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Two youngsters sing in the Prince Albert Children’s Choir. Auditions begin on Wednesday.
For Megan Fournier-Mewis, music runs in the family.
Her grandmother, Margo Fournier ran the Prince Albert boys choir for over 30 years. The group performed for prime ministers and travelled all over North America and Europe. Fournier-Mewis’ grandmother even received the Order of Canada for her work with the choir.
It was partly due to her grandmother’s legacy that Fournier-Mewis started the Prince Albert Children’s Choir seven years ago with her friend, Monica Corcoran. The choir her grandmother directed was no longer in operation, and she decided “it was a tradition I wanted to see keep on going.”
“Monica and I both know each other from university, we both got music degrees together,”Fournier-Mewis said. “When we both ended up starting our lives in Prince Albert we saw the need for a children’s choir and thought that we would be a good team to start one.”
Both Fournier-Mewis and Corcoran carry with them many years of choral and musical experience.
Since its formation the choir has focused on performing music designed for young, high voices. But this year they are trying something different. Several of their members have been in the choir since it was founded and are more developing more mature voices. This has led both directors to form a Youth Honour Choir for older children seeking to improve their choral skills. Children entering the choir will be able to continue vocal training until age 16.
“With the popularity of ‘Glee’ and movies like ‘Pitch Perfect’, ensemble singing has had a revitalization,” Fournier-Mewis says. “We hope to foster this enthusiasm and introduce more movement, rhythm and musical theatre into both the preparatory and the honour choir.”
Fournier-Mewis says her choir is about more than just vocals.
“Singing is such an amazing way to communicate and to learn,” Fournier-Mewis said. “In one exercise you are doing physics and physical activity, math and language skills all in one. You are learning poetry as well as harmonics. It’s so encompassing—and it’s a life- long skill. Singing is something you use your entire life whether it be in the shower, at church, at weddings or professionally. “
The choir is always looking for new members, and will be holding their registration Wednesday night at St. Michaels School from 5-7 p.m. New members will be asked to prepare a short audition.
“The audition is merely to hear the singer’s strengths, and determine their range for placement in the choir,” says Fournier-Mewis, adding that she usually sings along with the child who is auditioning if they are nervous about singing alone.
For further information and to schedule an audition time on registration night, Fournier-Mewis asks new members to contact her at 306-764-0918.