The Alaska Youth Choir returned to Juneau tanned and smiling after performing at the Crescent City Children's Choir Festival in New Orleans earlier this summer. The group is preparing for the upcoming season and auditions will be held Aug. 27, 28 and 29 at Northern Light United Church.
The Alaska Youth Choir is a community-based group for singers ages 10 to 16. The New Orleans trip was the highlight of the 2001-2002 season. The Alaska group joined five other children's choirs from across the United States for five days of singing and sightseeing.
The trip was hosted by Crescent City Children's Choir under the artistic direction of Cheryl Dupont and Bob Chilcot. Chilcot is a British-born and -educated composer and choir director who serves as a master teacher to children's choir festivals all over the world. The youth choir had the opportunity to work directly with Chilcot as part of the festival.
The Juneau choristers visited the New Orleans zoo, rode the trolley through the city, visited the French Quarter and the river front.
In addition to sightseeing and vocal workshops, the choirs rehearsed every day for three hours in preparation for the finale concert in St. Louis Cathedral.
The finale concert included performances by individual choirs as well as a mass choir. The Alaska choir sang "Beautiful Savior," "I Will Sing With The Spirit" and "Sanctus." Selections with the large group choir included "Hope for Resolution," "Gloria Deo," "Kyrie" and "Happy Day," a gospel-style piece written by Bob Chilcot for the festival and based on an 17th century poem.
The festival ended with a party and dance on the Mississippi aboard the riverboat Cajun Queen. The Alaska singers then headed to Pensacola Beach, Fla., for two days of sun and water.
To learn more about the Alaska Youth Choir and to schedule an audition, call AYC administrator Shelly Smith at 780-5262. If there is a conflict with the audition dates next week, to schedule an alternate time call artistic director Missouri Smyth at 780-5225.
Smyth said the choir is particularly in need of boys and she encourage boys to come and audition.