Children singing a new song

Posted Monday, Oct. 21, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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More information Enrollment in the Jubilate Children’s Choir will be open next spring. For more information, e-mail jubilatechildrenschoir@gmail.com.

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Remy Goldsmith loves singing and performing, so when she heard about the Jubilate Children’s Choir, she knew she had to try it. And the fact that her former teacher, Gail Baker, was directing didn’t hurt either.

“I really wanted to come,” said the Mary Lillard Intermediate School fifth-grader. “Mrs. Baker is a wonderful teacher, and I wanted to meet new people.”

Baker, who taught Goldsmith and hundreds of other students in her 14 years as a music teacher at Willie Brown Elementary, retired in 2012. But that didn’t mean she stopped teaching.

By September 2012, she and Roberta Tipps Elementary music teacher Tiffany Jordan had started the Jubilate Children’s Choir.

“I felt like the community needed a choir,” Baker said. “I wanted to stay with the children. Children and music are my passion.”

The choir, although not affiliated with any church, rehearses at First United Methodist, which also helps support the children’s choir. Open to children in the third through sixth grade, participating in the choir is free and there are no auditions.

“I would have given anything for a choir like this when I was a kid,” Baker said. “I was in my church choir, but we only sang at church.”

So far, Jubilate has attracted 35 youngsters from a dozen schools in Mansfield, Grand Prairie and Arlington, who have performed at the Christmas Spectacular and Watercrest retirement community. Upcoming performances include Hometown Holidays, Methodist Mansfield Medical Center, St. John’s Lutheran Church and a return to the Christmas Spectacular.

Although not church-related, the choir performs a blend of secular and sacred music during the holidays, Baker said, gearing their music to their audience.

“We’re using our talents to reach out to others,” Jordan explained. “Music is a universal language. Wherever you go, it’s read the same way. The words may be different, but the music is the same.”

While they are giving to the community, the young singers are also reaping rewards in learning music and performing, while finding a place that they are accepted, Jordan said.

“It’s a place for kids to fit in,” she said.

Singing ability runs the gamut, Baker said.

“We have kids that don’t sing well and we have kids that will be on Broadway,” she said. “We’re in this so kids can enjoy the experience of singing and performing.”

Amanda Rogers, 817-473-4451 Twitter: @AmandaRogersNM

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