Celebrate Children Singing

Princeton knows about children who sing. The American Boychoir School is here. Westminster Choir College trains children’s choir directors. And the town attracts visiting choristers.

Five youth choirs, including the American Boychoir School Training Choir, will participate in a winter children’s choir festival on Saturday, February 12, at Princeton United Methodist Church, located at Nassau Street and Vandeventer Avenue. Helen Kemp (shown here) is known worldwide as a director, composer, and teacher, and she will direct a free concert, entitled “Celebrate This Happy Holy Day,” at 2 p.m. For information call 609-924-2613 or the church website, www.princetonumc.org. Parking is available in Princeton University Lot 10, off of Williams Street, or in the Park Place lot.

Kemp, professor emerita at Westminster Choir College, has been training singers, teachers and conductors in the art of choral singing for more than 70 years. She is known for her ability to train both volunteer and professional choir directors.

Yvonne Macdonald, who is in charge of the festival, directs two of the choirs participating – the Princeton United Methodist church Upper Elementary Choir and the Schola Choir of Westmisnter Choir College. Choirs coming from New York are from Christ Church United Methodist and Park Avenue Christian Church.

It’s a big weekend for singing children. The following day, Sunday, February 13, an elite group from the Princeton Girlchoir will present “A Girl’s Life: Choral Music For and About Girls of the World” at the Princeton Public Library at 3 p.m. Kelly Ann Nelson Westgate conducts this free concert of diverse music — some written by female composers, some on the subjects of love and marriage. Featured is Vivaldi’s Gloria in D Major, which was written when the composer was working at an orphanage for girls. This concert is also free.

What happens to a child who sings in church. Says one expert: “A predominant number of church workers come out of church choirs. They know scripture, because they sing it.”

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