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. For any additional information, including recordings of concerts and photographs, visit the WMCC website.

West Michigan Children's Choir logoKANTO and SHIRA are the two performance division choirs, and LARKS is the new 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 semester, singers are placed in SHIRA, our training choir, or KANTO, a choir for students who are able to confidently hold a harmony part.

Both choirs rehearse on Monday evenings in the Jack H. Miller Center for Musical Arts. SHIRA meets first, from 6:15–7 p.m., and KANTO rehearses from 7:15–8:15 p.m. The choirs give a fall and spring concert each year and have collaborated with the Holland Chorale and the Holland Symphony Orchestra. The choral directors are Hope faculty member Jen Wolfe and recent Hope alumna Kristin Baron.

PREPARATORY DIVISION CHOIR
We are recruiting students for our new Preparatory Division Choir, LARKS! This non-performing group, for students in kindergarten through second grade, will meet on Monday evenings from 6:15–7 p.m. in the Jack H. Miller Center for Musical Arts. The focus of LARKS will be on listening skills, musicianship, healthy vocal development and age-appropriate rehearsal skills. Though LARKS will not sing in formal concerts, the group will provide an in-class demonstration at the end of each term. 
AUDITIONS
Our 2016 auditions will be held on Monday, August 22, from 4:30–6 p.m. Arrangements will gladly be made for another time if this date doesn’t work for your family. Singers wishing to join KANTO or SHIRA can email Amy Kate Petersen to sign up for an audition time. Alternatively, if you received one of our postcards, you can send it back to register for an audition.
2016-2017 SCHEDULE
FALL 2016 SCHEDULE
  • Monday Night Rehearsals: September 12, 19, 26; October 3, 10, 17, 24, 31
  • Dress Rehearsal: Saturday, November 5, 10 a.m.–12 p.m.
  • Concert: Sunday, November 6; 2 p.m. call time, 3 p.m. concert

The LARKS demonstration will take place on October 31, and those students are encouraged to attend the WMCC free concert on November 6.

If we are singing in the Holiday Concert with the Holland Symphony and the Holland Chorale on December 10, then KANTO only will continue to rehearse on Monday evenings.

SPRING 2017 schedule
  • Monday Night Rehearsals: January 9, 16, 23, 30; February 6, 13, 20, 27; March 6, 13, 20
  • Dress Rehearsal: Saturday, March 25, 10 a.m.–12 p.m.
  • Concert: Sunday, March 26; 2 p.m. call time, 3 p.m. concert

The LARKS demonstration will take place on March 20, and those students are encouraged to attend the WMCC free concert on March 26.

Further rehearsals will be announced for those interested in singing the Sound of Music medley in the June 15 Holland Symphony Pops Concert.

GOALS

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
POLICIES
Attendance

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.

REHEARSALS

Rehearsals are held at the Jack H. Miller Center for Musical Arts on Monday evenings. SHIRA and LARKS meet from 6:15–7 p.m., and KANTO rehearses from 7:15–8:15 p.m. Please plan to arrive five minutes early so that you are in your seat ready to sing when the rehearsal begins. Students in LARKS are expected to use the bathroom immediately before rehearsal. 

Parents are responsible for noting all rehearsal, dress rehearsal and concert dates on their calendars. Please allow extra time for travel in inclement weather conditions, and check your email for rehearsal updates, especially if schools are closed. Our primary concern is your safety, so we encourage you to make the most prudent decision for your family.

FEES, MUSIC AND UNIFORM

We will provide music, which you may take home. Please write on it in pencil only so that we can use it again in future years. The music must be returned in good condition after each concert, or you will be charged a replacement cost of $10.

Singers are expected, where possible, to provide their own concert uniform: black pants, long-sleeved collared white button-down shirt, black dress socks and black shoes. We do have a few items to lend; if borrowed from the WMCC, these must be washed and returned promptly.

SCHOOL MUSIC PARTICIPATION

Like other community music organizations, we expect that our members will participate in their school music programs. We count on our colleagues in music education to support us by recommending their best students, and we hope to stretch and challenge those students so that they become leaders in their schools. In order to sing with the WMCC, you must be a member of a choir, band or orchestra in your school. This policy does not apply to members who are home schooled or who attend schools that lack a music program.