Choir director spells out the benefits of enrolling your child in local singing program
With the new year comes a new stack of possibilities when it comes to keeping the minds and bodies of your children active. Sherryl Pond is the director of the popular Woodlands Boys Choir. Since establishing the choir in 2015, she has reveled in teaching young men from ages 6-13 the joys of music and singing.
“A boys choir is a unique opportunity to mold the intellect, talent, and attitude of a young man,” she says. “I have been honored to help shape these local boys into significant singers, as well as assist in guiding them into becoming wonderfully productive members of society.”
Ms. Pond has opened a new round of open auditions for new members of the singing organization, with two distinct groups: the Touring Choir, and the introductory TrebleMakers. With that in mind, here are her five reasons why parents should enroll their sons into Woodlands Boys Choir:
- It focuses energy. Ms. Pond points out that the inherent structure that goes into nurturing a talented choir, combined with the actual mathematical aspects of music, are key in focusing young male minds. “Let’s face it; most boys are boundless bundles of energy,” she says. “While every rehearsal it can be a challenge to wrangle a dozen or two or three young men to keep them on the same page – literally and figuratively – it’s rewarding and worth the challenge.” Pond continues by stressing how learning lyrics (that include foreign languages), vocal roles, and even proper posture and body presentation all combine into positive ways for her young singers to convert their energy from mayhem to music talent.
- It increases social skills. Along with focusing energy of rambunctious young men, being in Woodlands Boys Choir also increases social skills that are critical to have during these formative years. “Every parent of a boy knows that, when a group of them get together, it’s easy to separate into separate packs or cliques,” she says. “At WBC, they all strive for the same goal, which is to be the best singer they can be, and to present their music to appreciative audiences.” She adds that even learning good manners and being polite are taught at each rehearsal. “From day one, they learn that it is their responsibility to present themselves in the best possible ways to the public and their parents alike.”
- There are no “losing teams.” Ms. Pond admits that, when it comes to choosing extracurricular activities for young boys, singing typically ranks far below youth sports. But she wants parents to know how their children can get more of a team spirit out of a choir than they would get on a soccer court or baseball field. “Innately, in sports, there are winners and losers every day; even in leagues where scores aren’t counted, you can bet the bank that the boys and their parents alike keep their own tally.” Instead, in a boys choir, she continues, the fact that they are all on the ‘same team’ with a common goal gives them a greater sense of camaraderie. “Every rehearsal, every impromptu performance, every concert, is a victory.”
- It’s less expensive than sports. Beyond providing a sense of belonging and teamwork, Ms. Pond points out that choir life is inherently less expensive by far than a comparable team sport. “A full semester of our TrebleMakers program for boys ages 6-8 is only $95, which includes tuition, fees, and materials.” For the older boys aged 9-13, the total cost of a full semester is only $125. “We still get all the satisfaction of wearing our ‘uniforms’ – which are either matching polo shirts or full robes for less casual concerts – without being burdened with the cost of equipment, field rental fees, or – most importantly – sports-related medical bills.”
- It builds character, talent, and more. “In honesty, I can’t think of too many outlets for young boys that are the social-equalizing, talent-nurturing, team-building equivalent of Woodlands Boys Choir,” says Ms. Pond. “Unlike sports where boys are separated by their talent level, we ensure that every boy is on the ‘A-Team’ with the support of his peers to make the sum of the choir even better than the parts of the whole.” While her boys have copious amounts of fun, however, she stresses that rehearsals and concerts are run like a tight ship. “We have the discipline of a military academy combined with the sense of communal spirit akin to a sports team or theatre troupe. It’s our job and our privilege to present a professional singing product to an appreciative audience, and I encourage you to add your own child’s voice to the choir.”
Ms. Pond encourages families to schedule an appointment during this audition period that is lasting for the next several weeks. “We are seeking serious talent for our Tour Choir, so for this team we are looking for boys who love to sing and take trips.” These trips include festivals, performances, concerts, and workshops, including a joint workshop with the Fort Bend Boys Choir in Missouri City coming soon. The highlight of the spring will be participation in the Schlitterbahn Sound Waves Music Festival in New Braunfels, when they will also have fun in the park and have other performing opportunities. Admittance to the introductory TrebleMakers does not require an audition.
Auditions are short, simple and unprepared. It is the intent of the organization to assure that no boy is denied the opportunity to participate due to financial consideration. Scholarships are available. For more information or to schedule an audition, visit the www.woodlandsboyschoir.org or contact Sherryl S. Pond at 401-855-3222 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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