Young vocalists from Bulloch and Evans counties will grace the Emma Kelly Theater stage Sunday with songs, both accompanied and a cappella, from all around the world.
Ranging in age from 6 to 18, these students participate in the Statesboro Youth Chorale or the Claxton Youth Singers - both part of the arts education programs at the Averitt Center for the Arts.
The Youth Chorale programs, under the direction of artistic director Sarah Hancock, comprise five choirs: Seraphim, Bel Canto, Vox Novum, Boys Choir and the Claxton Youth Singers. Additional choral directors include Gigi Naeve and Lucy Santos Green.
Sunday's concert will showcase songs from various countries around the globe, including Brazil, Kenya, Korea, Hungary, Great Britain and, of course, the United States. The vocalists will be accompanied by pianists Lynn Wright and Cindy Marshall.
"The concert is comprised of a broad spectrum of music ... just good music written in other countries," Hancock said.
A year-round vocal program, the students have been working on some numbers since September and learned others as recently as January, Hancock explained. Most choirs meet once a week, so more complicated music takes longer to learn.
"It's also surprising that the younger the children are, the faster they learn," she said with a laugh. "It's almost scary how quickly the Seraphim Choir, our youngest kids, memorize their music."
Most of the participants are from either Bulloch or Evans county, because rehearsals are held in Statesboro and Claxton, but several children from other surrounding counties do participate. The youngest choirs are open to all children who want to participate, while older children must pass a simple audition.
"I just ask them to sing ‘Happy Birthday' or something like that," Hancock said. "I believe every child can learn to sing; it's a matter of training, especially at a young age."
The concert is open to the public. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for youth ages 12 and under. To purchase tickets, call the Averitt Center box office at (912) 212-2787 or purchase online at www.averittcenterforthearts.org. Box office hours are Tuesday through Friday from noon to 5:30 p.m.