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"Joyful Noise" Clone in Crystal Lake

We had a meeting yesterday between representatives from NISRA (Northern Illinois Special Recreation Association) and EMA (Encore Music Academy).  EMA received a grant from the McHenry County Community Foundation to develop a choir like Joyful Noise.  At the meeting, I shared your web page and my experience at ACDA National this past March.
They were all very exited about starting the program.  Right now, they are opting for an hour rehearsal on Thursday evenings from 6:30 - 7:30 PM in three eight-week sessions, the first of which will begin on October 6.  The grant should help with enrollment, since it will keep costs down.  NISRA seemed OK with charging for the program since all the participants in their programs pay participation fees.
Now I will begin deciding on what music and what approaches I will use.  Any suggestions for a starting point will be greatly appreciated!  Also, I would appreciate any comments about what to expect from the participants.  All my teaching career I've had special needs students in my music classrooms, but, of course, this is different.
One thing we were trying to come up with was a group name - "HeartSong"? "Sounds of Joy"? "Joyful Noise"? (ahem...)
I intend to keep posting as this program develops.  I'm REALLY blessed and excited!
Replies (9): Threaded | Chronological
on June 26, 2011 10:12am
Hi Steven,
It's so good to hear of your progress.  Since I am in the southern suburbs of Chicago and am in the South Suburban Special Recreation District, I hope your program can be a "model" for Illinois's Special Rec Districts! In fact, please make sure you post here, not only your rehearsals etc. but your CONCERT dates.  If I could make it to one of them--and, let's face it, we're all busy--I would come but I can certainly make sure my Special Rec District knows about it.
I am a moderator of a group of parents of adults in Illinois---Illinois Parents of Adults with Developmental Disabilites UNITE!---and I can, or Gail M. who is also a member of FOJN, announce your new choir.  We have parents, siblings and professionals from around the state interested in making our loved ones lives better and this would be great from them to know about.
As to your name, what about "Joyful Singers" ?  Or "Joyful Songs" ? "Singing from the Heart"? I'm on a roll......"Heartfelt Songs"?
There is a young lady from Wisconsin also trying to start a choir so your progress is of interest to her as well.  Please keep us update--this is so exciting!
on June 26, 2011 6:20pm
Concerts - right now, we are not promoting this as a performing group.  That will be an outgrowth of what develops in the rehearsal.  Encore Music Academy has a children's choir program for first or second grade through high school.  They plan to have a community caroling party on Dec 3, and we plan to have them participate.  I hope NISRA and EMA do well promoting it.  Thanks for your name suggestions, Marie!
on June 28, 2011 9:06am
Having your first experience performing/participating as the community caroling party is a really good idea.  It will be good for your group, good for the kids in the children's choir program and good for their parents as well. You will be surprized by the number of people who will tell you of their family members and neighbors who will want to join your group after it.
Allison posted something a few days ago in the FOJN Forum for Joyful Expressions with ideas about repertoire.  It should help you as well.
I had some more name ideas for you when I sat down at the computer this morning but they've flown from my head--not enough coffee! Later.
on June 28, 2011 7:38pm
I couldn't remember the name of the song I was going to suggest but finally did---" The Bear Went Over the Mountain"--repeated phrases and the SECOND verse is pretty funny! 
What about "Singing for Joy"? "The Joyful Hearts"?
on July 10, 2011 8:57am
Dear Steven,
Congratulations on your new choir! On October 6, you may find that your excitement will be more than matched by the excitement of your singers! (During the exuberance – and mild cacophony – of our first rehearsal in March 2000, I concluded that “Joyful Noise” was the perfect name for our chorus.)
With two established organizations offering enthusiastic support, as well as the community foundation’s financial backing, you have a great structure on which to build. Do you feel comfortable sharing what your initial participation fees will be?
In terms of names, the singers of Joyful Noise would, of course, be thrilled if several of the new groups now springing up would include some form of “Joy” in their names. You could, of course, wait to ask your new singers whether they would like to participate in naming their own choir. We find that when singers have a role in decisions – eg choosing repertoire from a guided list – they are more invested and engaged.
Your most important question is one of repertoire and approaches. Alice Parker offered some guidelines to Vera for Albuquerque’s “Expressions of Joy” a few weeks ago. Alice has given me permission to share her eloquent words with you and the members of our ChoralNet Community. Her recommendations, as always, are perfect! (I’ll copy them into a new post so that others will notice them, too.)
I also posted a few ideas for Vera on June 24 and will try to add some further thoughts for you soon.
Best wishes, Steve,
Allison Fromm
on July 10, 2011 9:53pm
Thanks for your response, Allison. I really appreciate the support and enthusiasm you share.  Thank you, also, for passing along the message from Alice Parker.  She continues to share her profound wisdom with the choral community!
I have not set the fees - NISRA is doing that.  But I will post it when I find out.
This is really exciting!!
on August 3, 2011 2:33pm
The group that we are starting in Crystal Lake is being publicized through the activities catalogue of Northern Illinois Sprcial Recreation Association (NISRA).  The fee that they are charging for the 8-week term is $52 with assistance available.  I don't really have much control over how much is charged since I am working with two organizations that are woking together for this:  NISRA and Encore! Music Academy (formerly Northwest Community Musica Academy - they are just beginning a re-branding...).  NISRA will be providing staff assistence during rehearsals, and even transportation, so I think those things are factored into the cost.  I hope the cost is not a deterrent.  They are just now sending out the brochures.  The name dicided on is Encore! Joyful Noise ( a tip of the hat to Allison and her realized vision!)
on August 3, 2011 3:50pm
Hi Steve,
Just got my South Suburban Special Rec Association catalogue yesterday and wondered if your group would be in the NISRA's. I plan to call SSSRA and mention your new group, with the idea of starting something down here--not with me as director, however. The price seems about right, especially with transportation included.  I would be willing to explain why it's a good price  off line.
on August 8, 2011 4:05pm
This is terrific, Steve! Is there a link to an online brochure catalog listing that you could post for others to see? The cost of $6.50 per session seems reasonable, since staff assistance and transportation are provided. Those are two critical factors in the success of an ensemble like ours.
What a cool name! I'm honored, and our New Jersey and Delaware members will be, too! It's such a thrill that several conductors and organizations are beginning to realize our shared vision of singing for everyone!
Please keep sending news about "Encore! Joyful Noise," Steve!
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