News

Meet the Staff- Pam Pierson

Photo: Andy Pauquette

Meet Pam Pierson, Associate Artistic Director. Pam has been working on and off with FWCC since the mid-nineties conducting various choirs. Over the years, she has conducted the Lyric Choir, Treble Choir, Chorister Choir and the DeKalb County Community Choir. She graduated from Taylor University, Fort Wayne with a degree in music education. After 18 years teaching elementary music in Fort Wayne Community Schools and after earning degrees in curriculum development and school administration, she became an elementary principal and eventually the assistant superintendent of a private school in Auburn, where she lives. For the past year, she has been teaching courses in music education at IPFW and supervising student teachers. When she is not making music with kids or preparing pre-service teachers for that responsibility, she enjoys time with family, quilting, and curling up with a good book. She is especially thankful for her husband Ed who is a contact source of support and encouragement.      

1- What do you like best about working with FWCC?  Working with the FWCC is a dream job for a music educator!  As a director, I get the pleasure of making music each week with kids who love to sing!  They bring an enthusiasm and excitement that makes coming to rehearsal a joy.  I also have a tremendous appreciation for the staff.  FWCC people are hardworking, talented folks, and I am humbled to be included on the team.
2- What is your favorite FWCC memory?  Just this summer, I had the privilege to conduct the choirs on tour at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. This was my first tour with the FWCC and definitely a memory to treasure!
3- How would you describe the culture of FWCC?  The FWCC is characterized by a culture of trust and integrity. Perhaps it’s because singing is such a personal, vulnerable act that it fosters a trust among the singers and staff. And I deeply respect the integrity that FWCC brings to the work of music education in Northeastern Indiana. We believe so strongly that music is important and good for children. The integrity of the FWCC drives the organization to ensure that quality music education is available to all children because it’s the right thing to do.
4- Why should a child consider joining FWCC?  For children who love music and singing, this is where they can flourish and develop the skills to become independent music-makers for life!
  Amber Foster   Aug 03, 2017   Uncategorized   Comments Off on Meet the Staff- Pam Pierson Read More

Choralfest 2017 Recap

Whew! What a week! Over 250 singers enjoyed meeting their directors and new friends (or reconnecting for some of our returning singers), and a week full of singing, dancing, drama, and more at Choralfest 2017. Choralfest is our annual summer camp that kicks off our season. This year, we have our largest choir in 10 years and after this week, we are even more excited for the coming season.

The week culminated in a FREE concert on Friday at the Foellinger Theatre. What a turnout! Over 1,000 people came out to support our singers. This year’s theme was Wild, Wild West, and our singers enjoyed singing western themed songs– from Buffalo Gals to Songs of the Cowboys, Red River Dances, Old Dan Tucker, and many more favorites. At the end of the evening, over 25 alumni joined us on stage to sing Happy Trails.

Special thanks to our directors, guest instructors, Youth Chorale helpers, and parents who assisted last week. We could not have done it without you.

  Amber Foster   Jul 31, 2017   Uncategorized   Comments Off on Choralfest 2017 Recap Read More

Meet the Staff- Mitch Rorick

Photo: Andy Pauquette

Meet Mitch Rorick, our Boychoir Director. Mitch is starting his 3rd year with FWCC. He earned degrees from Wheaton College, Indiana University, and Florida State University. In addition to directing with FWCC, he is the Associated Director of Music at Trinity English Lutheran Church, serves on the faculty at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne, and is a vocal artist with Heartland Sings.

1- What do you like best about working with FWCC? I enjoy working with the students the most. It’s wonderful to have so many talented and supportive colleagues, as well.

2- What is your favorite FWCC memory? For me, I cherish the moments when the students light up with joy and excitement as they participate in choir together, learn something new, and create beautiful music.

3- How would you describe the culture of FWCC? The FWCC culture is fun and welcoming, while also steeped in artistic and educational excellence.

4- In your own words, why should a child consider joining FWCC? Children should join FWCC because it’s FUN, a place to make lasting friendships, and provides educational and leadership opportunities.

 

 

  Amber Foster   Jul 27, 2017   Uncategorized   Comments Off on Meet the Staff- Mitch Rorick Read More

Honoring our Seniors

We had a great group of seniors this year and we will miss them all. Here’s a brief summary of their plans for the fall.

Jacob Bryant—Following graduation from Concordia Lutheran High School, Jacob plans to attend Huntington      University in the fall. He plans to study Occupational Therapy and join the choir and drama departments. He is an eight-year member of the FWCC and the son of Jason and Stephanie.

Nathan Gidley—This fall Nathan will attend Ball State University as a member of the Honor’s College and will major in Meteorology and Telecommunications. He graduated from Snider High School and is the son of Jan and Tom. A 10-year member of the FWCC, Nathan also sang with the Chamber Singers.

Ashlee Goelz—Ashlee will attend Ball State University and plans on majoring in nursing with a focus on pediatric nursing. The daughter of Wendy and James, she graduated from North Side High School. She is a 10-year member of the FWCC and also was a member of the Chamber Singers.

Laysha Greene—After graduating from North Side High School, Laysha plans on attending Indiana University Bloomington to study Biology. She is the daughter of Felicia. Laysha is a member of the Chamber Singers and has sung with the FWCC for nine years.

Bernadette Hargis—Bernadette will attend IPFW this fall semester and then plans to transfer to the University of Maryland in the spring. She will pursue studies in International Relations, with a minor in music. Bernadette is the daughter of Carol and Todd Hargis. She graduated from Homestead High School and is a seven-year member of the FWCC.

Brianna Henry—Brianna has participated in the FWCC for 10-years and was a member of the Chamber Singers. She graduated from Carroll High School and plans to attend IPFW in the fall, with an undeclared major. She is the daughter of Tena and Jeremy Crist and Jim Henry.

Hannah Hobson—Hannah will attend IPFW in the fall as a Chapman Scholar and plans to pursue a Choral Music Education major. She is a home-school student and the daughter of Karicia and Andrew. Hannah is a member of the Chamber Singers and a five-year FWCC singer.

Kyra Mendenall—Kyra graduated from South Side High School and is undecided about her college plans. She is, however, interested in pursuing a career in graphic design. Kyra is a two-year member of the FWCC and the daughter of David and Janice.

Sangeeta Reddy—Sangeeta will pursue a BMA in Voice Performance at DePauw University School of Music this fall. She earned the Music Performance Scholarship Award. She is the daughter of Deep and Seema and graduated from Canterbury School. A member of the Chamber Singers, Sangeeta is a 10-year member of the FWCC.

Garin Wurschmidt—Garin is planning to attend Valparaiso University this fall to major in Music Education. He graduated from Norwell High School and has been a member of the FWCC for two years. He is the son of Randy and Carolina, and was a member of the Chamber Singers.

 

  Amber Foster   Jul 24, 2017   Uncategorized   Comments Off on Honoring our Seniors Read More

Meet the Staff- Becky Walter

Meet Becky Walter, FWCC’s Whitley Community Choir Director. Becky has been a part of FWCC for 7 years, helping us expand our programs to our neighbors to the west. She attended Western Michigan University and earned a Bachelor of Science in Music Education and Elementary Education and a Masters from IPFW. She is an Endorsed Trainer in Education Through Music and is licensed to teach First Steps in Music, a program that takes children from birth all the way through preschool. She lives in Columbia City and has 7 grandchildren.
1- What do you like best about working with FWCC? Working with an organization that finds the very best methods to teach children. And the entire staff– they make it easy and fun and stimulating!
2- What is your favorite FWCC memory?  Every concert!
3- How would you describe the culture of FWCC? Open. Welcoming. Intensely focused on education. Fun.
4- In your own words, why should a child consider joining FWCC? Teaching children about music is one thing. DOING music is another entirely. In FWCC, we teach children about music by doing music. The Kodaly system of teaching is the very best way to ensure student success.
  Amber Foster   Jul 20, 2017   Uncategorized   Comments Off on Meet the Staff- Becky Walter Read More

Choralfest 2017- The Wild, Wild West

We will host Choralfest 2017 the week of July 24-28, with a theme of The Wild, Wild West.  The week-long day camp at the IPFW Rhinehart Music Center will welcome nearly 300 FWCC new and returning members to a week filled with music and more.

The annual camp is the kick-off event for the upcoming FWCC choir season! Seven of the nine ensembles will meet as individual choirs and as a combined group. The week serves as an opportunity for the singers to meet one another or renew friendships, begin their work as a choir, and experience other areas of the arts through various activities and guest artists. This year Choralfest will offer chimes, contradancing, drama, and music theory, in addition to the many opportunities to sing.

The week culminates in a free public concert in the Foellinger Outdoor Theatre, Franke Park, Friday, July 28, 7:00 pm. FWCC Alumni will join the current singers on stage during the final song of the evening. The performance is part of the Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation music series and is open to the public.

  Amber Foster   Jul 18, 2017   Uncategorized   Comments Off on Choralfest 2017- The Wild, Wild West Read More

Alumni Update- Wyatt Wooten

Meet Wyatt Wooten. He’s our Alumni Update for this week. We asked him some questions about his time with FWCC and what he’s up to now.

1- When were you a part of the FWCC?

I was a member from 1985 to 1988

2- What is your favorite FWCC memory?

There were so many firsts for me during my time in the choir and so many things influenced and changed my life during that time.

During 85-86, it was the first time I traveled without another member of my family.  It was the first time, and so far the only time, that I went to Washington D.C.  The first time I traveled by plane, on Piedmont Airlines!  That’s dating me.  The first time I had Clam Chowder.  I saw and sang at the Kennedy Center and went to the Capitol Building.

During 86-87, it was the first time I traveled outside the country.  Just Canada, but still an experience.

Summer Tour 1988- Colorado

During 87-88, it was the first time at the Rocky Mountains and the first time I went to Pikes Peak.  The beauty of that place would make a lasting impression on me.

3- How did involvement with FWCC impact your life?

Before I joined the choir, I was a shy, introverted boy from a dysfunctional family who lived with my grandmother.  I kept to myself and had low self esteem and not many friends.  I already had a love for music and could sing pretty well.  The choir developed my music skills and helped me be a better singer.  But more importantly, with the three years I was in the choir, my self esteem and confidence grew.  My final year in the choir was also my junior year in high school.  I was old for the choir at that time, since it was long before the Youth Chorale was formed.  My senior year was my best year in high school, due mostly to the choir.  I knew I had value, which was hard for me to believe before I joined.  I was able to see outside my little universe and have new experiences that I wouldn’t have had otherwise.

Summer Tour 1988- Boys Town in Nebraska

4-  What are you doing now?

I am a test engineer for Harris Corporation.  Here in Fort Wayne, we build sensors for the environmental and weather satellite systems.  Needless to say, as a life-long  sci-fi geek, it is very cool to build things that go into space.

5- Is there anything else you’d like to share?

Mrs. Basse will always have a special place in my heart.  She helped this shy boy come out of his shell and believed that he could be something.  It may sound a little cliché, but it’s true.  My family didn’t have a lot of money, so either I was on a scholarship, or she may have contributed her own funds for my choir.

  Amber Foster   Jul 17, 2017   Uncategorized   Comments Off on Alumni Update- Wyatt Wooten Read More

Meet the Staff- Amber Foster

Photo: Andy Pauquette

Meet Amber Foster, FWCC’s Managing Director. A transplant from Illinois, Amber is a staunch advocate for our city and gives back by volunteering for a variety of organizations and causes. She earned a Master of Business Administration from Indiana Institute of Technology and a Bachelor of Arts in English from Northern Illinois University. She is also a freelance writer for whatzup Magazine, Visit Fort Wayne, and Northeast Indiana Public Radio. In 2010, she was named one of our community’s top 40 Under 40 and a Top 100 Connector in Northeast Indiana. Her most important role, however, is mother to her daughter Annabelle and her three dogs: Max, Lenora and Frankie.

1- How long have you been with FWCC? I joined the team in March of this year, making me the newest member of FWCC!

2- What do you like best about working with FWCC? From day one, I could tell FWCC was special. Everyone, from staff, to volunteers, to parents and singers refer to the organization as a family, and that permeates every aspect of this job.

3- What is your favorite FWCC memory? Since I have been here only a few months, I don’t have too many memories, but two moments really stick out. The first concert I attended was the Young Artist Concert this spring at First Wayne Street United Methodist Church. This concert featured Concert Choir, Youth Chorale and Chamber Singers. I was moved to tears by how beautiful they sounded in that space. Angelic is an appropriate word to describe it.

My second favorite memory was being a part of auditions in May. Nancy and I ran the parent information meetings, and I enjoyed meeting all the new parents and walking them through what they can expect should their child choose to join FWCC. Many people don’t realize that our music education program is second to none. We teach our singers to read music just as if they were reading a book. Mr. Busarow can hand them a piece of music and they can sing it without accompaniment. It’s quite astounding.

4- How would you describe the culture of FWCC? As I mentioned above, family! We truly are a family. We look out for each other and celebrate each other’s successes. We spend a lot of time with our singers and we walk alongside of them as they grow through our program. During my short time here, I have met so many singers and alumni who have shared their stories about how FWCC has impacted their lives. It is inspiring.

5- In your own words, why should a child consider joining FWCC? If your child likes to sing, this is the place for them. Not only will they learn to read music and refine their talent, they will make lifelong friends and development meaningful life skills that extend beyond the choir.

  Amber Foster   Jul 13, 2017   Uncategorized   Comments Off on Meet the Staff- Amber Foster Read More

Alumni Update- Kirsi Smith

Meet Kirsi Smith. She’s our Alumni Update for this week. We asked her some questions about her time with FWCC and what she’s up to now.

1- When were you a part of the FWCC? 

I was in the FWCC from 2003-2014

2- What is your favorite FWCC memory?

My favorite memory during my time with the FWCC was going to Newfoundland, Canada. During that time, we got to work Andre Thomas and explore beautiful Newfoundland. I remember whale watching and singing Mr. Mead’s version of “An Irish Blessing”.

3- How did involvement with FWCC impact your life?

The FWCC is a big reason why I am majoring in music today. I learned incredible aural and theory skills, as well as how to make music musical. I formed incredible friendships that I didn’t have anywhere else. I learned a lot about the power of music as a universal language and how making music together is all about teamwork. I learned so many life skills and the FWCC really shaped me into who I am today.

4-  What are you doing now?

I am currently a Senior at The Ohio State University majoring in Music Education.

5-  Is there anything else you’d like to share?

The FWCC touched my life in so many ways I cannot put into words. I am still in touch with many friends that I made during my time in the Children’s Choir, and I hold so many memories close to my heart. I hope that someday I am able to be a teacher in a program that values students’ music education and life lessons the way FWCC does.

  Amber Foster   Jul 10, 2017   Uncategorized   Comments Off on Alumni Update- Kirsi Smith Read More

Alumni Update- Kasey Bailey

Meet Kasey Bailey, this week’s Alumni Update.

1. When were you a part of the FWCC? 2003-2013

2. What is your favorite FWCC memory? My favorite memory was when we went on tour in D.C. That trip is where I made some of my best friends (The Sweet Peas) Lizzie, Julia, and Adi Bug. We also survived our tour bus breaking down…twice I think.

3.How did involvement with FWCC impact your life? FWCC was my family back in high school. It introduced me to close friend and kept my love of music alive. This love of music is something I have brought into the classroom for my students.

4. What are you doing now? I will be graduating from Western Michigan University in December with a degree in Elementary Education with an early childhood endorsement. After graduating I will be teaching Kindergarten.

  Amber Foster   Jul 03, 2017   Uncategorized   Comments Off on Alumni Update- Kasey Bailey Read More
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