May 14, 2013

Logansport Children’s Choir celebrates 25 years

by Amie Sites

LOGANSPORT — Students hit high notes with eyes trained on their director, Tim Cahalan, Monday afternoon at a rehearsal. Co-director Susan Cahalan accompanied the rehearsal on piano while students practiced.

The Logansport Children’s Choir, founded in 1988 by the Cahalans, is celebrating its 25th season with a spring concert that invites alumni back from all over the country.

Songs performed will include new pieces as well as several past favorites. Tim Cahalan said alumni will join the current choir on three songs. There will also be a slideshow displaying pictures of the children’s choir’s history.

Mike Etter, a parent who was involved with the choir from 1996 to 2008, had two children, Michael and Maggie, involved with the children’s choir. Etter, who has lived in Logansport for 30 years, said on top of traveling, they have made life-long friends.

“I truly feel the experience changed my children, my wife and myself,” Etter said. “We will always support the choir.”

The choir takes traveling tours every four years and has traveled to England, France, Canada, Italy, Germany and will be visiting Hawaii this summer.

When the choir began, there were 43 members. Today, the choir has anywhere from 80 to 100 members. The choir travels every other year and the first traveling tour in 1997 was in England.

“The children’s choir provides an opportunity not a lot of kids would get to experience,” Etter said.

Choir members have been to 11 countries, 24 states and over the years, there have been a total of 759 students.

Etter’s advice is if a parent has a child interested, they should at least try it out for a year.

Alli Biggs, a junior who has been in the choir for nine years, said she has enjoyed the experience and will continue to sing in her final high school year. She said the choir has allowed her voice to improve.

“I’ve gotten a lot better over the years,” Biggs said. “It also gives me an advantage to know how to pronounce things and work my voice.”

Jeremy Gross, a ninth-grader at Logansport High School, is in his final year of the choir. Gross, who has been in the children’s choir for six years, will continue to sing, however in swing choir.

“The experience has been life changing,” Gross said. “It has taught me to improve communication. Before choir I had a lisp and now it’s gone and I’ve sang in different languages.”

Some of the different languages they have sang in include French, Spanish, German and more.

Sophia Rozzi, a fifth-grader, agrees it has been life changing. Rozzi, who has been in choir for three years, said the opportunity has also allowed her to see friends from other schools.

Over the 25 years, the challenge has been the increase in conflicts, such as activities and sports, Cahalan said.

“It has been a blessing and a challenge,” Cahalan said. “There aren’t any groups like this in a community like this anywhere else. There is no end in sight for us that we know of.”