CARLSBAD — Love of music brought 74 kids together to perform in a free children’s choir.
The North County Children’s Choir was started by Pam and Andy Allen, a husband and wife team who opened Coastal Music Studios in September.
Upon opening the music school that offers instrument and voice lessons the couple also wanted to include a way to give back to the community.
They decided to offer local kids an opportunity to be part of a free children’s choir. An open call was posted on the Coastal Music Studios Facebook page and flyers were given out in Carlsbad and Oceanside schools. There was no cost to join and no experience was required.
Immediately 74 kids ages 7 to 13 signed up.
“They noticed a real need for music instruction in the local schools so they started a free children’s choir,” Jason Coker, father of choir member Judah Coker, said. “They’ve had an overwhelming response.”
Students who joined had a wide range of singing experience and musical aptitude. Most had no formal vocal training. All of them shared a love of music.
“It’s a creative place to belong, especially for children who learn differently,” Andy Allen said. “If they don’t have access to the arts they’re missing a large part of the way some people learn and they don’t get a chance to express the entirety of their person.”
Pam Allen began teaching the choir group in October. The group met weekly for one-hour practice sessions in which they worked on vocal training, singing skills and performance pieces. The end goal was to sing at four holiday performances.
Performances were held at the Sunset Market on Nov. 28, Emeritus senior living community on Dec. 13, Westfield Mall Plaza Camino Real on Dec. 15, and Carlsbad Village Friday Night Lights on Dec. 21. The feedback was tremendous.
Students lighted up the stage.
“The kids come alive at performances,” Andy Allen said. “When the crowd cheered for them it was absolutely fantastic.”
Older students became mentors to their younger peers. Children learned to give back to their community through performing.
“At first I thought it was a cute idea,” Coker said. “I was amazed by the turnout. It seems like an amazing opportunity to participate in the arts that is provided for free outside of school.”
The choir will meet up again in mid January. Andy Allen said he hopes to have 300 students in the choir.
“A large percentage of students are staying on,” Allen said. “We’re looking for the choir to grow exponentially.”
The next scheduled performance is to sing with the San Diego Interfaith Choir and Orchestra for a fundraiser concert in March.
Interested youth can sign up at facebook/CoastalMusicStudios or find more information at www.coastalmusicstudios.com/NCCC.