The voices of children will be wafting all around town this holiday season as the Fort Wayne Children’s Choir completes their rounds.
Children from third grade all the way up to 12th grade are welcome to audition for the group. Any child is welcome to try out who “is interested in pursuing their love for singing and a passion for choral excellence.”
The group was started in 1973 by Jocelyn Basse; it was then called the Children of Peace Coristers, to meet the need for an extra-curricular choral opportunity for area youth. The choir was incorporated in 1984 as the Fort Wayne Children’s Choir (FWCC), and now pulls children from 85 schools.
Currently, there are 288 children who sing for the choir, according to Susie Peirce, Director of Marketing and Development for the group.
The mission of the Choir is to “provide a choral program exemplifying an artistic and educational excellence for children from diverse backgrounds.” The group also contributes to the community’s cultural environment by providing opportunities to experience the unique beauty of professionally trained voices.
Currently, the group’s activities around town include the Choralfest Concert in August, the Three Rivers Choral Festival and the Harvest Concert in November, the Young Artist Concert in March, the Spring Concert in April/May, and the Young People’s Concert in May.
The children also take part in many other local activities, including the Womens’ Bureau “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes,” the World AIDS Day Memorial, and the Visiting Nurse and Hospice Memorial Tree Lighting. The group also has sung the National Anthem at several local sporting events, including the Fort Wayne TinCaps, the Fort Wayne Komets and the Fort Wayne Mad Ants basketball team.
Lillian Wilson is a 13-year-old teen from Waynedale who has been with the group for two years. She said, for her, the appeal of the group is multi-faceted.
“One, you get to sing,” Wilson said. “Two, you get to go new places. And three, you just have an awesome experience.”