Our mates in the Cayman Youth Choir got in touch this week so we could delve further into some of the info that we had in last Friday’s Weekender about what they do.
And we’re delighted about it: here’s the definitive rundown on all things sing-y.
How many members do you currently have?
The numbers have varied between five and 25 over the years. After just two rehearsals this term we have 10 but need more. The choir will be the core of combined schools choirs for December event at Camana Bay and based on the similar event in 2011 this should be around 200 singers.
Come to rehearsal at UCCI music room (upstairs in Sir Vassel Johnson Hall) on Saturday at 1pm. If you want further information, e-mail [email protected] or call 525-5010. Just bring a water bottle and a pencil.
What are the key things that kids can get out of this?
Development in choral singing, exposure to experienced musicians and opportunity to make friends and sing with young people from all over the island. The choir is taught not only how to sing in a choir but also stage and choir etiquette and performance skills. What else can we say? The experience is uplifting and fun.
There are lots of very good talented and committed music teachers on the island, but its relatively small size creates a need to bring together the keen choral singers into one larger choir that can represent the Cayman Islands or perform in events on island. Music is about playing and singing together with others and the importance and joy of collaboration in music is important to instil in young singers.
What musical skills do kids need – is there an audition process? What ages can be involved?
The suggested age range is 10-14, but this is not hard and fast. We have had dedicated and able singers as young as 8 in the past. It all depends on their maturity and confidence. By the same token, older singers are welcome and we have had 16 year olds sing with the choir, too. There is no audition, but the director will at some point place the singer based on his or her vocal range. Ideally, all members would be able to read music, but this is not essential. The way the songs are learned means a non-reader of music can learn by ear. Eventually though the singers will acquire the skill of reading and following the music.
It is great that someone like Ron Corp is involved isn’t it?
Yes, absolutely, we are so pleased that Ron has accepted our invitation to return to the Cayman Islands. Ronald Corp is a highly successful and sought after composer and conductor. We value his international experience and work with children’s choirs during the past 25 years or so and know it will be joyfully shared with our young choristers, in December at Camana Bay, as it was during his visit to Grand Cayman in February 2012 for Cayman Arts Festival’s final event at Pedro St James. Their performance at this Big Song and Dance was fantastic and the children responded wholeheartedly to his informative, uplifting and enthusiastic conducting. I am sure all of the schools who were able to participate, and hopefully more this time around, will be eager to offer such a wonderful opportunity to their students again.
What does the choir need to move forward?
All the choir needs now is promotion and more members. Cayman Arts Festival is thrilled that Cayman Youth Choir has been established as a forum for young singers in our community to come together on special occasions. We hope that this initiative will present opportunities to our youth to learn from and experience the pleasure of performing in a diversity of choral events. Cayman Arts Festival, through its various sponsors, will continue to support Cayman Youth Choir in whatever format it adopts and ideas it pursues in the future.
Cayman Arts Festival is always looking for volunteers to lend their support at any of the events it presents. If anyone wishes to do so or know more about how they can support Cayman Arts Festival in any way they should contact [email protected]