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Hancock County Children's Choir
Great works are performed not by strength, but perseverance. – Samuel Johnson
Ten years ago, a group of parents in rural Hancock County decided to undertake a great work. A work that would consume untold hours and unflagging dedication. They were determined to bring the arts to the youth of Hancock County in a deeper and more accessible form. Some of these parents were road-weary from traveling to Indianapolis seeking musical opportunities for their children. Some could only dream of being able to access that opportunity. But all were convinced that there was an untapped storehouse of talent in the community just waiting for the right teacher to come along.
Meanwhile, Gayle Roschi, an eminently qualified music teacher from Fishers, IN, sensed that the time was finally right for her to launch her lifelong dream: a children's choir. She thought she might start the choir in her local community since she had so many connections there. But after a little convincing, she agreed to bring the work to a rural area east of Indianapolis.
The choir began with 15 students ages 5-16. A local church donated rehearsal, storage, and performance space. From the first performance, sung to a standing room only crowd of 170 in a tiny church, the community began to catch the vision. Membership in the choir grew in a steady upward trajectory, outgrowing both rehearsal and performance spaces.
In 2014, after only 3 years, the choir made its first trip to sing at Carnegie Hall. In 2015 they sang with the Grammy award-winning group Casting Crowns at the nationally-televised Dove Awards. Later that same year, they sang on the Fox 59 morning show. In 2018, local ABC affiliate WRTV filmed a military reunion during the choir Christmas concert. The video has gone viral with over 19 million views.
Who would have dreamed that a small town choir would be afforded such opportunity?
2019-2020 saw the choir's largest enrollment to date. The Christmas performance garnered an audience of more than 1300. An invitation to sing at an international choir festival in Europe in the summer of 2021 was received with great excitement. And then, in March, Coronavirus ended not only the performance season and cancelled the opportunity to travel, but also called into question whether the choir could survive.
Enrollment has dipped this year in the wake of COVID, yet spirits are not dampened! The choir rehearses weekly - masked and socially distanced - and a virtual performance is planned for December 5. The concert title, All Is Well, expresses the choir's message - both to themselves and to the community.
Hancock County Children's Choir has impacted the lives of hundreds of children who are spreading hope in our community. Won't you help us continue?
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