With so many choices of extra curricular activities for your kids, how do you choose? I think as moms we weigh many deciding factors.
How much time does it involve? How much does it cost? How many kids schedules do I have to juggle? What does my child show an aptitude in?
What does my child show an interest in? Historically what did our family of origin excel in? What opportunities will this open for my child?
What kind of contacts will my child make? Will this activity teach my child something that they can use for a lifetime?
I asked myself all these questions as I put my children into a variety of activities. I believed that if they could sample an array of sports and arts, that their world would be broadened. I believed their talents would be expanded. One thing that was important to me was that they would not be afraid of performance. I wanted them to grow up with the confidence that they can get up in front of others and share what they have to share. In the future that could translate to being a professor, a swim instructor, a speaker, an elected official, a violinist, a surgeon, or the head of any department. So I thought about how I could kill two birds with one stone. I wanted my kids to have musical experience and training. What's the musical instrument that you can carry with you anywhere you go? Your voice! My kids were 4,5 and 6 when I put them into Southern California Children's Chorus. They were young enough and surrounded by their peers singing songs that they loved with their amazing instructors. They played games, made friends, and slowly but surely I heard their singing voices improve. They had no fear of performance. They would sing in Del Taco for the manager. The manager even told them that if they sang over the loudspeaker that he would give them free dessert. They would sing for complete strangers. They brightened the moments for the elderly. They would sing for people standing in line at Costco. They had a talent, and they got so much positive feedback that they continued to give. I loved that confidence that I saw, and a heart for giving. The doors for opportunity were also opening. The following year they were invited to sing at Carnegie Hall. In years prior this choir had sung for the Academy Awards, and Imax Movies, Disneyland, Segestrom Hall, and Emmy Award winning video with Tyler Perry to name a few of those experiences.
Sadly we had to move. We looked for another choir to join. I discovered the Millennial Choir and Orchestra. They opened a branch near to my new home. My daughter joined. It wasn't until the rehearsal for the performance that I got to hear this children's chorus join with its other components. The different ages and faiths joined together to praise God. "Strength in numbers" may just be a cliché until you hear 450-500 voices praising God. I went to my daughter's first performance with this choir on April 22, 2016, at a concert titled "Amazing Grace." I was riding on a wave of Holy Spirit and emotion. A flood of golden notes sung by hundreds of faith-driven individuals and led by faith-filled individuals. I dare you to listen to this link without tears welling up, and goosebumps forming all over.
[Tweet "'Strength in numbers' may just be a cliché until you hear 450-500 voices praising God."]
He who sings,” said St. Augustine, “prays twice.” The holy Bishop of Hippo meant that singing adds to our praise and worship of God—that our voices are gifts, with which we can make music to the Lord. Sung prayer expresses the joy of the heart, the happiness resulting from one who has encountered Jesus Christ and experienced his love. Sung prayer reminds us of the choirs of heaven, with whom we are called to praise God eternally in heaven. He Who Sings Prays Twice
Millennial Choirs & Orchestras (MCO) is a performing force of over 2,500 participants—and growing. With locations in California, Arizona, Utah, and Texas, MCO has become the largest organization of its kind in the world, offering superb music training and professional performance opportunities to musicians of all ages and abilities.
MCO was founded in 2007 for the purpose of teaching and encouraging excellence in quality sacred and classical music. Its primary purpose is to fulfill the need for more refined music education in our communities, with a focus on God and country. Similar to the music of the masters—Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms—we are bringing God back into the concert hall with the sacred/classical music that is such a rich part of the history of Christianity. We feel this is vital in today’s society, particularly for the youth of America.
MCO provides an invaluable learning environment whereby children, youth, and adults may associate and develop talents with those who maintain upstanding Christian values, while instilling in its participants a deep love for sacred and classical music. The organization is made up of hundreds of volunteers who represent a variety of faiths.
REHEARSALS & PERFORMANCES
MCO currently rehearses in five locations: Orange County, California; Arizona’s East Valley; Utah Valley; Dallas, Texas; and Idaho’s Treasure Valley. Each MCO locale houses seven performance ensembles, including non-auditioned choirs for children and youth ages 4-18, auditioned adult choirs, and symphony orchestras. All choirs rehearse once each week. The symphony orchestras rehearse less frequently. Together they perform regularly in the finest concert halls in their communities. These concerts unify audiences with inspiring, refined sacred and classical music.
At the end of the day, this choice has introduced my daughter to her own gift. She has made friends, developed her faith, and shared it with thousands. On top of it all, she is praying with song. Saint Augustine was right, let us worship with praise and thanksgiving at any time. Double the power and double the beauty: sing it!
Want to attend this concert?
Music Center at Strathmore, Washington, D.C.
Friday, June 24, 2016. 8pm
About the Author
Married to her longtime friend and mommy to 3 high energy children, who demand her constant attention, and direction, Marya serves on the board of directors for a Domestic Violence non-profit. When not working, she is working out, taking the family for nature walks and adventures, or at the movies. She lives in Southern California and feels absolutely blessed to enjoy the beauty of the area every day.