusing on a specific genre of music. The girls have studied opera (summer 2014), professional musical theater (summer 2015) and symphonic music (summer 2016). These trips are possible because of our generous sponsors and through all of our fundraising efforts that take place during the year.
“It’s fun to travel with these girls and see the excitement that they have when attending live performances and participating in workshops. They are wonderful young women who have much to offer. We want them to know about possibilities that might be available to them now or later in their life, since music is a lifelong skill,” said Parker.
Rehearsals for the choir will be held on Monday afternoons from 4-5 p.m. in the middle school band room, with the first rehearsal taking place on Sept. 12. The tuition fee for the PSGC is $200 per year for each girl. The $10 audition fee will be applied to the payment. A payment plan for the tuition will be offered and scholarships for all who need assistance are available.
Parker stated, “No one will ever be turned away due to an inability to pay. If there is a need for financial assistance, we will help the family find it.”
Girls in the choir learn to perform high quality choral music in a variety of styles, and some music includes choreography and props. They spend a great deal of time on vocal and choral techniques, but the girls also concentrate on stage presence and musicianship.
If you love music, love singing and performing, come join this wonderful musical journey. If you have questions or need further information, call Parker at 264-1434.