West Michigan Children's Choir
The West Michigan Children’s Choir (WMCC) was founded in 2012 by Sarah Cox and Jennifer
Wolfe and consists of three ensembles ranging in age from kindergarten through 8th
KANTO and SHIRA are the two performance division choirs, and LARKS is the preparatory division choir.
- PERFORMANCE DIVISION CHOIRS
Our Performance Division choirs, KANTO and SHIRA, welcome singers in grades 3–8 with unchanged voices. After auditioning prior to the session, singers are placed in SHIRA, our training choir, or KANTO, a choir for students who are able to confidently hold a harmony part.
SHIRA and KANTO are directed by Kristin Baron. Kristin is a 2014 Hope graduate in organ performance and music education, and associate director of music at Christ Memorial Church in Holland. Hope music faculty member Jennifer Wolfe, a founding director of the WMCC, continues to work with the group in an administrative capacity.
- PREPARATORY DIVISION CHOIR
- LARKS, a non-performing group for students in kindergarten through 2nd grade, meets on Monday evenings from 6:15–7 p.m. (at the same time as SHIRA). LARKS will focus on listening skills, musicianship, healthy vocal development and age-appropriate rehearsal skills. The director of LARKS is Amy Kate Petersen, who holds degrees in music education and church music from St. Olaf College.
LARKS do not need to audition. If you would like to know more about this program, please email Amy Kate Petersen.
Before placing singers in SHIRA or KANTO, we like to meet with each family. To set up a short, fun audition, please email Kristin Baron.
- 2017-2018 SCHEDULE
All groups meet and perform at the Jack H. Miller Center for Musical Arts at Hope College. Parents of LARKS students will drop off and pick up your children at their classroom door (Room 192). Students in SHIRA and KANTO will gather in the lobby when you arrive at the building.
LARKS meets weekly on Monday evenings from 6:15–7 p.m. in Room 192. The year is divided into two 8-week sessions.
- Session 1: September 11, 18, 25; October 2, 9, 16, 23, 30
- Session 2: January 8, 15, 22, 29; February 5, 12, 19, 26
SHIRA AND KANTO
Both SHIRA and KANTO meet weekly on Monday evenings, with SHIRA rehearsing from 6:15–7 p.m., and KANTO rehearsing from 7:15–8:15 p.m. The year is divided into two 10-week sessions, with the second session beginning after Thanksgiving. There is a dress rehearsal and concert to conclude each session. Concerts are free and open to the public, and held in the Concert Hall at the Jack H. Miller Center at Hope College.
- Rehearsal Dates: September 11, 18, 25; October 2, 9, 16, 23, 30; November 6, 13
- Dress Rehearsal: November 18, 3–5 p.m. (Concert Hall)
- Fall Concert: November 19, 3 p.m. (2 p.m. call time – Concert Hall)
- Rehearsal Dates: November 27; December 4; January 8, 15, 22, 29; February 5, 12, 19, 26
- Dress Rehearsal: March 4, 2–4 p.m. (Concert Hall)
- Spring Concert: March 5, 7 p.m. (6 p.m. call time – Concert Hall)
The WMCC recognizes the musical, personal and developmental values intrinsic in quality music education. With these in mind we aim to:
- Nurture and safely develop the abilities of children who love to sing
- Confirm the importance of each individual singer as a critical part of our program
- Offer quality music education at each level
- Introduce our singers to the world’s diverse cultures through music
- Encourage self-confidence, self-esteem and pride through musical excellence
- Instill a love of music that will continue to grow long after our singers leave us
The most important thing about being in an ensemble is attending rehearsal. When we rehearse, we’re not teaching individual parts, but practicing how the group sounds together as a whole. Also, especially at the preparatory level, rehearsal material builds on previous skills. For this, we need everyone present, every week. To that end, we ask our singers to make choir a priority. Conflicts and illnesses will inevitably arise, but we expect that scheduling decisions will be made around your commitment to the WMCC.
If you anticipate more than two rehearsal conflicts, you should choose which activity to participate in rather than trying to juggle several. You may not miss a dress rehearsal or a concert for any reason other than serious illness or family emergency. The choir is a team counting on you, and we are less than ourselves without every voice. All conflicts and absences should be communicated to Amy Kate Petersen ahead of rehearsal. Thank you for thinking through your commitment to our choir.