The Educator Insider
News and notes for music educators from Madison Youth Choirs | April 2016
As partners in music education for area youth, we hope you will enjoy this brief newsletter designed to keep you informed of programming provided by Madison Youth Choirs as well as provide a peek inside our educational process. We're grateful for the opportunity to broaden our connections with area music educators who share our passion for the art of teaching young people!
Sharing Our Voices Throughout the Community
Our MYC singers are looking forward to taking their show on the road to share their music with thousands of students and senior citizens in a series of school and community outreach tours at a variety of locations throughout Dane County.
All nine of our performing choirs will embark on a daylong concert tour the last week in April, presenting free concerts at over 25 schools, retirement homes and community venues. During these performance tours, we invite audiences of all ages to enjoy the rich choral work of the African American, Indian, Arabic, Irish, Jewish and many other musical traditions. (Keep reading to find out more about our spring theme and the music we will be performing!) In total, our choirs will sing for over 10,000 audience members in Madison, Monona, Oregon, Stoughton, Waunakee, Verona, Mount Horeb and beyond!​ A special thank you to all of our hosts!

Exploring our Spring Concert Theme
Sounds Like Home: Music in Diaspora

Each semester, MYC builds a curriculum around a "big idea" that helps kids connect music to the larger world by exploring it through a different lens. Throughout the second semester of our 2015-2016 season, we are looking at the musical creations of several groups who have left their homelands throughout history under a variety of circumstances. Here are some of the questions we are pondering:

    How do we keep our traditions in a place where they may not be tolerated?
    How do we maintain our identities in the face of great change?
    How do we preserve our stories and our history for future generations?

We began exploring these ideas by looking at one of history's original diasporas--the exile of the Jewish people by the Babylonians--through the words of Psalm 137. We learned a modern setting of those same words by Don McLean (of "American Pie" fame)--a song you might know. 

    By the waters of Babylon, we lay down and wept for thee, Zion.
We remembered thee, Zion.

The text reflects the deepest of human emotions as it describes the Israelite people's exile and longing for their homeland. Several of our choirs are studying different settings of this same text. Our singers continue to expand on these ideas by looking at music of many other diasporas, from African and Irish to Indian and Syrian, using their own voices to give power to the voices of displaced peoples. 

Our theme selection was inspired by a special project. MYC has been honored by the invitation to participate in the U.S. component of a major international research project, Performing the Jewish Archive, in which formerly lost or rarely performed works by Jewish artists will be heard by new audiences for the first time. MYC's Ragazzi, Cantabile, and Con Gioia choirs will join Bach Dancing & Dynamite Society, the Pro Arte Quartet, and internationally renowned soprano Elizabeth Hagedorn for the project's culminating concert, Out of the Shadows, in the Capitol Theater at Overture Center for the Arts on Thursday, May 5. 

Summer Introductory Choir Program​
Do you have students interested in music opportunities for the summer? Our introductory choir sessions provide our youngest singers, ages 7-10, with the opportunity to learn vocal technique, music theory, and rehearsal skills all in a highly active and engaging educational environment.

Our introductory choir program is designed to meet the needs of ALL students, both beginning and experienced musicians. We strive to use music as a pathway to positive self-expression and feel strongly that the benefits of singing in a choir reach far beyond the classroom and the concert hall.

Our summer sessions of introductory choir are week-long morning classes and are offered three different weeks beginning on June 13. Registration is open on our website under the Join a Choir tab. Students with financial need are supported through our scholarship program and are encouraged to complete the tuition assistance application at the time of registration.
Auditions for the 2016-2017 Season
Do you have students who are interested in joining the Madison Youth Choirs?
Auditions for new singers, ages 10-18, will take place in May and June for next season. Nothing needs to be prepared in advance of the audition. Our conductors will hear singers in a low-stress, supportive environment. We want to find the place for students in our program where they will be the most successful! The audition sign-up is available on our website under the Join a Choir tab.
Do you know a music teacher who would appreciate receiving this information? Please encourage them to subscribe or feel free to forward this information to them.

Please join us!
MYC Spring Concerts
Capitol Theater, Overture Center for the Arts
Saturday, May 7, 2016
7:00PM Purcell | Britten | Holst (boychoirs)
Sunday, May 8, 2016
3:30pm Choraliers | Con Gioia | Capriccio (girlchoirs)
7:30pm Cantilena | Cantabile | Ragazzi (high school ensembles)

Discounted tickets for teachers are available. Please use the promo code "MYCTeach" at the Overture Box Office to enjoy $10 admission.

Check out our website for more concerts and collaborations.