Sprint Concert 2018 at Purdue FW Rhinehart Music Center [PHOTO: ANDY PAUQUETT/IPFW]
The Fort Wayne Children’s Choir (FWCC), now in their 45th year, has seen their numbers increase as well as their diversity bloom. “Part of it is an awareness that [the FWCC] is even an option,” said Jonathan Busarow, the choir’s 7th year executive artistic director.
For their first concert of the season, Busarow was forced to break their assembly of 300 choir members (eight different individual choir teams) into groups, creating two shows. That’s 300 kids, hailed from 40 different zip codes and 87 different schools, but the choir’s racial background has historically attracted mostly white members.
The FWCC, at full, melodic force, will perform at concert titled “Hear America Singing” at Pilgrim Baptist Church, 1331 Gay Street, Fort Wayne, Indiana, 46803, on November 3, 2018, at 2:30 P.M. and at 6 P.M. The concert is free, but goodwill donations will be asked.
The group, with members who’ll be performing for the first time, will be singing all-American music with an emphasis on gospel and spiritual music. “Part of the catalyst is to try and do something outside of the norm [for us],” Busarow said, in a venue “where singing gospel and spiritual music is authentic.”
According to the creative director, Pilgrim, with its ample space and beautiful aesthetics, tended to be a place where a lot of concerts happened. Busarow approached Pastor Raymond Dix Jr., who, along with Pilgrim choir director Deborah Williams, were excited to host the concert. The Pilgrim performance will hopefully act as a catalyst for the choir to perform outside of their usual spot at Purdue University Fort Wayne. (Their offices are located on the campus too, in the shared working space with other nonprofit groups, including the Voices of Unity Youth Choir.)
The FWCC’s big focus is teaching music literacy—kids learn how to read music like they know how to read words out of a book. “The music we use is our textbooks,” so choosing a song has to provide teachable moments but also allow for explosions of musicality. To make sure he was on the right track, Busarow sought advice from friends and Choir Director Williams to pick his song selections.
For information about the November 3 concert or the FWCC itself, hit up FWCChoir.org.