On Sunday, May 7, Tacoma Youth Chorus singers grades 6-12 will perform at one of the most beautiful churches in Tacoma!
Join us for ‘Music of Inspiration, a concert including works by Rollo Dilworth, Judith Herrington, Ola Gjielo, Felix Mendelssohn, Z. Randall Stroope, Jim Papoulis, Aaron Copland, and Stephen Schwartz.
Music Makers, TYC’s introductory program for kindergarten and first graders, is now enrolling for Fall 2017! Singers entering kindergarten or first grade next fall are invited to try Music Makers on for size on Saturday, April 29, 9:00 – 10:15am. This free workshop will take place in the Charles Wright Academy Lower School Music Room, and parents can register singers by calling our office at 253-588-1391.
TYC: How long did you sing in TYC?
I started in 6th grade and sang through high school, so 7 years.
TYC: Tell us your favorite TYC memory.
It is very hard to pick just one! Some memories are very joyful, and others have a very serious tone. One very powerful memory was going to rehearsal on September 11th. Many things shut down that day, but Mrs. Herrington made it clear that we would keep to our normal routine, and how important it was to create some beauty together, especially on that day. That moment really confirmed how important music and community are for our personal and collective well-being. Other highlights were performing with other musicians and groups in the Northwest, and going on tour in the states and abroad. Sharing our music with people from cultures other than our own was such a special thing to experience as a teenager.
TYC: What are some things you learned from singing in TYC? How has TYC impacted your life?
TYC taught me that when things are hard, you keep trying, and you will eventually meet your goal. That is something that I have taken with me in every aspect of my life. Another big lesson I learned was to always reflect on your self and think about how you can improve. Mrs. Herrington often has guest conductors come and work with the kids. I always thought they were there to work just with the choir, but then I realized they also would work with her on her conducting gestures. I thought to myself “Why are they giving her suggestions? She is the most amazing choral director! How can she be any better?”. I realized that she was always learning, right along with us. I think part of what makes her such a great educator is her curiosity and drive to be the best teacher for her students. That is something I carry with me as I begin my journey as a music educator.
TYC: Any tips for young singers interested in becoming music teachers?
I would suggest talking to prospective schools, meeting with music ed students and talking to teachers in the field, just to get an idea of what to expect. If you love music and children, then this is an amazing career. There are times while the whole class is singing or playing instruments together, and I am reminded of how lucky I am to do this for a living. Many days are challenging, but then there are moments that shine so bright; they remind me why I chose this profession.
TYC: Anything else you’d like to tell us?
I am very thankful that there are organizations like TYC for children to be a part of. They provide so many opportunities for kids to learn and grow. TYC is also special because of the people. I have made some of my best friends through the organization. All of the staff and directors are so dedicated to making the experience the best it can be for the kids and I was always very aware of that as a singer, and then even more so when I come back to volunteer.
Karla Stoermer is an elementary music teacher in the Tacoma Public School district. She earned her Bachelor of Music Education in 2013, where she studied under Linda Miller, Brian Galante and Richard Nance. She has been singing with Symphony Tacoma Voices since 2014.
Judy Herrington is headed to Washington DC and New York City for the premier performances of her commissioned work, Stars Tonight, being performed at Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall April 11. Manhattan Concert Productions commissioned Judy to compose a work to be performed for four concerts in their 2017 treble choir festival series. In addition to the concerts this April are performances in June at Carnegie Hall and Grace Cathedral in San Francisco.
Judy reflects: “I’m excited to share this piece with conductors Henry Leck and Robyn Lana and the choirs performing in the festival. The work is scored to include chorus members playing Tibetan bells and wind chimes. The inspiration for this work is the poetry of Sara Teasdale, its text describing the experience of seeing an infinite night sky filled with stars and the heightened awareness of walking in woods at night. I hoped to convey a spiritual awe, inspired wonder and profound respect for nature.“
Recognize any of the dancers?