The New Hope Children’s Choir – Transforming Lives Through Music
“Music's only purpose should be for the glory of God and the recreation of the human spirit.” Johann Sebastian Bach
The most devastating thing about being homeless is not the loss of the home itself; it is the loss of a person’s pride, dignity, identity, and sense of self-worth. And for children caught in this situation, a situation they cannot control and often cannot understand, the experience of being homeless can be crippling. What they really need, beyond a new home, is a new hope.
And that’s just what we’re hoping to do with The New Hope Children’s Choir.
The magic of music
The simple act of listening to music already has a mysterious and wonderful power to transform people. But it is in the act of making music that this power really comes into its own, especially for children. The joy of creating something of beauty, of expressing your feelings, and of simply being heard is, quite simply, magical. And while homeless children may often lack many material things, they already have all they need to create a little magic of their own: their voices and their sense of fun and spontaneity.
The New Hope Children’s Choir will be entirely made up of the children who are now staying in our shelters, as well as our former residents.
And because, more than anything else, this project is about empowering the children and giving them a new sense of meaning and purpose in their lives, this choir will stand out in one very important way from an ordinary choral group: anyone who wants to will be able to join the choir, even if they can’t really sing - yet!
“Working with whatever we have”
While most choirs require a certain level of skill and singing ability before you can join, this choir doesn’t. The only thing a child needs to be a part of this choir is the desire to be there, and we’ll work with whatever we have.
Taking on the challenge of leading, training, guiding, and nurturing the children will be Joyce Ang, a choir master and singer, and Kenneth Ngo, a pianist and vocalist. Both are highly accomplished professional musicians with decades of experience between them but, more importantly, they both have a heart for homeless children and a passion to serve them through music. They will be conducting The New Hope Children’s Choir’s first ever music camp in November 2009, and it promises to be a powerful time of fun, music-making, and self-discovery.
Music as the means
Through the mysterious magic of music and the discipline of the vocal training, we hope to instill the values of hard work and goal setting in these children. By singing together as a choir, they will learn about community and teamwork. And by learning how to perform together and in front of an audience, we hope to build in these children a deep sense of self-esteem, dignity, and self-worth.
If we can do all these things, the music we make will truly be sweet indeed – and magical!