For years when Franklin students wanted to sing in an extracurricular choir, they had to make a choice.
Their parents could drive them to Columbus and join the children’s choir. Or they could go 20 miles north and join the Indianapolis Children’s Choir.
But in the past three years, they had a local choice: the Franklin Children’s Choir.
“I love it because for me and my family I don’t have to spend so much time in my day commuting,” said Gabi Sherry, a sixth grader at Custer Baker Intermediate School.
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The choir started small but is quickly growing, choir director Melissa Garcia said.
The regional choir meets once a week at Franklin College and is an offshoot of the Indianapolis Children’s Choir, which had started regional choirs in other central Indiana counties. Center Grove children already have an extracurricular choir, so the Indianapolis group decided to start a new choir in Franklin, said Josh Pedde, assistant artistic director for the Indianapolis Children’s Choir.
Franklin College has a vibrant music program. Elementary schools in Franklin have strong music programs and other regional choirs were thriving, he said.
Franklin seemed like the ideal town to start another regional choir, Pedde said.
“Franklin fell right in the middle of the two choirs,” he said. “We just had a gap between the two programs.”
Now the Franklin Children’s Choir is helping the community.
They have sang at a Christmas tree lighting and plans to sing at the Indiana Masonic Home are in the works.
“They need to learn to give back to the communities, we try to teach the kids about going into the communities and making a difference.”
At the start of the school year, seven students sang in the Franklin Children’s Choir. Now about 15 students are members.
Part of the growth has been attributed to the students themselves, Garcia said. Members are telling their friends how much fun they are having.
“If you can copy a note and repeat it, you can learn music and learn to be a great singer,” Sherry said.
Students can join year-round, and the choir is always looking for eager singers who want to join, she said.
“We are always looking for more and trying to get the word out,” she said.
Joining is easy and almost no one is turned away, she said.
Sherry auditioned at Butler University, the home of Indianapolis Children’s Choir, and was placed in Franklin because of her location, she said.
Those who audition only need to be able to sing a simple song, such as “Row, Row, Row Your Boat,” she said.
While Franklin students sing at local events, they join other regional choirs and the Indianapolis Children’s Choir to sing at statewide events, Garcia said.
The Franklin regional choir is for younger students. Older students must join the Indianapolis Children’s Choir.
“It allows the kids to dip their fingers in and see what it is like,” Garcia said.
What: Franklin Children’s Choir
When: They rehearse from 6 to 7:15 p.m. Tuesdays.
Where: Johnson Center for the Fine Arts at Franklin College, 101 Branigin Blvd.
How to register: Go to icchoir.org, click on “preparatory program,” and find Franklin’s choir.