Youth choirs seek new members

Haddo Voices youth choirs are looking for local children who enjoy singing to join up over the next two weeks.

To help in the recruitment drive, musical director Alice Dennis has been singing Disney songs with children in local primary schools and has been delighted with the response.

She said: “It’s been wonderful to see the kids throwing themselves into the likes of ‘the Bear Necessities’ and ‘Bibbidy Bobbidy Boo’. It makes you realise just how much fun the youngsters have singing, but it’s also very good for them.

“I notice kids at the Voices choirs have improving concentration levels and also their reading comes on leaps and bounds, as they read the lyrics along with singing.

“Also singing is extremely important for developing the musical ear - all children who have musical aspirations should really sing in a choir.”

Alice has also noticed that boys enjoy the workshops and show great interest in the choirs when she is there, but often haven’t made it to rehearsals in past recruitment drives.

She explained: “I don’t think singing for boys often has a priority with parents in Scotland. Where I come from in the north west of England, there is a tradition of boys and men singing connected with the mines -as is in Wales too - but here it has just never developed. “This is a real shame as boys often have beautiful voices and as they break to a man’s voice round the age of 14, it’s important they get the most out of their boy soprano voice while they can.”

Haddo Boy’s Voices has a few keen members but they need more members to join up. They cater for boys in P6 – S6 with voices broken and unbroken.

The Haddo Children’s Voices cater for youngsters in P1 – P5 and the Haddo Girls Voices are for girls P6 –S6.

Many youngsters who have sung in the Haddo choirs in the past have gone on to success in the classical, musical theatre and pop worlds, as singing every week is the only sure way to get the voice in tune and flexible.

Alice said: “The training they get at a choir costs a fraction of private lessons and is safer, as young voices shouldn’t get over-trained during adolescence.

“For this reason properly qualified teachers do not like to train voices until the late teens, so a youth choir is by far the best option. “They also make lots of like-minded friends, are out of the house doing something constructive and its only 45 minutes out of their busy schedules”.

The three choirs are starting rehearsals next week (September 17) in Ellon at different venues on different nights. It costs £30 for the whole year with discounts for families and those on benefits.

More details can be found on their website www.hhcos.org.uk/voices or by calling Alice Dennis on 01358 722977