Royal Oak, BerkleyMarch 18, 2013
Royal Oak Children’s Choir takes Broadway to Berkley HS
By Chris Jackett
C & G Staff Writer
ROYAL OAK/BERKLEY — If you’re a fan of the Broadway shows “Annie,” “Newies,” “The Wiz” and “Peter Pan,” then Berkley High School is where you’ll want to be March 24.
The Royal Oak Children’s Choir — which is made up of more than 40 children in fourth through eighth grades from throughout the region — will be performing a mixed set that includes songs from all four of the aforementioned musicals during their Broadway Concert at 4 p.m. Sunday at BHS, 2325 Catalpa Drive. Doors open at 3:30 p.m. and there is a suggested $10 donation for ages 5 and older.
“Each year, the concert varies in focus and, this year, we wanted to give the children a chance to really sink into these four shows,” said co-director Kaitlyn Hahn, a Royal Oak resident, via email. “Each show has a different style to it and opportunity for not only education on styles of musical theatre music, but differentiation in character, performance and choreography. The children learn to sing, dance and act for this show and completely get to come out of their choral shell and express themselves. We have costumes, lighting, sound, a grand stage, music, dance — the whole bit. It is quite a spectacle and certainly a community event you do not want to miss.”
Since its formation in 1997, the ROCC has given residents in Royal Oak and other nearby communities many opportunities to hear them, in addition to quarterly public performances. In the past, the group has sung at the Grand Ole Opry, the 44th District Court in Royal Oak, recorded at Sun Studios, where Elvis Presley recorded, and even sang the National Anthem at ground zero following Sept. 11, 2001.
“The Royal Oak Children’s Choir is, without a doubt, one of the finest children’s community groups our county has to offer,” Hahn said via email. “It allows children to meet kids from all over the area and come together to form a group of passionate performers who can engage in music and song as one. Our group accepts people from all over the area and is extracurricular and professional. The opportunities that this group offers kids are unmatched. You won’t find a more diverse group with the passion that these kids have.”
An alumna of the group, herself, Hahn recalls the impact being in the choir had on her.
“Being in ROCC was the best decision I ever made as a kid,” Hahn said via email. “I still remember my audition and how petrified I was, knowing I was the littlest one and having never done a singing audition in my life, and now it has changed my life more than anything. ROCC is the sole reason I got into music performance. It taught me not only how to sing and read music, but how important music was and is in my life and that of those around me. I still run into people now that I was in choir with and see that they’re performing all over the place, as well, and it is so super to see.”
Since she was in the choir, Hahn volunteered and interned with the group before taking up her co-director role while she finishes a musical theatre performance degree at Oakland University.
Hahn said those interested in auditioning for a spot with the choir, which practices Tuesdays in groups for older and younger children at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, can contact her at kaitlyn firstname.lastname@example.org or administrator Tina Maurice at email@example.com.
“We are open to kids from all over and are certainly not restricted to Royal Oak residents only,” Hahn said via email. “We will have auditions in a couple months for next season and would love to see tons of new faces.”
This weekend’s performance will lead into a 3 p.m. Bon Voyage Concert June 16 at a to-be-determined location before the children cap their season with a themed road trip.
“Each year at the end of our season, in June, we take a themed tour for four to five days that encompasses what the children have learned throughout the year and allows them to perform on the road,” Hahn said via email. “This year, we are doing a ‘Motown Tour’ and traveling from Detroit to Cincinnati and finally to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland.
“‘The Wiz’ gets the kids into the Motown Groove, as not only does this Broadway hit have Detroit sound in its music, but featured artists, such as Diana Ross and Michael Jackson, who both found fame on the Motown label.”
For more information on the ROCC, visit royaloakchildrenschoir.com.