Opportunities for children to learn new and interesting things is a plus in any community. This is as true in Rhode Island as it is anywhere. The Newport County Youth Chorus is working hard to establish itself as a trusted and enriching arts education program in Newport County with its after school program for young singers.
NCYC, EBCAP and the NFCOZ and MCOZ: Perfect pairings
When Elizabeth Woodhouse, Artistic Director of the Newport County Youth Chorus, started researching the Newport community, she learned about the East Bay Community Action Program (EBCAP). EBCAP provides an array of health and human services to the local community, including sponsoring the after school programs in Newport (NFCOZ) and Middletown (MCOZ).
Currently, Elizabeth and the NCYC team are leading an after school program at Pell Elementary called “Intro to the Newport County Youth Chorus.” NFCOZ and MCOZ both operate in multi-week sessions to give students opportunities to explore a variety of activities. For students at Pell who wanted to give NCYC a try before committing to the full year program, the six-week after school program was a great choice.
NFCOZ program Coordinators Erin Hallene and Hannah Kahn say, “Having NCYC as an after school program has been wonderful! We love seeing students with a passion for music being engaged in learning and excited about performing.”
A unique after school program experience
The eight students in the group have been introduced to the foundations of singing including posture, breathing and vocal technique. We put those concepts into practice by singing a selection of four songs which include music of different styles and even in foreign languages, such as, Zum Gali Gali, which is in Hebrew.
Elizabeth hopes that by offering these shorter programs, some kids might get excited to join the full year program.
“Many young people haven’t had an opportunity to sing before, so they don’t know if they’ll like it,” Elizabeth said. “Giving them a taste of NCYC exposes them to new kinds of music and a healthy, fun approach to singing!”
The staff at NFCOZ are even helping interested students transition to the Tuesday rehearsals at the MLK Center as soon as the Pell program ends.
Since its inception in September 2017, Newport County Youth Chorus has become an important extracurricular of students across Newport County. Participants range in age from second to sixth grade. You don’t need any experience to join—just a passion for singing. Students will learn to sing music in different languages and styles and even learn how to read music and understand musical terms and notation.