Chanson Voice and Music Academy is looking to bring a taste of the oldies to the neighborhood and area youth. The music school at 795 Raymond Ave. launched the Lyrebird Youth Choir this fall for sixth- to eighth-graders, who will perfect and perform timeless hits from the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s at a retro-themed community outreach event in October and at a final concert Nov. 23 at the Danish American Center, 3030 W. River Parkway, Minneapolis.
The 10-week session is called “Going Back in Time Along the Green Line,” which is just what the group will do at their community outreach day Saturday, Oct. 18. Outfitted in retro fashions, the youth group will make its way up and down the METRO Green Line, singing hits from groups like The Beatles and Led Zeppelin. The day will culminate with special performances at area shops, including Succotash and Shag Studio.
Directors Anika Kildegaard and Cassandra McNally, who teach at the school, say there is an essential community-oriented aspect to choir. They hope to partner with local shops around the Raymond-University area by partnering with local shops for the event.
Feeling part of a whole, along with the personal empowerment that comes from mastering one’s own body as an instrument, is also a valuable experience for youth in the transformational phase of their lives leading up to high school, said Kildegaard.
“It’s the most exciting part about choir is being able to come together and make one piece of music,” McNally said. “There’s really something empowering about using your body to do something that is successful,” Kildegaard added. “It’s also about young people getting together to do something successful.”
Both Kildegaard and McNally come from accomplished musical backgrounds. After receiving her bachelor’s degree in music from the University of Minnesota-Morris, where she once sang a duet with Garrison Keillor, she went on to work at the Performing Arts Institute in Kingston, Penn., and later the St. Paul-based Schubert Club, where she continues to provide students from disadvantaged backgrounds with musical training.
McNally received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in vocal performance from the University of Northern Iowa and has been teaching voice for seven years. She has performed with the Mill City Opera and Minnesota Opera, as well as has led a variety of church youth choirs and children’s music programs.
The Lyrebird Youth Choir is now meeting weekly but will still accept new registrations.
To sign up or learn more, contact Anika Kildegaard at firstname.lastname@example.org or 320-349-006, and Cassandra McNally at email@example.com or 612-834-8612.