Atmore Area Youth Choir formed through partnership with PCC

Published 9:56 am Wednesday, September 14, 2022

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Through a partnership with the Pensacola (Fla.) Children’s Chorus, Conrad Weber and Ryan Dean announced recently the formation of the Atmore Area Youth Choir (AAYC).

The choir is an opportunity for young people who have an interest in the arts to come together and create something that is usually only available in larger cities.

“Early on even when I was teaching at the middle and high school here, I had wished there was a way to bring those kids from all over the community who are interested in music together,” Weber, a co-director, said. “Hardly any of the schools had choir programs, or none of them did at the time. But those opportunities are usually in larger cities typically.”

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Weber said conversations were held with the Pensacola Children’s Chorus over the last several years.

“They then got to a point where they were wanting to help the surrounding communities outside of their region,” Weber said. “There is so much talent and potential in the young people in this area, and we want to bring them together to create an experience that can be meaningful for them and a source of pride for our community.”

Weber said having a partner like the Pensacola Children’s Chorus helps the AAYC to fall under their umbrella as a 501c3 organization, adding that the payment structure and tuition is run through them.

“All of the money coming in, anything from donations and sponsorships, from individuals, are ear marked for Atmore, and for our group,” he said. “They’re allowing us to be a part of the tuition assistance program as well.”

The AAYC is open to any student in grades 7-12, and for the fall semester will meet on Monday evenings from 6:30 p.m. until 8 p.m. starting in October with a concert on Dec. 12.

Weber said if the program is successful, there are plans to open the choir to younger singers.

“If it’s successful, we’d love to add younger grades in the future,” he said. “It depends on how things go. If there’s good involvement, the potential and opportunity is there to travel and sing at festivals and to do things out of the community and state.”

Rehearsals will be held at Grace Fellowship Church until the Strand Theatre renovations are complete, at which point the choir will be based in that complex.

Weber said rehearsals are temporarily being held at Grace Fellowship Atmore, and the plan is to be housed at the Strand Theatre.

“There’s just as much music potential here as anywhere else, it’s just as much a given opportunity,” he said. “We’re excited about the potential. This is to be something that’s fun and rewarding, and something that’s a big source of pride for the community as well.”

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