Do you love to belt out a tune? Does hearing music make you break out in dance? If you live in the St. Louis area and will be between the ages of 8 through 20 this school year, our free Variety Children’s Chorus and Variety Dance programs may be for you!
These inclusive programs, open to kids and teens both with and without disabilities, help participants learn new skills, build confidence and make lifelong friends. And auditions are right around the corner!
Out of concern for the health and safety of our program participants during the coronavirus pandemic, we are planning to host virtual auditions as well as hold virtual classes and rehearsals for at least the remainder of 2020. We will reassess the need for virtual rehearsals/classes as 2021 draws nearer. Continue reading to learn more about each program and click here to register by August 15, 2020 (registration opens at 9 a.m. on August 3).
Variety Children’s Chorus is a fully inclusive chorus featuring youth of all abilities. In a typical year, the Variety Children’s Chorus performs throughout the St. Louis area, spreading a message of acceptance and inclusion as well as sharing beautiful performances. This year, the program will be split into three choruses. The Senior Chorus (ages 14 – 18) and Junior Chorus (ages 8 – 13) will build upon their vocal skills and, depending on the state of the pandemic, have the opportunity to perform for the public. The Everybody Sings Chorus (ages 10 – 20) is for those who simply love to sing – group members will have the opportunity to build a foundation of music appreciation and elementary skills.
Starting September 14, 2020, all choruses will meet every Monday with the exception of October 19, December 21 and 28, January 4 and March 22. The last session for the year will be April 26. Everybody Sings will meet for class from 4:45 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., Junior Chorus rehearsals will be held from 5:30 p.m. to 6:15 p.m. and Senior Chorus will rehearse from 6:30 p.m. to 7:15 p.m. All rehearsals and classes will be held via Zoom at this time. Dr. Jeffrey Carter will serve as our Musical Director, Jeremy Jacobs will be Associate Musical Director and Accompanist and Caleb McConnell will be Assistant Musical Director for Junior and Senior Chorus and Musical Director for Everybody Sings. Click here to learn more about them and the program itself.
Variety Dance is an inclusive program made for those ages 8 through 18 who love to move! During Variety Dance classes, dancers will learn various dance moves and combinations, modified to fit all abilities and skill levels. We will have two Variety Dance classes this year – Dance 1, for dancers at an elementary to intermediate level, will be held on Thursdays starting on September 17, 2020 from 5:30 p.m. to 6:15 p.m. Dance 2, for dancers at an intermediate to advanced level, will be held on Mondays starting on September 14, 2020 from 5:30 p.m. to 6:15 p.m. Variety Children’s Chorus members can audition for Variety Dance as well. This year’s Variety Dance classes will be led by Director Dawn Gilbertson and Instructor Rebecca Hartman. Click here to learn more about the instructors and the program.
Virtual auditions will determine the placement of each participant into one of the choruses and/or dance groups listed above – each child auditioning will be placed in a group. Those auditioning for Variety Children’s Chorus will be asked to state their name, age and why they want to be a part of the chorus. Then, they will sing “Happy Birthday” a cappella. If they wish, they may then sing a song of their choice, but that is optional.
Youth auditioning for Variety Dance will receive an instructional video with two dance combinations – one elementary and one intermediate. They will state their name and age and perform one or both of the combinations on video.
All audition videos will be submitted to Performing Arts Manager Joy Addler no later than midnight on Tuesday, August 18 – but you must first register here between 9 a.m. on August 3 and midnight on August 15. Once you register, you will receive more information about the audition process and how to submit your video(s).
The Variety Children’s Chorus and Variety Dance staff and directors will have the following expectations when it comes to placing participants in the various groups:
- The ability to take direction
- The ability and willingness to actively participate
- The ability to match rhythm (both Chorus and Dance) and pitch (Chorus only)
Placement notifications will be sent via email by August 28 to all those who submit audition videos.
Past and current members of Variety Theatre should also register and send in a video – they are not exempt from auditions.
Don’t forget to register here between 9 a.m. on Monday, August 3, 2020 and midnight on Saturday, August 15, 2020. After registration, you will receive additional information about auditions, including how to submit your videos. All audition videos must be submitted by midnight on Tuesday, August 18, 2020.