Monday, December 18, 2006

Pensacola Children's Chorus

I forgot to mention that last weekend Glenn took me to the annual Christmas performance of the Pensacola Children's Chorus. Not knowing what to expect, I was really surprised at the magnitude of this organization. Seems that the whole thing got started in '90 when The Pensacola Symphony Orchestra extended an invitation to school teacher Susan Pote to gather a group of children to sing with the Symphony at its annual holiday program. After the first performance with the Symphony in 1990, audience response was so positive that the Symphony board voted to organize the Pensacola Symphony Children's Chorus.

Around '94 the Chorus separated from the Symphony, establishing the Pensacola Children's Chorus as a not-for-profit corporation. "Christmas on the Coast," the group's annual holiday production became a must-see local tradition down here.

In 1997, in cooperation with First Presbyterian Church and community supporters, the Chorus moved into its first home in a remodeled structure on the church campus.

They have 350 members !!! from 3th grade thru high school. For 2006-2007, there are more than 70 high school singers in two separate choirs. It is a HUGE DEAL. Expensive, elaborate stage sets, tons and tons of costumes. They have a bunch of corporate sponsors in addition to 1st Pres.

The writing was very good. One part...They did a take off of American Idol w/ lots of funny references to local stuff.

The Christmas show is a giant spectacle (think Ziegfeld Follies) and the past members who's who is all about these super talented kids going on to Broadway, etc..but usually after college. It takes some pretty dedicated parents to get these kids to the practices I'll assure you. I heard an audience member say that they practiced every day leading up to the Christmas show. They do several performances and tickets are not cheap. All performances take place at the historic Pensacola Saenger Theatre in downtown Pensacola.

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