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Cover Story

Red Mountain Youth Choir

By Rose Woodbury

Red Mountain Music Company added the Red Mountain Youth Choir to its organization in October 2003, and the children have been delighting audiences in Boulder City ever since. These young singers are currently preparing for their lively holiday concert “Christmas Time is Here” to be performed at the LA Water & Power Auditorium on December 10 at 5:30 and 7:00 p.m.

Tricia Taylor, the Youth Choir conductor, happily gives of her time out of love for teaching music to children, as well as to provide her own son, Dallin, with musical performance opportunities. She travels each week from Henderson with a car-load of children ready to join the Boulder City students in expending some creative energy. Tricia specializes in Disney songs and likes to add costuming and actions to give the children a well-rounded stage experience. She also encourages each child to sing solo parts, which not only improves their vocal skills, but helps them to overcome stage fright. Tricia is just a “kid” at heart, and the choir members adore her youthful personality and clever methods of keeping them on task!

Traditionally the accompanist for the Youth Choir is a high school student, and currently that talented pianist is Eliza Randall, daughter of Wendy Randall, the former executive director of Red Mountain Music Company. A junior in high school, Eliza majors in piano at the Las Vegas Academy of International Studies, Performing & Visual Arts. Twice this season Eliza, without hesitation and without a hitch, has filled in as rehearsal conductor when the need has arisen, pulling additional skills out of her artistic “hat” and demonstrating “the show must go on” spirit! Eliza says of the young choir members, “that group is full of energetic and talented singers who are there to have fun. They are always coming up to the piano to show me a song they can play or to sing a section of the music we haven’t even learned yet. Tricia is a fantastic director, and under her direction they sound better at every practice.”

Aside from teaching musical performance skills and being just plain fun, participation in Red Mountain Youth Choir benefits the children in additional ways. My mother, who taught in a one-room schoolhouse many years ago, felt it was an important part of the children’s education to start each school day singing songs the students chose. “We had to sing,” she said. “We wouldn’t have been happy all day if we didn’t sing our songs!” Somehow she knew instinctively what scientific studies have proven in recent years, that music enhances learning.

“Why Music Education Rocks!” (by Sarah W. Caron) lists ten reasons why every child should put down the remote and take up music: 1) Music boosts brain power, stimulating parts of the brain that are related to reading, math, and emotional development; 2) Music improves memory by stimulating different patterns of brain development; 3) Music helps socially, teaching life skills, such as relating to others, working as a team, experiencing the rewards of teamwork and developing leadership skills; 4). Music builds confidence as a skill is developed and gets better and better through consistent efforts; 5) Music teaches patience by requiring long-term practice, rather than instant gratification, to achieve a quality final product; 6) Music satisfies the need to unwind from the worries of life in a way that is alive and connected to others rather than through isolated, aimless activities; 7)  Music brings constant learning, because there is always more to learn; 8) Music is a great form of expression, giving pleasure through expressing nuances of emotional life for which there are no words; 9) Music teaches discipline, requiring “stick-to-itiveness” to do well; 10)  Music fosters creativity, which is good for the mind, body and soul.

Denie Riggs, in “Music Enhances Academic Excellence,” says research shows conclusively that music study improves grades. Musicians achieve a higher grade point average than non-musicians in the same school, and they achieve higher college entrance exam scores.

Yamaha has a poster that says, “Success in music. Success in life…it’s no coincidence.” Red Mountain Youth Choir would like to be part of your child’s success and welcomes all children ages 7-15. Also, the Red Mountain Choir is a non-auditioned adult choir for ages 16 and older. Rehearsals for spring concerts begin in January 2012.

Call Rose at 293-5455 to join!

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