Youth Enrichment Program---Pt 3 1/2---Let's keep rolling
- As I mentioned yesterday, our outreach towards our nations Youth should take two different, yet complementary paths. The first, was into the schools.
Today, let's talk about starting a youth chorus. For this, we are going to need some serious help from those who have already been involved with this aspect of our hobby.
For the past two years, a youth chorus competition has been a growing part of our Mid-Winter convention. Most of these groups were founded by interested barbershoppers who wanted to show our kids a better way.
Just to show you how successful this program can be, consider the Northwest Vocal Project. They won the Youth chorus contest last year. Then they won the Evergreen District Contest this year and will be singing in Philadelphia representing the EVG district and seeded NINTH (I believe--please correct me if I erred).
I have some ideas that I will share below (never having done this before). However, I think that the basic thing that will make something happen is a willingness to give of yourself and a modicum of ability to direct and a wagon load of patience and humor. Kids can try you to the breaking point but they reward us with the greatest joyful moments of our lives. If you can roll with all the trials and patiently await the joy, you are the perfect person to get involved. Having taught in school for three years, I have to admit that there are times you wonder.
My plan (so far) is to select a catchy name (which can be changed later). I like the "Sound Celebration of the Big Sky". Then I am going to approach the newspaper, Radio stations and TV for some ABSOLUTELY FREE PSA's. Most of them like to do this. If you can give them a CD with some music, they like that better. Just check the society website and they have all of this available. The cost is: ABSOLUTELY FREE!
The basic message will be: Now Forming SCofTBS, a youth barbershop Harmony Chorus. Previous Choral experience is desirable but not a requirement. If you can carry a, tune, we will teach you all the rest. Please call XXX-XXXX for more information and to sign up.
Next step, check with the local barbershop chapter and get permission to use their risers and then check with the local church where the risers are stored to obtain a meeting place and time.
Get some ABSOLUTELY FREE music from the society. Bring video and CD players to the first meeting and let the good times roll.
Now, some of you out there have done this and know all the right ways and all of the pitfalls. Please take the time to help us all out and share your knowledge with all of us.
OK folks let's keep rolling.
OH YES! This entire program begins on January 1st---but you can get an early start if you like. We should have some excellent results by mid year and a final interim report by the end of 2010.
Sometime between those two dates, we will be awarding some AWESOME prizes.
In fact, one of them will absolutely blow your mind. We will be announcing them later this week or early next week when the details are worked out. In the meantime, we are ardently (and shamelessly) soliciting contributions to our prize list. Please contact me and your contribution will be added to the list. We are soliciting from individuals, quartets and choruses. NO MONEY please, just useful items.
Only two requirements: In order to be eligible for prizes, this only applies to new events (after January 1. 2010). Secondly, you must be a member of the Harmonet, the world's greatest discussion group---a force to be reckoned with.
So, help us out with:
1. Helpful hints on starting a youth chorus.
2. Prizes for those who are movers and shakers in Youth Enrichment.
3. Your own personal and dedicated best efforts to make this dream a reality.
Like the man said: "Statistically speaking, you will miss 100 percent of the shots that you don't take."
Blessings, more later,
Montana Jack, keeping the faith and keeping it barbershop
Make certain that this is the best day of your life
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