Students from the second through the eighth grades are invited to participate this June in mega-concerts at the Newark Prudential Center or the Liacouras Center in Philadelphia.
The opportunity is open to students whose schools sign up to participate in a semester-long American Young Voices program, which boasts that it stages “the largest school choir concerts in the world.”
Schools pay about $90 to register for the program, and that fee remains the same whether two or 2,000 students from the same school sign up to sing, said Adam Lind, who is promoting the program through Night Castle Management.
“It’s something the kids have never done before and probably never imagined. It’s just inspiring,” said Lind.
Here’s how the program works. Schools register at AmericanYoungVoices.com. Once they register and pay the fee, there are teacher workshops to attend, and the American Young Voices team will send music, lyrics and information about the program. Students practice the songs for a semester. Concerts are scheduled for June 2 in Newark and June 3 in Philadelphia.
Tickets cost $30 for each parent or chaperone who attends. Students attend free of charge. There are some subsidies for parents of students in low-income areas.
Last year, more than 8,000 students sang in the concert in Newark, and 2,500 raised their voices in Philadelphia, Lind said.
The company has been staging concerts in the United States for about five years, Lind said. In England, the concerts have been ongoing for the past 25 years.
The project is the brainchild of David Lewis, founder of Young Voices International, who in 1996 became concerned that music programs in the United Kingdom were in decline.
For the past three years, the program has collaborated with the National Association for Music Education. All students are invited to participate – not just those taking choir.
“The kids walk away with a ton of confidence,” said Lind. “They have a feeling of community because they have done something with all kinds of different people. It is a truly amazing experience.”