By Nancy Price
Two sisters from Greenwood are spreading holiday cheer through music as they prepare for A Christmas Carol, based on the novella by Charles Dickens.
Briana and Isabell Ayers, both members of the Indianapolis Children’s Choir, will be performing in the upcoming concerts held in mid-December. Members of the choir will sing music that reflects the past, present and future lives of Ebenezer Scrooge.
“This is one of my favorite events,” said Briana, 14. “It’s always fun learning music during Christmas.”
ICC Artistic Director, Joshua Pedde, said concert attendees can expect a unique rendition of A Christmas Carol.
“It’s not traditional but I think that the concert will be a great rendition of the story that I think people will not forget,” he said.
Briana, a freshman, has been performing with the choir since she was in fifth grade. Her sister, Isabell, a fourth-grader, is in her second year with ICC. Carrie Ayers, the girls’ mother, said she has already seen tremendous growth in Briana, both as a singer and an individual, as a result of her involvement with the choir.
“It’s definitely given her stage confidence,” Carrie said. “Being on stage as a choir, that’s transitioned into her being able to do musicals and have vocal discipline. I love the fact that (the performers) all want to do their best and take it seriously but they really have fun and they enjoy it.”
“I love the energy that they have,” Pedde added. “You can put anything in front of them and they’re not intimidated by it. They’ll go for the stars. We set goals high and they achieve them. (Yet) I’m more proud of how they act than how they sing. It’s very important to me. They care about issues and taking care of people, their hearts are amazing. They know time management, know how to balance a schedule and prioritize. They work smarter, not harder. These are life skills employers want. They also become well aware of their community, team effort and responsibility to one another.”
Despite the work involved, the choir, described as a close-knit community by Pedde, Carrie and Briana, knows they can have fun at the same time. Briana and Isabell, who are homeschooled, have made many friends through the ICC.
“We get a little break in between practices to hang out and talk and exchange phone numbers and make plans to hang out,” Briana said. “The people there are so amazing and the choir is so unified. If you’re different, you’re not made fun of; they don’t stand for that. The choir and directors are so close. (The directors) will tell a funny story of something their kids did. This brings us closer together. It’s really great.”
The positive environment lured Isabell to join as well. “I thought that it would be really fun to join (ICC). Sometimes in special songs you can play instruments. Once I got picked to play drums in one of those songs.”
The choir, which consists of children from 18 months through 18 years in central Indiana, is broken up into about 20 smaller choirs. Children are placed in groups according to where they reside, their skill level and age. Training is held for those ages 18 months through third grade, while those in fourth through 12th grade audition to see where they may be best placed. There is also a choir for children with special needs.
The upcoming concerts, all part of the Christmas Carol theme, will be held on Friday, Dec. 14 & Saturday, Dec. 15. Angles Sing will be performing both evenings 7 p.m., Celebrate the Season will show on Dec. 15, 12:30 p.m., and Sounds of the Season on Dec. 15, 3 p.m. Performances will be held at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, 100 W. 86th St., Indianapolis. Tickets are available at icchoir.org/concerts.
Pedde highly encourages attendees to check out performances by the ICC and assures that ICC will exceed their expectations.
“I think some people don’t know the high caliber and artistic excellence (the choir) achieves,” he said. “This is not like any other choir performance. People will be quite pleasantly surprised.”
For more information about ICC, please visit icchoir.org.