I can’t believe we’ve already finished our first semester of the 2021-2022 school year. It seems like just last week, I was visiting our students in their schools and watching our Artistic Director, Mr. Eric Taylor, teach the children a song on their very first day of class!
Seeing the children in the classroom reminded me of my music classes growing up. I remember my teacher, Mrs. Dabney, wheeling her piano from room to room to teach music. It was my favorite part of the week. We learned songs, played musical games, and even took turns playing the wooden blocks and the triangle! Mrs. Dabney’s zest for music was infectious, much like Mr. Taylor today.
It’s beautiful to see the kids lighting up when they walk into the room, each eager to sing. Now that we are back in the classroom, in-person, we are working to bring our numbers back to pre-pandemic levels. With the recent Omicron variant of Covid-19 on the rise and venues hesitant to host events, be assured we plan to offer a live concert performance in May of 2022. The actual date will be announced as soon as we solidify our venue, shortly after the new year begins.
DCC Student Performances and “Winter Greetings” Album
Last school year and over the summer, our students experienced several performance opportunities and continued private voice lessons with Eric Taylor. Students recorded an album, Winter Greetings, released in November 2021. It features students from our in-school programs, Matrix neighborhood program, and Civic Choirs and is available on Spotify, Amazon Prime Music, Apple Music, and other music platforms. It will also be available for download on our website.
Civic Choir records “Never Again” in PBS Documentary
This past summer, Keith Famie, an award-winning executive producer and owner of Visionalist Entertainment Productions, invited our Civic Choir students to record a song for his PBS documentary, Shoah Ambassadors. It pairs local Holocaust survivors with two young people from Detroit – Hailey Callahan, a graduate of Center for Creative Studies in Detroit, and Curtis Bates, a lyricist-rap artist from Detroit. The film’s theme has the Holocaust survivors share their stories with Callahan and Bates and task them with becoming “Ambassadors” of these stories to share with the young generation, educating them so that a tragedy like the Holocaust never occurs again. Bates wrote two songs for the film, and our Civic Choir students recorded one of his songs, Never Again, performed in the film’s final scene. It aired on PBS-Detroit in November and December 2021.
Giving Tuesday Update
This year, our Giving Tuesday goal was help replenish our scholarship fund. This fund allows DCC to offer financial assistance to talented students from Metro Detroit who are interested in advanced choral training. We thank you to all who participated in helping us raise more than $3,500.
I’m looking forward to growing with the Detroit Children’s Choir (DCC) as I begin the second half of my first year as Executive Director. I look forward to planning future in-person gatherings to meet parents, partners, and supporters of the Detroit Children’s Choir face-to-face and share with them the beautiful things happening in the DCC!
Best wishes to you and your families in 2022!