Two Poway women forming new children’s chorus
By Emily Sorensen
Two Poway women are starting up a children’s chorus, “Kids Sing,” for the Poway and Rancho Bernardo area, for kindergarten through third grade, as well as a preschool group for ages 3 to 5.
The group will have its first rehearsal 3:30 to 4:15 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 5 at the RB Swim and Tennis Club.
Jessica Dahlquist, who graduated from Poway High School in 2002, and her sister-in-law Denise Gonda, both grew up in Poway. “I’ve been performing forever,” said Dahlquist, who performed in children’s choruses and in musical theater growing up, as well as in her high school and college choirs. “It sparked this love of performing.”
Now a stay-at-home mom with two small children, Dahlquist was inspired to start up their new chorus after realizing nothing like it existed in the area anymore. “I was in something similar to this growing up,” said Dahlquist. “It lasted for 20 years, but it fizzled out and now there’s nothing.”
More than just for a love of performing, Dahlquist wants to create the children’s chorus so children today can experience what she did as a child. “Performing in nursing homes instilled a love of performing, and a love of service,” said Dahlquist. “It teaches confidence, to get up and performing in front of people.”
Dahlquist is no stranger to teaching singing. For her senior project at Poway High School, she gave private voice lessons at the Escondido YMCA. She and Gonda will both teach the chorus, with the kindergarten through third grade group meeting Wednesday afternoons from 3:30 to 4:15 p.m. at the RB Swim and Tennis Club, and the preschool group practicing 1 p.m. Mondays at Gonda’s home.
The women are hoping to have between 20 and 30 children in the chorus. “We want to keep it small enough to give the kids a chance for a solo, and to give them the individual attention they deserve,” said Dahlquist. Dahlquist said they already had about 20 children signed up to be in the chorus.
They plan to focus on seasonally appropriate music, beginning with a non-denominational holiday music revue with a Christmas theme for their first performance, which will be Saturday, Dec. 8 at Old Poway Park. They also plan to hold a free concert at least one nursing home or assisted living facility. In the spring, they will focus on patriotic music and also more general chorus music.
“Our performances will always involve a lot of singing, acting, dancing and performing,” said Dahlquist.
The cost for the kindergarten through third-grade chorus is $40 a month (sibling discount available), or $150 if paid up front. There is also a costume fee ranging from $30 to $40. The preschool chorus is $30 a month (sibling discount available) or $100 paid up front, and an additional $10 for a “Kids Sing” T-shirt to wear as a costume. There is also a $10 registration fee for both choruses.
If you’re interested in having your child join the chorus, contact Dahlquist and Gonda at 619-559-0102 or email@example.com, or visit www.kids-sing.com.
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