Lenoir-Rhyne Youth Chorus
In January of 1997, the Lenoir-Rhyne Youth Chorus (LRYC) held its first rehearsal with over 100 children. In the summer of 2007, 30 members of the advanced chorus group were privileged to attend the International Children's Choir Festival at Canterbury Cathedral in Canterbury, England, under the directorship of Henry Leck, from Indianapolis, Indiana, and David Flood, Master of the Choristers and Organist of Canterbury Cathedral. Of the six participating choirs, the Lenoir-Rhyne Youth Chorus was chosen as the choir to lead Evensong at the Cathedral, a service which has been sung daily there for over eight hundred years. The chorus became part of history as their name was inscribed in the cathedral records of who participated in the services. They also had the opportunity to sing the Evensong Service at Windsor Castle and to give a solo concert in Canterbury.
The 150 voice Festival Choir sang a Friday evening concert in Canterbury Cathedral, including several new pieces that were written for the festival. After leaving Canterbury, the festival singers moved to Oxford and performed at the grand 17th century Sheldonian Theatre, designed by Christopher Wren. The sunlight coming through the windows, highlighting choir members' faces, and the glorious accompaniment provided by the Virtuosi Soloists Orchestra of London, provided another highlight of the trip.
After leaving England, the members of the Lenoir-Rhyne Youth Chorus (34 singers and staff, and 32 accompanying family members) headed to Paris for a three-day stay, which included visits to many of the Paris landmarks - especially the Louvre and Versailles. This trip concluded with a concert at the Church of The Madeleine to an almost full house. This experience will change the lives of these young people forever. We will not soon forget the sounds of the singing, the sights and smells of the cities, and the friendships formed.
The chorus regularly performs for churches, civic organizations, and in concerts with the Lenoir-Rhyne A Cappella Choir. It has also performed with the Western Piedmont Symphony. Two of its former members were accepted into the prestigious American Boychoir School. Several others have gone on to become leaders in their high school choral and instrumental ensembles, and eventually to major in music in college.
In addition to the musical skills learned, choral singing develops maturity, character, discipline, group dynamics, dependability, creativity, decision-making, confidence and self-esteem. The young singers will reap life-long rewards from their experiences in LRYC.
Tuition for each semester is $100. This covers music, other supplies, and administrative costs. In addition, each singer will be required to purchase a uniform. Parents are urged to take an active role in this ensemble by serving on committees, helping with rehearsals, and encouraging your young singer to be regular and prompt in attendance. Scholarship help is available if need is demonstrated.
Florence Jowers, Director
Florence M. Jowers, Assistant Professor of Music at Lenoir-Rhyne University, has degrees from Yale University, New Haven, CT, and Stetson University, DeLand, Florida. She was the founder and director of the Shenango Area Youth Chorus, a professional children's chorus in Northwestern Pennsylvania. She has worked with such children's voice experts as Henry Leck, Jean Ashworth Bartle, and James Litton.
"There is not any musicke of instruments, whatsoever, comparable to that which is made by the human voyce, when the voyces are good, and the same well-sorted and ordered."
~William Byrd (1542-1623)
"The voice and musical feeling of children is so excellent that they can perform artistically anything that fits their physical and emotional development, however difficult the task."
~ Zoltan Kodaly (1882-1967)
"It has been proven time and again that the more one expects of a group, the more one is likely to get. Goals must be very high!"
~ Paul Bouman (b. 1918)