Wednesday, 10 August 2011

No Auditions for Children’s Choir

Fort McMurray, AB - Aurora Children’s & Youth Choir announces auditions are no longer required to join! Following an idea promoted by the RCSM Voice for Life program, Aurora will be using a graduated style of program when they start up again this fall.

The choir’s Music Director, Joanna Torguson, is excited about the new progression system. “Last year we worked with children as young as five years old – which was very new for us. It was a bit of an experiment and I learned a lot.” Torguson says she wants some separation in the age groups due to varying interests and capabilities. “Obviously the smaller singers need simpler music and something they can memorize since many can’t read yet.” This is where a mixed rehearsal with the choir’s youngest two groups will be advantageous. The Mezzo group will be helping and mentoring the younger Prima singers develop their choral skills then will continue practicing on their own songs.

Murray Torguson, Choir President, is supportive of the plan and says “last year it wasn’t ideal with the Prima and Mezzo groups rehearsing together for the entire time. It will be nice for the older singers to be seen as mentors and leaders and helpful to Joanna in training the younger ones on all the parts of how to be part of a choir.” In the course of weekly rehearsals, children will learn how to sign themselves in, find their seats, hold their music, stand up straight, match pitches, read music, and more. By the time children are in the Mezzo ensemble, many aspects are automatic allowing singers to work on more difficult repertoire. In Encore, singers are expected to behave and work as developing professionals.

Lately, the choir has also been looking for a new rehearsal space after learning there were scheduling conflicts between the choir’s rehearsal days and times and new evening programs at their previous location. There was some fear that Fort McMurray’s only community choir for children might end up taking a breather for the school year. However, new developments have given Joanna confidence that a suitable space at an affordable rent will work out. Murray Torguson notes “we’ve tried several places but have run into rental rates ranging from $75 to $300 per night and we just can’t afford that. Fees are used for insurance, equipment storage, new scores, and more. Our music director, my wife, doesn’t even get paid!” As well, a piano is necessary. The choir has a small digital one of their own, but at 140 pounds, moving it in and out for each rehearsal is impractical.

Joanna admits she’s been putting in hours making plans for a new choir year feeling confident a location will work out. “I have some fun music planned that I’m sure the kids will love” says Joanna. This year’s repertoire includes selections from Grease, Sister Act, Practical Magic, Lilies of the Field, Katy Perry, and Black Eyed Peas, along with traditional choral pieces such as Ching A Ring Chaw and Evening Song from Hansel & Gretel.

To get more information about the choir and its programs, visit If you`d like to offer rehearsal space, please contact Murray at (780) 881-7685 or email

For more information contact: Murray Torguson, PresidentAurora Children’s & Youth Choir(780) 881-7685 or the website:

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