"Empowering Our Youth" Tour

"Empowering Our Youth" Tour

From Gary Geiger

The Evanston Children's Choir's top ensemble is going on tour to Cleveland, OH in April, 2020 to share "songs of empowerment" with other partnering organizations and the general public.

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It's been a long time coming and now, in our 18th season, the acclaimed ECC Concert Choir is ready to travel!  Beginning in January, 2020, our singers have chosen to focus on repertoire centering around the theme of "empowerment."  Sample repertoire includes "Marchin' to Freedom," recalling the historic struggles of the Civil Rights Movement; "The Power of One," an anti-bullying song about speaking up and taking a stand for one another; and "Juntos" ("Together"), a song about the power we have when we band together to become greater than the sum of our parts.

Our first tour, the "Empowering Our Youth" Tour, will take us to Cleveland, OH, the hometown of ECC Artistic Director Gary Geiger.  There we will share our music and our message with the children's choir of the Cleveland Institute of Music in a collaborative concert, the general public as part of the Music in a Sacred Space series at Church of the Resurrection in a nearby suburb, The Hospice of the Western Reserve to bring some joy to the residents there, and the students of Mayfield Middle School.

There has been lots of buzz about this tour, and our singers are invested in it.  We like to think that our choir itself has provided an empowering platform for our youth, so this tour speaks strongly to who we are.  Over the years we have cultivated a "safe space" for our young people when they are at choir.  Inclusion and accessibility have always been paramount.  Singers of every race, religion, ethnicity, culture, background and gender identity are warmly accepted.  We do not simply "coexist" by avoiding our differences--we sing about them!  We encourage our singers to openly express who they are.  We work hard in rehearsals, but the reinforcement is always positive.  Nobody is ever mocked, berated or scoffed at.  The singers in our mixed-age ensemble are true collaborators, our older singers naturally reaching out to help the younger ones as we move through our material.

The personal and artistic growth we see in our singers as they move through our seasons in this way is remarkable, as is the sheer joy we see in them as they realize they are achieving at the highest level and creating something truly special.  We look forward to sharing who we are and what we do beyond the Evanston region, in the hopes of inspiring others and making our world just that much better.

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