Youth Outreach

Our Annual Shows were very successful and financially rewarding to the participating schools vocal music programs with over $4,400 raised in donations in 2015.

 

The An-O-Chords announce an exciting new show concept for 2015.  This is the 60th Year for the An-O-Chords and we think this is a fitting new direction for our "Diamond" Anniversary.


In an effort to expand the Youth Outreach Mission of our non profit chorus, we decided to change our show to  a time of the year when the kids from the schools can participate with us in our show.
 
This new format will feature the An-O-Chords Chorus and singing groups from the local area schools and local quartets.  The shows will start at 7:00 PM and be 2 hours in length.  The admission will be Free although we will ask for a donation to support the local school music programs. 

 

The An-O-Chords present An A Cappella Music Festival


Our first Concert was held on on May 9th 2015 at Brodniak Hall, Anacortes High School.  The second Concert was on May 16th at Bethany Covenant Church in Mt Vernon.  The Third Concert was held on November 14th at Oak Harbor High School.  The performances had free admission and we requested donations to be used to support the participating high schools music programs.  The results were fantastic with Over $4,400 received in donations and a substantial part of the amount raised was donated to the participating schools music programs.


 
Our program of Youth Outreach started 13 years ago with our supporting the local elementary schools with Song Books to encourage the growth of vocal music programs in all the area schools.  Then periodically, the An-O-Chords visit the schools to hear the students sing and then they sing to the students.  In addition, we provide scholarships to a weekend music education program called Harmony Explosion for the students in the Age 12 to 21 group.  To date we have supported over 36,000 area students.

 

Our Youth Outreach Program in Action


The attached video shows the results of out investment in the area schools to keep American Singing. What a great treat to hear all of these young voices blending.


 

"Get America Singing Again!"

 

A primary goal of the International Barbershop Harmony Society is to "lead the cause of encouraging vocal music in our schools and communities."  So, beginning in 2001, the An-O-Chords, local Society chapter, has enthusiastically embraced this project as their primary charitable objective.  An-O-Chords firmly believe that elementary school vocal music programs build singing confidence in children and prepare them to continue experiencing the joys of music in the upper grades and throughout life.  The more often elementary students experience the fun of hearing their own voices blending with their peers, the more apt they will be to continue in upper grade music programs of all types.  As lifetime singers, we're concerned that through successive budget cuts, vocal music programs in most elementary schools have been seriously reduced.  As a result, upper grade vocal music programs suffer because too many children leave elementary school without the joy of musical experience or the necessary skills to encourage them to participate in music programs.  Instead, they either choose other activities, or worse, choose none at all.
 

History of the "Get America Singing Again" Project in the Whidbey-Anacortes-Skagit Valley area


In September 2001, An-O-Chords representatives met with music teachers from the three Anacortes elementary schools to plan the project.  The An-O-Chords agreed to purchase and donate 200 new songbooks and teaching manuals and to introduce the songs to students at school, in live performances.  During the spring of 2002, all Anacortes' 4th and 5th graders learned the same seven songs, and in June of that year, they assembled at Anacortes High School's Brodniak Hall for a mass singing FINALE!  There, they experienced the thrill of joining their voices in a 675-voice ensemble.

That first program, involving three Anacortes elementary schools and 675 students, was such a success that over the next four years, virtually every school district in the region has enthusiastically asked to participate.  The program has grown to 30 elementary schools in Sedro-Woolley, Concrete, Burlington, Mount Vernon, La Conner, Anacortes, Oak Harbor, and Coupeville, delighting over 3000 students per year! -That is over 36,000 students! Barbershop chapters from Vancouver, BC, Seattle, even the International Barbershop Harmony Society have inquired or sent representatives to Finale' performances to learn more about this great success story.
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