There’s a new sound wafting through the air in Castlegar — the sound of children’s voices joining together in song.
On Wednesday afternoons you can find a group of kids gathered around a piano while Christina Nolan teaches them how to improve their singing voices.
So far the Castlegar Community Children’s Choir is small, but Nolan hopes the choir will grow as word gets out about the opportunity.
Nolan has also been the director of the Twin Rivers Community Choir for the last seven years. After many requests for something similar for kids, she decided to start the choir last fall. A small group formed, practiced for several months, performed a few times and then took a seasonal break.
“Working with singers has always been my passion,” said Nolan, who has a background in operatic vocal performance.
She hopes the choir will bring kids together to share in the joy of creating music.
“Choral music is a performance art. There is so much growth that comes with that process of starting a selection, really learning it and then the fulfillment that comes with actually standing up and performing it,” said Nolan.
As for the choir’s participants, singing seems to be their passion.
Every member that was asked why they decided to join the choir responded the same way: “I like singing.”
Nolan’s overall philosophy for the choir is to teach kids how to sing and to have fun while doing it. Her music selections seem to reflect that. One of the pieces the group is working on has to do with an errant sneeze and incorporates sneezing solos.
Ten-year-old Jordan MacKay said she likes that the choir is separate from school, so she can meet new people and sing with people of different ages. She also said the choir lets her enjoy singing without the pressures that come from performing alone.
Addyson Maida-Bergner said singing is better with other people, as it makes you less nervous.
“If you mess up, no one notices,” said the eight year old.
Ten-year-old Lily Zimmer agreed.
“It makes me less nervous,” she said. “Singing makes me happy.”
The choir’s new season started last week. Practices are at 4 p.m. on Wednesdays at the Castlegar United Church. Children ages 8-12 of all skill levels are welcome to join. For more information, contact Nolan at 250-365-8191 or firstname.lastname@example.org.