Meet the Staff- Nancy Swanson

Photo: Andy Pauquette

Meet Nancy Swanson, FWCC’s Executive Assistant and Financial Manager. Nancy grew up on a farm near Hillsdale, Michigan, and spends one day a week there, caring for my parents’ flower beds and helping my Dad. She earned a BA in Organizational Management from Goshen College. She and her husband, Jon, met in Wheaton, Illinois, when she worked at Wheaton College Graduate School. They’ve been married 34 years and have two married children, Hope and Andrew.

Let’s get to know her!

1- How long have you been with the FWCC?
I came to the FWCC when our daughter, Hope, joined the Lyric Choir in 2002, and I was the Lyric Choir secretary that year. In the fall of 2004, I joined the FWCC staff as Volunteer Coordinator and then Financial Manager. After working with another not-for-profit from 2010-2013, I returned as Executive Assistant and Financial Manager. I’ve been on staff a total of 10 years.

2- What do you like best about working with the FWCC?
I love working with our families, whether it’s helping them figure out payment plans, following up when a singer has missed several rehearsals, making sure they have all the information about a concert or tour, or just being a listening ear for good news or difficulty. We have the best families in the FWCC! And the staff–we have a pretty cool staff, too!

3- What is your favorite FWCC memory?
My favorite memory is probably the relief I felt when our tour group returned from Hawaii in 2005. Their flight had taken off twice, only to return to Honolulu due to problems with the plane. All parents and staff were grateful for a safe trip home.

Also, though it’s not a memory, I love watching singers grow up as they go through the FWCC. Over the years, I’ve seen dozens of singers make the journey from Apprentice through Youth Chorale, and it gives me great joy to watch them mature as people, as well as musicians. They find their voice is many areas of life.

4- How would you describe the culture of FWCC?
We are a very diverse, accepting, and supportive organization–diverse in culture, ethnicity, socio-economic status. The music our singers perform is diverse–sacred, classical, folk-songs, ballads, pop-culture,,and many languages. We accept everyone. We want all of our singers and their families to feel comfortable and supported by all of the staff. Our doors are always open–whether it’s in the office, by email, phone, or outside a rehearsal.

5- In your own words, why should a child consider joining FWCC?
It’s fun, and you learn a lot–about music, the world, and yourself.

  Amber Bouthot   Jun 29, 2017   Uncategorized   Comments Off on Meet the Staff- Nancy Swanson Read More

Summer Choir Camp Recap

Last week 23 children, 5-11 years old, participated in the Summer Choir Camp co-sponsored by the IPFW Community Arts Academy and the Fort Wayne Children’s Choir. Under the direction of Mrs. Susan LaCroix, a FWCC director, the young singers were introduced to some early music theory, including rhythms, Solfége, and, of course, singing! The week-long day camp culminated in a concert for family and friends.

  Amber Bouthot   Jun 27, 2017   Uncategorized   Comments Off on Summer Choir Camp Recap Read More

Alumni Update- Megan Ryan

Meet Megan Ryan, FWCC Board Member and Alumni. 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?  From 5th grade- 12th grade (1997- 2005)

2- What is your favorite FWCC memory? Our tour to England with Fred Meads. It changed my life and inspired me to love travel and the world around me.

3- How did involvement with FWCC impact your life? FWCC has and continues to inspire me to love music, continue learning, explore the world and cultures around me.

4- What are you doing now? I am a special education teacher, and I own my own business: Southwest Honey Co.

  Amber Bouthot   Jun 26, 2017   Uncategorized   Comments Off on Alumni Update- Megan Ryan Read More

Alumni Update- Rachel Haywood

Since our inception 44 years ago, we have had the pleasure of sharing in the lives of thousands of talented young people. Periodically, we will share stories from some of our alumni. Today, we’d like you to meet Rachel Haywood.

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 involved with the Fort Wayne Children’s Choir from 2005-2015.

2- What is your favorite FWCC memory?
Trying to pick one favorite memory is literally impossible, but I can say that each year was better than the last, and I cherished each local, national, and international opportunity that I got to share with my friends! We became family. I really enjoyed the little moments.

3- How did involvement with FWCC impact your life?
Singing with the FWCC has been by far the most rewarding experience of my life. I learned important life lessons right next to the invaluable music skills that have shaped me to be the person I am today. I may have graduated 2 years ago, but I still have memories and skills from my time with the FWCC.

4- What are you doing now?
I am about to start my junior year of college at Ball State University where I am studying English with a concentration in Creative Writing and a minor in Professional Writing and Emerging Media. I look forward to becoming more involved around my college campus!

rachey-haywood25- Is there anything else you’d like to share?
FWCC has the potential to change anyone’s life. I recommend the program to everyone, no matter their age or singing ability. Even if someone involves themselves for a year, they will experience a wide range of musical and cultural opportunities that will teach them more than they can imagine. I still keep in touch with a lot of choir friends including one I’ve roomed with at college and it’s easy to catch up like we never left. Friends are family.

 The first picture is of Rachel Haywood and fellow alumna Sarah Ceckowski (her freshman year college roommate) on their first international trip to England in summer of 2011. The second is one of her high school senior pictures from 2015.

If you’d like to share your alumni story, email Amber Foster at


  Amber Bouthot   Jun 20, 2017   Blog, Uncategorized   Comments Off on Alumni Update- Rachel Haywood Read More

Three Rivers Choral Festival

Join us on Saturday, November 11, from 4-5:30 pm in the Auer Performance Hall, IPFW Rhinehart Music Center for Three Rivers Choral Festival.

 Hosted by The Fort Wayne Children’s Choir, IPFW Music Department, and Heartland Sings, he Three Rivers Choral Festival gives high school choirs an opportunity to work with a renowned choral music educator, participate in two individual choral clinics, and perform a combined repertoire.

Tickets for this event are $5 and may be purchased online at or at the IPFW Box Office.

  Amber Bouthot   Jun 08, 2017   Uncategorized   Comments Off on Three Rivers Choral Festival Read More

2017-18 Auditions

The Fort Wayne Children’s Choir invites youth, in grades 3 – 12, to participate in our auditions. Open to any singer interested in pursuing their love for singing and passion for choral excellence, auditions are free and with no obligation. All ensembles of the Fort Wayne Children’s Choir sing at season concerts, community festivals, 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, and 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 2017-18:

In Fort Wayne: Monday, May 22 – Thursday, May 25

4:30 – 6:00 pm: 30-minute sessions
IPFW Rhinehart Music Center

In Whitley County: Tuesday, May 16, 3:30-5:30 pm AND Wednesday, May 17, 4:30-6:30 pm

30-minute sessions
Peabody Public Library

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

  jabeights   Apr 28, 2017   Blog   Comments Off on 2017-18 Auditions Read More

Children’s Choir Choral Camp

June 19-23, 2017, 1pm to 4pm

IPFW Rhinehart Music Center

Lyric - CAA

The Community Arts Academy at IPFW is hosting a Summer Children’s Choir Choral Camp. 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 2017.

About the Director

Susan LaCroix

Susan LaCroix is in her 21st year with the Fort Wayne Children’s Choir, directing the Apprentice Choir and Preparatory Program. A native of Minnesota, she received a bachelor of arts in education from Concordia University in River Forest, IL, and additional training in the child’s voice, conducting, and Level One Kodály Certification at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN. She is a music education specialist and band director at Holy Cross Lutheran School and has taught music education at IPFW, Unity Lutheran School, and Southwest Allen County Schools. Her three daughters are alumnae of the Fort Wayne Children’s Choir.


A closing concert open to the public will take place Friday, June 23, at 4:15pm in Rhinehart Recital Hall.

Five 3-hour sessions: $99

Click here to register online. For more information, call 260-481-6977.

FWCC Choral Camp

  jabeights   Mar 08, 2017   Blog   Comments Off on Children’s Choir Choral Camp Read More