Open enrollment for Vivace! Choral Program

The Vivace! Choral Program invites students in fourth through twelfth grade to attend their mid-year auditions. “We just finished our holiday season and in January we’ll be doing auditions again for this next season, which will culminate in the big district festival,” said Vivace! artistic director Andrea Klouse.

The Vivace! Choirs practice on Monday evenings at Liberty Middle School and the auditions will be held on January 5, 12 and 26.

Klouse said students that participate in Vivace! see a difference in the way the program is run compared to their school choirs. “We’re a mentoring program from the top down, but more importantly from the bottom up. It models somewhat the Suzuki philosophy where adults and children learn at the same time, together. Often the adult learns from the child in the way that they jump into their learning, as the children do from finding out there’s no upper limit to how far they can go if they’re curious.”

“The youthfulness that exists in younger kids has an effect on how older kids and adults make music,” said assistant director Michael Hoye. “I think through the mentoring model, kids that are younger learn faster and kids that are older learn faster because they’re in an environment where growth is really accelerated. There’s just a high level of motivation and a great skill base.”

Vivace! utilizes almost a dozen directors of different experience and skill levels “It provides a rich experience,” said Hoye. And it’s one the students can take back with them to their school choirs. “It seasons the experience for kids so that they bring the enthusiasm they experience here back to their program. They start to function as leaders because they have increased confidence.”

“Their leadership skills just soar and they don’t even know,” said Kris Blankenship, Vivace!’s music librarian. “It’s been magical at times. The mentorship part of the program really brings the bar up high for even the little kids.”

Blankenship is also one of the VIPs, or Vivace! Involved Parents. That’s a title she’s earned over the last 15 years. “It’s a wonderful program and what it’s done for our kids; our kids were real shy, wouldn’t volunteer for anything and they’re doing solos in their schools now! They’ve both come out of their shells, it’s been great!”

Three choirs make up this after-school choral program: the Vivace! Kids Choir, meets from 4 to 5 p.m. and is made up of students in fourth through sixth grade (with some exceptional and focused third graders with unchanged voices). The Vivace! Mixed Choir, rehearses from 5 to 6 p.m. and is the mass choir with students in sixth through twelfth grade, changed and changing voices with general music knowledge. The Cathedrals Choir rehearses from 6 to 7:15 p.m. and is made up of students in eighth through twelfth grade with changed voices and advanced music knowledge.

Hoye said that auditions are not limited to the dates in January, “Interested parents and students are welcome to attend any rehearsal to see the choirs in action and talk with the instructors and participants.”

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