Thursday, 8 September 2011

Reprieve announced for the Aurora Children’s & Youth Choir

Fort McMurray's only community choir for kids is back up and offering programs as scheduled. Previously, difficulties securing space with either equipment or storage for equipment proved overwhelmingly difficult. Now, the problems have been solved and kids can continue to register for this unique Fort McMurray ensemble.

The group's President, Murray Torguson, say that "the problem that caused us to temporarily shut down was really one of logistics." The municipality's shared use program lets us use a school's space but not their equipment. It is an understandable precaution against damage and liability claims. We have our own equipment in storage but it is logistically awkward to haul a piano, for example, back and forth. Fortunately, some creative thinking, and discussions with stakeholders resulted in solutions such as small pico-projectors and 3G technology. Torguson says "it’s amazing what you can do with an iPhone these days!"

Mr.Torguson goes on to say that he's happy the choir can continue. Without the choir, there is a real gap for kids between 5 and 18. While there are some new options for 12-18's, they involve dance and drama that some kids are not interested in.. Choir gives kids the option to sing in public but not have to stand out if they don't want to. We plan to phone those parents who had already registered to give them the happy news!

The choir’s Music Director is thrilled she can continue working with the kids. "I was really depressed at the thought of having to quit. I had rehearsals planned to January and some cool new resources I wanted to share with the kids, lots of pop music included this year. I really love seeing how the kids grow and develop through the year. It's hard to let that go." Joanna notes that the choir has constantly updated its programs throughout the years to better serve its clientele. "We started with 8-15 year olds and now encompass a much larger span of ages. It stands to reason that we also need to update our program and materials for the different age groups."

Rehearsals will be at Westview School on Wolverine Drive as previously announce and will take place Monday and Tuesday evenings. Registrations can be made online or in person on rehearsal night. The choir is hoping to begin September 12th but this is not yet confirmed. Please check the choir’s website for the most up-to-date information.

For more information, please contact Gayle Phillips, Choir Spokesperson, at 780-880-5911 or visit the website at

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