New Ypsilanti Youth Choir seeks to recruit members, grow programming

A new Ypsilanti Youth Choir formed earlier this year and is recruiting new participants. Membership is free, and the choir is open to youth in the Ypsilanti area from middle school through age 21. 

Former Ypsilanti Community Schools Choir Director Crystal Harding launched the choir this spring under the umbrella of the already existing Ypsilanti Choral Association. The choir's first performance was at a Juneteenth celebration in Ypsilanti. The choir also sang at a time capsule opening during Ypsilanti's bicentennial celebration July 4. 

Harding wanted to have kids from all over the Ypsilanti community sing together, rather than having musicians separated by school. She says she modeled the idea on the Detroit Youth Choir.

"This is something I always wanted to do, maybe in retirement, but this is a better time," she says. 

About 19 young people have signed up, though not all of them attend every rehearsal or performance. 

"Even when I was teaching in elementary school, I'd tell them, 'The Jackson 5 only had five, and look what they did,'" Harding says. "Every performance, we'll be ready for 20-plus or five [singers]. Either way, we're going to give a good performance."

Harding says the future of the choir might include reaching out to older adults for intergenerational programming as well.

The choir will rehearse at the Ypsilanti Free Methodist Church, 1800 Packard Rd. in Ypsi, throughout the summer from 2-3 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Starting Sept. 11, it will rehearse from 4-6 p.m. on Mondays. Those interested in participating can sign up here, or email themusicteacher01@gmail.com for more information.

Sarah Rigg is a freelance writer and editor in Ypsilanti Township and the project manager of On the Ground Ypsilanti. She joined Concentrate as a news writer in early 2017 and is an occasional contributor to other Issue Media Group publications. You may reach her at sarahrigg1@gmail.com.

Photo by Sarah Rigg.
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