The Fort Wayne Children’s Choir has been in existence for 30 years, inviting people from kindergarten through high school to join with them. Founded in 1973 under the direction of Jocelyn Basse, FWCC now is directed by Fred Meads and has grown to a membership count of 275 singers.
Each of the singers is separated by talent and age into one of FWCC’s choirs, first of which is the Music Explorers class for ages 5-6. Next is the Preparatory Choir, which is a non-audition choir for students ages 7-9. Then comes the Apprentice Choir, where they are better introduced to music-reading, vocal technique, score-reading, etc. After the Apprentice Choir is the Chorister Choir, where things get a little more advanced and singers do canons and part singing. The Lyric Choir involves more vocal training and basic theory is presented. Treble Choir is next on the list. In this level, two-part singing is continued, and three-part singing is introduced. The Concert Choir stresses foreign language skills and sings in four- and five-parts. Members of the Youth Chorale are usually in grades 9-12. Advanced skills, music- and sight-reading are emphasized.
The Fort Wayne Children’s Choir has been involved in performances both nationally and internationally. Recently, the FWCC visited North Carolina’s Summer Institute in Choral Arts. The FWCC performs three seasonal concerts as well as many other performances in the Fort Wayne area and surrounding communities. During the spring and summer of 2002, all six choirs traveled to numerous sites to perform, including visits to Kokomo, IN, Dayton, OH, Chicago, IL and Boone, NC. In 2003, the choir sang for the Indiana Music Educators’ Association State Convention and toured Tennessee and Florida in the summer.
Each year before the season truly begins, all of the choirs except Youth Chorale are involved in Choralfest, a one-week day camp, meeting daily from 9 to 4. There, they are introduced to some of the music they will use that year and meet fellow choir members, with whom they will spend hours of fun and hard work.