What: The Appleseed Children's Choir Festival for Young Voices, sponsored by the Fort Wayne Children's Choir
When: June 20–22
Where: Auer Auditorium in Rhinehart Music Center at IPFW, 2101 Coliseum Blvd. E.
Cost: Concert at 4 p.m. June 22 is free and open to the public.
Note: Registration information for interested choirs can be found at
www.fwcchoir.org/young -voices-childrens-choir- festival.
The Fort Wayne Children's Choir will host its second annual Appleseed Children's Choir Festival on June 20-22 at IPFW's Rhinehart Music Center.
Guest clinician Emily Ellsworth, artistic director of Anima — Young Singers of Greater Chicago, will lead rehearsals at the festival and offer continuing-education credit for music educators who attend. The Ames Children's Choir of Ames, Iowa, (20 members) will also be in attendance, along with the FWCC's own Lyric and Treble choirs.
“(The Appleseed Festival) is a tour, meaning that students are coming to our place,” said FWCC Artistic Director Jonathan Busarow. “We are a tour destination.”
During last year's inaugural festival, youth choirs from Grand Rapids, Mich.; Milwaukee; and Rockford, Ill., attended the Fort Wayne event. This year, the FWCC hopes to involve more outside groups so that even more young singers can have the early touring experience.
According to FWCC executive director Denice Beights, the Appleseed Children's Choir Festival is unique because it focuses on developing the choral skills of children who are between ages 10 and 14.
In addition to the musical instruction students receive, Beights hopes singers will use this tour to acclimate to being away from home and their parents so that they are more prepared for longer tours as they get older.
Busarow agrees, noting he likes to see the “Appleseed” wording of the festival's title as a reference to “a seedling tour, designed for those that will grow.” Reflecting on the 41-season history of the FWCC and the work of the Appleseed Festival, he said, “We're looking for any and every way to help children learn to sing.”
Students who attend the festival will have a full schedule of rehearsals, group interaction and performances. Busarow outlined the expected itinerary, which will include large group rehearsals, smaller choral ensemble practices, a tour of and performance at the Fort Wayne Children's Zoo, Sunday morning presentations at area worship services, and a free community concert the afternoon of June 22.
“The big project is to make a new ensemble work together,” Busarow said, explaining that it takes children a while to get used to singing in a new group setting.
Music chosen for practice during the festival will come from a wide range of styles, including classical, spirituals, opera choruses, modern compositions and more.
Music instructors who attend will be given the opportunity to watch rehearsals and attend a teacher's education workshop June 21.