ST. LOUIS – It’s been an untold story of the COVID-19 pandemic in St. Louis, fewer kids singing. Still, a St. Louis institution has managed to carry on, The St. Louis Children’s Choirs (SLCC).
They are now issuing a new call for any kid who loves to sing. They’ve proven COVID-19 can’t stop the music.
It’s the 44th anniversary season for the SLCC after a season like no other.
They are the official children’s choirs of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, which has performed 96 concerts at Powell Hall but none last season.
Amid COVID-19 concerns choir membership shrank by about a third: from nearly 450 kids ages 6 to 18 to about 300. Concerts were masked, socially distant, and shared online, only, with no “in-person” performances.
There were no cases of Covid-19 transmission among members, none.
“This year we’re planning ‘in-person’ concerts,” said SLCC Artistic Director, Barbara Berner. “We are starting out within the fall with masks as long as we need to do that to be safe.”
We’re going to be in nice, large, venues where we can space the audience out and have shorter, smaller, concerts. If the kids need to sing spaced up on stage, in masks, that’s what we’ll do. We know we can do it safely.”
Not only did last season prove to be safe from the COVID standpoint, but it also proved to be more important than ever for the kids, like 9-year-old Samina Hasan.
SLCC was the one thing in her life that she still got to do.
“I love to sing,” she said. “It’s really fun. I get to meet new people and learns lots of games. I love the concerts.”
“We did virtual school all year. We dropped all of our other activities,” her mother Aisha Hasan said.
Still, she allowed her three daughters to continue with SLCC.
“It’s not just singing. It’s not just coming together and having fun and making friends. They learn poise. They learn confidence. They learn leadership,” she said.
“My daughters have gained so much out of the choirs that I cannot imagine our lives without it.”
“We’ve learned we can make beautiful music together, even if we have to wear masks,” Berner said.
Auditions are very simple. If a child can sing “Happy Birthday,” they can handle the audition.
They start Saturday, Aug. 14, and continue through Aug. 27 with four concerts planned and an eye on the day when things will be like they used to be.
For more information, visit The St. Louis Children’s Choirs website or call 314-993-9626.