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choirThe Meaford Children's Choir is seeking to attract children aged 7-13 to join the choir, with 2018 rehearsals beginning January 9th and registration ongoing throughout the winter. The choir offers a welcoming environment for children to learn musical skills and make friends while receiving professional singing instruction in weekly rehearsals, with no experience necessary and no cost to participate.

Rehearsals take place on Tuesdays at 5:15pm at Christ Church Anglican. The choir re-hearses for one hour and features fun warm-ups leading to singing familiar songs and learning new repertoire.The choir is directed by Lauren Best, who is well known locally as a singer-songwriter and Owen Sound's Poet Laureate, as well as being an experi-enced music and interdisciplinary arts educator and facilitator.

"I am so excited to be directing the Meaford Children's Choir," says Best. "I have been inspired by the choir committee's vision to have inclusive and high-quality musical learn-ing experiences offered for young people at no cost." Best describes singing as "particu-larly beneficial" for people of all ages and especially children. "Singing opportunities of-fer positive impacts not just for each kid- choirs boost the community!"

Research has shown that singing helps to increase the use of expressive language, de-crease levels of stress, increase sense of community, improve cardiovascular function, elevates endorphins and improve emotional regulation. By providing support for the Meaford Children's Choir, Christ Church Anglican helps to create a safe and inclusive community space for children to sing together, learn, and have fun.

Choir committee members and co-founders Leslie & Terry Byrd have experienced the positive impact of a growing community choir in their previous hometown in Kingston, Ontario where the Byrd family saw a children's choir they helped to start grow to ap-proximately 30 children. "Being a part of a childrens' choir has been an amazing experi-ence for our daughters throughout the last 7 years," says Leslie Byrd, adding her hus-band Terry has also noticed the benefits their children have received. "Not only have they learned to make beautiful music, they continue to learn lifelong lessons about be-ing a responsible and thoughtful person. It's also a place where they can make great friends by being a part of a wonderful and very special organization."

Occasional performances take place at Christ Church Anglican and in the community. Meaford Public Library will host an interactive community performance by the choir on February 6th at 5:30pm.

source: media release, Meaford Children's Choir

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