BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — When the Fairfield County Children’s Choir takes the stage for its annual holiday concert Sunday at Klein Memorial Auditorium, it will have had an unforgettable dress rehearsal.
Wednesday night, about 130 members of the 300-strong choir were to perform at Carnegie Hall as part of a fundraiser for The Golden Hat Foundation, Oscar-winning actress Kate Winslet’s autism awareness group.
“Tonight is the last rehearsal for both concerts,” Jon Noyes, Children’s Choir's founder and music director, said Wednesday. “A lot of preparation has gone into this.”
Now celebrating its 22nd season, the Children’s Choir's began simply enough. Realizing students in Fairfield’s Holland Hill School choir would be split between two middle schools, parents asked Noyes, the school’s music director, if he’d be willing to start a community group to keep them together.
The idea proved popular. After auditions, the inaugural group stood at 90 students. Over the years, the group has divided into smaller ensembles featuring children as young as fourth-graders up to the advanced 52-member Chamber Singers, some of whom are high school seniors.
How does Noyes manage so many young people?
“We try to keep the focus on the music,” he said. “The kids who are in it really want to do it and do it well. They’re very motivated.”
Sunday’s concert will be no different. “One Voice: The Sound of All of Us,” which begins at 3 p.m. at the Klein Memorial Auditorium in Bridgeport, features selections from Bach’s stirring “Cantata 140” and Franz Biebl’s “Ave Maria,” as well as a selections of holiday songs and gospel works, which have become one of the choir’s hallmarks.
Made popular by the group Chanticleer, the Biebl work is a treble version featuring the Chamber Singers.
“It’s really stunning,” Noyes said.
On Dec. 10, the Chamber Singers will offer a free concert at St. Thomas Aquinas Church in Fairfield through the Music For Youth program. The church’s fine acoustics will make for a memorable performance, Noyes said.
“There’s pretty much nothing like that sound,” he said.
Tickets for the Klein performance are available at theklein.org or by calling the box office at 1-800-424-0160.
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