S ure, singing kids can be cute, says Beth Klemm, artistic director at the Central Coast Children’s Choir. But when the CCCC gives a performance, she wants audiences to notice the actual quality of the singing.
“People are blown away when they come to our concerts,” she said.
If crowd sizes are an indication, the CCCC is getting noticed. After recent sold-out performances, the choir has moved to a bigger venue, the Clark Center in Arroyo Grande, for its next performance—Saturday’s “Global Harmonies” concert.
“It’s kind of a big jump for us,” acknowledged Erin McCall, administrative and business director for the choir, who said previous performances were held at local churches, like the United Methodist Church in San Luis Obispo.
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The CCCC, founded by Laurie Peterson in 1994, features 110 singers, ages 6 to 18, and includes the county’s only
boys’ choir. The CCCC consists of six choirs total, assembled by auditions.
For this show, McCall said, the kids will perform songs from six continents.
“We tried to get all seven continents, but we couldn’t find anything from Antarctica,” McCall said.
Those songs include an African processional, a Hebrew love song and a Japanese folk song.
Songs that promote cultural learning are important for the children in the choir, Klemm said. Yet, the songs also have to sound nice.
“Our first objective is to find music that fits our children’s voices,” she said.
In picking out music, she said, they try to challenge the kids. But they also want something the audience will enjoy.
“People don’t realize how excellent kids can sound on stage,” said Klemm, who is in her 14th year with the choir.
Some of the children in the choir will play instruments, alongside with guest musicians. And a dance will accompany a Scottish folk tune.
In the past, the choir has performed with several other performing groups, including the San Luis Obispo Vocal Arts Ensemble, Cuesta Master Chorale, the SLO Symphony and the Mozart Festival. Children in the choir receive musicianship training and vocal coaching.
With arts funding getting cut in public schools, McCall said, groups like the CCCC, a nonprofit, have become more important for parents who want their children to have exposure to the arts.
“You’re going to have to go out and get your child an arts education,” she said.
Reach Patrick S. Pemberton at 781-7903.