2018 Angels Sing Performances

The months of November and December find all of the performance ensembles singing at various venues. Starting with the Harvest Concert, the singers will perform on their own or in collaboration with another arts organization. The FWCC places all of the events under one heading: Angels Sing.


18Visiting Nurse Hospice Memorial Tree Lighting: Chamber Singers; 5:00 pm, Baker Street Train Station, Free to the public

21Cocoa & Carols: Concert Choir, Youth Chorale, and Chamber Singers; Allen County Courthouse Rotunda,                   6:30-7:30 pm, Free to the public

23Santa Parade: Whitley Community Children’s Choir; 6:30 pm downtown Columbia City, Free to the public

26Festival of Trees Holiday Sing-Along: Apprentice Choir, Lyric Choir, and Youth Chorale; 6:30-7:30 pm Embassy Theatre, Tickets available through the Embassy Theatre Box Office, 260.424.5665

30The Nutcracker: Treble Choir with the Fort Wayne Philharmonic and Fort Wayne Ballet; 7:30 pm, Arts United Center, Tickets – prices vary, 26o.422.4226



1 – The Nutcracker: Treble Choir with the Fort Wayne Philharmonic and Fort Wayne Ballet; 2:30 pm and 7:30 pm, Arts United Center, Tickets – prices vary, 26o.422.4226

7Holiday Pops: Concert Choir with the Fort Wayne Philharmonic; 7:30 pm, Embassy Theatre, Tickets available through the Fort Wayne Philharmonic, 260.481.0777

8 Christmas at the Courthouse: Whitley Community Choir; 6:30-7:30 pm, Whitley County Courthouse, Free to the public

8Holiday Pops (Matinee): Concert Choir with the Fort Wayne Philharmonic; 2:00 pm, Embassy Theatre, Tickets available through the Fort Wayne Philharmonic, 260.481.0777

8Holiday Pops: Concert Choir with the Fort Wayne Philharmonic; 7:30 pm, Embassy Theatre, Tickets available through the Fort Wayne Philharmonic, 260.481.0777

15Holiday Pops (Matinee): Concert Choir with the Fort Wayne Philharmonic; 2:00 pm, Embassy Theatre, Tickets available through the Fort Wayne Philharmonic, 260.481.0777

15Holiday Pops: Concert Choir with the Fort Wayne Philharmonic; 7:30 pm, Embassy Theatre, Tickets available through the Fort Wayne Philharmonic, 260.481.0777

16Fort Wayne Youtheatre: A Charlie Brown Christmas; Chamber Singers with Fort Wayne Youtheatre; First Presbyterian Theatre, 300 W. Wayne, Tickets available through ArtsTix, 260.422.4226

16Holiday Pops in Whitley County: Whitley Community Choir with the Fort Wayne Philharmonic; 7:00 pm, First Church of God, Columbia City; Tickets available through the Fort Wayne Philharmonic Box Office, 260.481.0777


The Fort Wayne Children’s Choir ensembles will perform a holiday program at five different assisted living residences, in addition to private holiday engagements. We hope you join us at one of the above performances! Happy holidays!

  Amber Bouthot   Nov 05, 2018   Blog   Comments Off on 2018 Angels Sing Performances Read More

Preparatory Program- registration open

The Preparatory Program is designed for younger students, 6-7 years old, with little to no choral experience. Directed by a master music educator, children learn the basics of being in a choir without the pressure of performance. Singers learn rehearsal etiquette and the foundations of singing in a relaxed and fun atmosphere. No placement session is required.

WHEN: All classes are on Mondays during the school year. 4:45-5:30 pm.

WHERE: Holy Cross Lutheran School, 3425 Crescent Avenue.

WHO: The Prep Class is under the direction of Mrs. Susan LaCroix, who also directs the Apprentice Choir. Mrs. LaCroix teaches at Holy Cross Lutheran School.

HOW: Register through the FWCC office, (260) 481-0481. No audition is needed for the Preparatory Program.

PERFORMANCES: Singers in the program give an informal concert for parents at the end of the 8-week session.

COST: $99/8-week session; Payment plans are available.

  Amber Bouthot   Oct 29, 2018   Blog   Comments Off on Preparatory Program- registration open Read More

Music Educator’s Workshop- October 16

Each fall, we host the Music Educator’s Workshop for teachers from Northeast Indiana and Northwest Ohio. This program brings dozens of educators together to learn a variety of music education methods from well-known clinicians. The workshop is held in the Rhinehart Music Center on the campus of Purdue University Fort Wayne and music students are invited to participate, as well.

This year, we welcome Henry Leck, Founder & Conductor Laureate of the Indianapolis Children’s Choir, to Fort Wayne on Tuesday, October 16, 2018. Mr. Leck will present the workshop, “The Boy’s Changing Voice: Take the High Road.” The workshop begins at 4:30pm and will conclude with a reading session from 6:45-7:30pm. A boxed dinner is provided.

To register, visit

  Amber Bouthot   Sep 04, 2018   Blog   Comments Off on Music Educator’s Workshop- October 16 Read More

Introducing our new logo!

2018 marks our 45th season. This new logo is a nod to the past and our original logo, with a look to an exciting and vibrant future.

Special thanks to American Advertising Federation Fort Wayne and the winning Pitch team who created this logo and all of our marketing materials. Thank you to our marketing team volunteers for helping us implement this change and our board of directors for supporting this new marketing direction.

  Amber Bouthot   Aug 15, 2018   Blog   Comments Off on Introducing our new logo! Read More

First Steps in Music returns- Dates in August

First Steps in Music returns for some select dates in August and throughout the Fall. First Steps in for children 0-3 and will help them become tuneful, artful, and beatful.

All “teaser” classes and fall classes are free and open to the public. Children 0-3 years old, accompanied by an adult, are welcome to attend any, or all, of the sessions. 

Hessen Cassel  —Wed 8/22 10:30

Waynedale – Thursday 8/23 10:30

Aboite – Friday 8/24 10:30

Tecumseh – Tuesday 8/28 10:30

Downtown, Main –  8/29 10:00

Shawnee – Thursday 8/30 10:30

The goal of First Steps in Music is to enable all participants to reach their full potential in singing, vocabulary, and movement skills, with an emphasis on developing sensitivity to the expressive qualities in music. Each class is  designed to be playful and enjoyable to children, while providing a carefully planned curriculum that includes developmentally appropriate activities. Children are not taught formally about the specifics of music, but rather they play with music through a series of eight well-rounded activities based on the First Steps in Music curriculum.

The Fort Wayne Children’s Choir offers First Steps in Music classes to children ages 0 to 3 years old in coordination with the Allen County Public Library.

Through the 8 basic activities included in classes based on the First Steps in Music curriculum, children and their parents/caregiver experience singing, creative movement, simple instruments, finger-plays and more with the help of the rich collection of traditional songs and rhymes from past generations.

Example activities for First Steps in Music:

  • Pitch exploration
  • Song fragments
  • Simple songs
  • Arioso (Child-centered tunes)
  • Song tales
  • Movement exploration
  • Movement for from and expression
  • Movement with the beat
  Amber Bouthot   Aug 08, 2018   Blog   Comments Off on First Steps in Music returns- Dates in August Read More

Honoring our Seniors

Each year, it is bittersweet to see our seniors graduate. This year, we are saying good-bye to 13 singers, one of the largest senior classes we have had. These 13 singers represent 100 years of membership in the FWCC. We have watched many of them grow up in the choir, starting with Apprentice Choir, and now graduating as members of the Youth Chorale. We are honored to know them and wish them the best of luck.

Photo: Andy Pauquette

Rachel Counterman- 9 year member, Snider, Ivy Tech, Mortuary Sciences

Kyle Downing- 5 year member, Northrop, Undecided

 Katy Feneley- 6 year member, Homestead, Purdue University, Management and Administration

 Moriah Fritz- 10 year member, Blackhawk Christian, Purdue University, Nursing

Emily Johnson- 10 year member, Northrop, Harding University in Searcy Arkansas, Public Administration and Communication 

Rachelle Ladig- 2 year member, Homestead, Purdue University Fort Wayne, Nursing and Spanish

 Christopher Lutz- 9 year member, Homestead, Major in computer science

 Emma St. Peters- 10 year member, Blackhawk Christian, Huntington University, Occupational Therapy

 Luke Sarrazine- 9 year member, Bishop Dwenger, Miami University of Ohio, Music Education

 Kenny Thompson, 7 year member, Northrop, Ball State, Business Management

 Kate Toenges- 10 year member, Bishop Dwenger, Florida State University, Music Education

 Samantha Tyndall- 4 year member, Snider, Undecided

 Colleen Wilsey- 10 year member, Bishop Luers, Full Sail University, Computer Animation

  Amber Bouthot   May 14, 2018   Blog, Uncategorized   Comments Off on Honoring our Seniors Read More

2018-19 Auditions

We invite youth in grades 3-12 to participate in our open auditions for the 2018-19 season. Auditions are free and open to any singer interested in pursuing their love for singing and passion for choral excellence. All ensembles of the FWCC sing at season concerts, community festivals, and civic events, and collaborate with many other arts organizations, such as the Fort Wayne Philharmonic, Fort Wayne Ballet, Heartland Sings, and others.

Students will be placed in the choir that best suits their needs. FWCC offers participation assistance for qualifying families.

The Audition: Potential FWCC members are tested on pitch matching, rhythmic skills, and music theory. The audition session is meant to be relaxed, fun, and non-intimidating. An audition takes approximately 30 minutes and usually includes 4-6 children of the same age. A parent information session is conducted at the same time. Following the session, the level of choir is determined for which the singer is ready. The child/parents/guardian is contacted with more information following the audition decision process. Singers may participate in a Fort Wayne or Whitley Community audition and designate at that time where they want to participate.

AUDITION DATES for 2018-19:

In Fort Wayne: Monday, May 21 –  Thursday, May 24 AND Monday, June 4 – Thursday, June 7

4:30 – 6:00 pm: 30-minute sessions
IPFW, Rhinehart Music Center
In Whitley County: Monday, May 14, AND Tuesday, May 15, 3:30-5:30 pm

30-minute sessions
Peabody Public Library

To register, or for more information, please call the FWCC office, 260.481.0481, or email

  Amber Bouthot   Mar 28, 2018   Blog   Comments Off on 2018-19 Auditions Read More

Summer Choir Camp returns

IPFW’s Community Arts Academy will host Summer Choir Camp again this summer. Join in the fun and learn more about the art of singing. Under the direction of Susan LaCroix of Fort Wayne Children’s Choir, singers will be introduced to basic music theory through musical games, instruction, and, of course, singing. The week culminates in a short program for parents and family members.

This camp is for students entering 1st-6th grade in fall 2018.

June 18-22, 2018

1pm to 4pm

A closing concert open to the public will take place Friday, June 22, at 4:15pm in Rhinehart Recital Hall.

Five 3-hour sessions: $99

Rhinehart Music Center

Registration will open in spring 2018. For more information, call 260-481-6059 or visit


  Amber Bouthot   Feb 14, 2018   Blog   Comments Off on Summer Choir Camp returns Read More

New Director and Accompanist for Whitley Community Children’s Choir

Becky Walter

Since 2011, The Fort Wayne Children’s Choir has supported a regional children’s choir in Whitley County. Becky Walter, the director of the Whitley Community Children’s Choir since 2013, has retired. Walter joined the Whitley Community Children’s Choir first as an accompanist in 2011. During her tenure, not only has the choir grown in participation numbers, but in impact as well, earning the “Jewel of the Community” award from the Chamber of Commerce in 2016.

“The Whitley Community Children’s Choir and FWCC have been like a family to me,” says Walter. “I am retiring to spend more time with my own family—my adult children and 10 grandchildren.”

“Becky Walter has been, and will continue to be, an incredible resource for the Whitley Community Children’s Choir,” says Jonathan Busarow, Executive Artistic Director of the Fort Wayne Children’s Choir. “Her caring and musical guidance has helped bring the WCCC to where it is today and I am very thankful for her hard work for the organization. One year ago, Becky received the Heart of Gold from the Whitley County Chamber of Commerce, and there could be no one more fitting than her. Our students have been fortunate to work with such a fine person.”

Denise Gilliland

The FWCC is pleased to announce Denise Gilliland as our new Whitley Community Children’s Choir Director. Gilliland is the Artistic Director of the Children’s Choir of Huntington County and was previously the Artistic Director of the Lafayette Children’s Choir. In addition to her work in Huntington, she has been substitute teaching for area music teachers.

Gilliland began her teaching career in the Houston, Texas area in 1982, marking this, her thirty-fifth year teaching children and youth. Her earliest experiences were rich with multiethnic students who helped to shape her appreciation for the uniqueness of every child and culture. She is a frequent clinician for Circle the State with Song festivals and has presented at the Indiana Music Educator’s convention. She was recognized as “Most Outstanding Elementary Music Educator” by IMEA in 2011. Her arrangement of “And the Angels Sang” was published by Hal Leonard Corporation and premiered by the Indianapolis Children’s Choir.

Gilliland’s earned a master’s degree in choral conducting at Butler University. As a certified Kodaly music educator, she studied privately with renowned conductors Henry Leck and Eric Stark. She resides on her grandfather’s farm in Whitley County with her husband Mark, son Weaver, and grandson Matthias.

“We are excited to bring Denise on to help us continue to grow our presence in Whitley County,” says Busarow. “She brings a lot of experience to the table and we are looking forward to working with her. Denise’s love of children and music is evident in everything she does. The students in the entire Fort Wayne Children’s Choir organization will benefit from her addition to our staff.”

Matt Johnston

The Whitley Community Children’s Choir also has a new accompanist. Matt Johnston, a FWCC alumnus, has been active in choral music for over 20 years. After graduating from IPFW with a degree in Choral Music Education and majoring in organ, he has taught music in public, charter, and private schools in Fort Wayne and Kendallville. In addition, he has led church music ministries for 16 years and currently serves as the Minister of Music and Organist at Suburban Bethlehem Lutheran Church and School where he plays the organ, and directs 3 adult choirs, 2 handbell choirs, and 4 children’s and youth choirs.

  Amber Bouthot   Jan 29, 2018   Blog   Comments Off on New Director and Accompanist for Whitley Community Children’s Choir Read More

A note from our directors, reflecting on 2017 and heading into 2018

The first half of the 2017-18 is behind us and what an amazing time we had with all of our singers. From our youngest Apprentice Choir singers through our High School singers in the Youth Chorale, FWCC members continued to learn about music theory, how to read music and sing in parts, and much more. Here’s a glimpse of what each ensemble worked on the past few months and what they have to look forward to in 2018.

Apprentice update from Mrs. LaCroix and Mrs. Coulter:

We have a LARGE, diverse, energetic, talented, and enthusiastic group of young singers. They are learning to read melodic notation, decode rhythms, comprehend musical form, and perform as young professionals. We could not be more proud of their progress. They have quickly become a cohesive choir of friends and we love them.

Much of the success of this year is due to our parents. From those who volunteer as rehearsal assistants, greeters, and secretaries, to those who have adapted to the challenges of picking their children at the close of rehearsal in our new location. It is a monumental challenge to move 60+ children efficiently, but it is working smoothly and our parents have been patient and gracious.

Early in 2018, we will start preparing for our spring performances, including our performance at Do Re Mi, which is always a highlight. As always, our goal is to keep our singers engaged and excited about singing together.

Lyric update from Mrs. Boester:

Our Lyric singers have really become a team—they are listening to each other and developing a nice blend. They are also becoming very proficient at hearing, reading, and singing the solfege pattern that I give to them in each song. I am so proud of them and you should be too!

Two highlights from the first half of the year for me were the performances at Festival of Trees and The Golden Years. The singers were awesome. They were very focused and enthusiastic about singing, and I love that.

In 2018, we will spend more time on theory and preparing for some upcoming performances, including FAME Fest, which is one of my favorites.

Whitley County Community Choir update from Mrs. Walter:

We have become a cohesive group of friends who love to sing together. I especially enjoyed watching our first year singers conquer their fears as they stepped on stage for the Harvest Concert. We were missing several singers, and there was a little discussion about what would we do if there were only six of us? One of our newest and youngest students looked me in the eye and said, “We’ll sing, that’s what!”

In 2018, we will continue to focus on solfege and spend time expanding into more sight reading and more difficult two-part singing.

Treble Choir update from Mrs. Pierson:

One of the highlights from the first half of the season was the Bach Collegium concert. The performance took place in the gorgeous Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, and it was wonderful for our singers to hear the musicianship of this ensemble. In addition, it was an honor to perform with the Fort Wayne Philharmonic at this year’s production of The Nutcracker. What an opportunity for our singers to perform with a live orchestra! Our singers approached their performance on stage with a tremendous amount of professionalism and poise.

We have had many successes this year, but I am most pleased with the improvement our singers have displayed in reading solfege. They are building their musical literacy skills and improving as independent musicians.

In 2018, we will start preparing for our Spring performances. I am especially looking forward to our trip to Chicago. It will be a fun time together.

Concert Choir update from Mr. Busarow:

We kicked things off with our fall retreat, and Concert Choir quickly became a note-reading machine, utilizing their solfege skills to learn some tough music. The Harvest Concert showcased their hard work, and we continued our tradition in November and December of performing at Holiday Pops with the Fort Wayne Philharmonic. Our students are becoming quite the group of professionals.

The Concert Choir had a few solo opportunities this semester – and I was SHOCKED at how many students auditioned. Over half of the ensemble put themselves out in front of their peers and took a chance at it. While there are only a few solos so far, I can tell that the attitude and spirit of our singers is spot on. The Concert Choir has been incredible at encouraging one another this season.

The first thing we have in January is the Indiana Music Educator’s Association Convention. It is a big honor for us to perform in front of this audience of music teachers. After IMEA, we have a performance at FAME, the Young Artist Concert, and the Spring Concert, which will be here before we know it!

Youth Chorale update from Mr. Schlicker:

Our singers have consistently impressed me with their ability and willingness to handle new and varied musical challenges. We are singing in a mixed formation more than ever! Our new students have been welcomed into the group by the upper-class leaders and we seem to really enjoy being together and making great music!

There are lots of great stories to share. Our students are mature and developed musicians. Recently we were experimenting with some alternate scale possibilities and they handled the new ideas easily.

Coming up after the holiday break, we will begin preparing for Young Artists Concert and the Spring Concert. I love our concerts in the second semester. The Young Artists Concert is always a musical highlight and the Spring Concert is always so emotional as we say goodbye to our seniors.


  Amber Bouthot   Jan 11, 2018   Blog   Comments Off on A note from our directors, reflecting on 2017 and heading into 2018 Read More