After a fantastic fall semester, led by Interim Artistic Director Matt Carlson, we are excited to welcome Artistic Director Dr. Brent C. Talbot back to our choir! Last semester, Dr. Talbot was on sabbatical from his position as an Associate Professor and Coordinator of Music Education at the college, and spent his time hiking the Long Trail in Vermont and conducting research in Trinidad and Tobago. A huge thank you Mr. Carlson, and welcome back, Dr. Talbot!
After a season like no other, our winter concert will also look a little different. Join us on January 17th at 7pm for our virtual celebration, premiering on our website! We cannot wait to show off the hard work our students have been doing all semester, and the incredible virtual choir projects they have created. Our Fall season officially concluded on December 7th, and since then our incredible instructors have been working hard to put together a concert experience that showcases their music and underlines the message of the program, titled “Be The Change.”
Students have also been discussing all semester how they can “be the change” in their own communities, and will share some of their reflections during our concert. Additionally, the day after our concert is MLK Jr. Day, and while many school students have the day off we hope our concert inspires you to take the day ON! We will be highlighting initiatives in our community and beyond to get involved with social justice and positive global change. Our concert will be a celebration of growth and a call to action, and we encourage our audience to engage in these efforts as well.
Though our concert season looks a little different this year, the children’s choir is performing all over! We will be singing on Music, Gettysburg!’s Christmas Offering concert on December 13th, and featuring selections from both our children’s choir and chamber chorale. The Christmas Offering is an annual celebration of Advent and holiday cheer, with performances by both local artists and groups and internationally recognized performers.
The performance rings in the holiday season, and this year features the Children’s Chorus along with Wayne Hill, the Ben Jones Brass, and flautist Teresa Bowers premiering a new work commissioned for the event. You can watch the virtual extravaganza live on their website when it premiers at 4 pm on December 13th. And of course, be sure to stay tuned to our social media to see sneak peeks of all our virtual projects this semester!
We are excited to announce that some of our virtual choir projects and performances this Fall will be supported through a generous grant from Constellation Energy! We were awarded funding through their “Constellation Community Champions” initiative, which supports projects in education, youth, and the environment in local communities across the country. This grant will help us continue our mission of enriching young people’s lives through music. With our season shifted to a virtual format, our financial needs have also changed, but we have been so fortunate to continue receiving support. We are so grateful to our generous donors, as well as companies like Constellation, who continue to sustain our educative and musical initiatives through their gifts and financial support.
We were honored to be included in the Interfaith Center for Peace and Justice’s Artistic Heritage Festival again this year! Each year, the ICPJ Heritage Festival supports their mission of celebrating the different cultures and heritages that enrich the Adam’s County community. The festival was virtual this year, but was still a vibrant event, featuring downloadable stories, music by local artists and groups, cuisine from around the world, and art created by county residents.
Many of these features are still available to view on their website, including our performance of Matt Carlson’s “Begin”! You can watch the performance, and many others, on their website: http://icpj-gettysburg.org/festival-2/artistic-heritage/
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic putting many things on hold, the Gettysburg Children’s Choir continues to sing! After the successful completion of our camp, Summer Sing!, we decided to continue with a virtual format for the Fall semester, pivoting all of our instruction, rehearsals and performances online for the foreseeable future. Our singers still rehearse once a week, but from the comfort and safety of their own homes. We were excited at the opportunity to reimagine our choral program, and we are continuing to innovate and learn together as situations and needs change.
Our instruction team has also grown this year to include five talented and dedicated members. Dr. Talbot, our Artistic Director, was joined by two Assistant Directors, Mr. Matt Carlson and Ms. Austin Nikirk. Both are talented educators and musicians who started out as interns, and are currently teaching: Mr. Carlson in the Bermudian Springs School District, and Ms. Nikirk in l’Académie d’Amiens. Our intern from the spring, Allie Charney, has also stayed on and continues her field work with the group. And Mrs. Bowman, our Manager, continues to keep the wheels moving behind the scenes, and provides invaluable support to our families and students.
Be sure to follow us on Facebook to stay up to date with our activities, and see sneak peeks of all our virtual projects this semester!
Since our inception, the Gettysburg Children’s Choir’s mission has centered on providing access to a professional level choir for children from all cultural and economic backgrounds and to serve as a model for promoting diverse choral literature.
We believe music making is a powerful tool in combating hate and injustice. That through our artistic work we address the conditions of our world, lift up and amplify the voices of our community, foster mutual understanding, and plant the seeds of empathy. Day in and day out we work to keep this mission alive and to enact change.
The tragic deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and countless others remind us of the vital importance of our work, but also of how much work there is left to do.
We stand in solidarity with our singers, families, and communities of color as they continue to experience the trauma of oppression. We unequivocally assert that Black Lives Matter. We commit to being an open space where youth from all backgrounds can process and share their emotions and realities.
Our hearts are heavy, but we are fortified by our singers’ passion to continually use their bold voices for positive change, and we are strengthened by the shared commitment to nurturing the next generation of empathetic leaders and musicians.
Brent C. Talbot, Ph.D. - Artistic Director
Jamie Bowman - Managing Director
Deb Kammerer - Board President
Amanda Hollabaugh - Board Treasurer
Alice Broadway - Board Member
Brian Granger - Board Member
Carla E. Pavlick - Board Member
Adrienne Seitz - Board Member
Dr. Talbot is on sabbatical leave during the fall 2019 semester. He will be conducting research on children's songs and games in Trinidad and Tobago and learning steel pan. He will return in January.
Matt Carlson is Interim Artistic Director of the Children's Choir for the 2019 fall semester. Mr. Carlson teaches vocal music in the Bermudian Springs School District (York Springs, PA). He is a graduate of Gettysburg College (B.S. Music Education) and Michigan State University (M.M. Choral Conducting). Mr. Carlson is an active composer and arranger, whose music has been commissioned and performed by the Gettysburg College Choir, Gettysburg Children’s Choir, the Adams County (PA) Junior High Honor Choir, the Tucson Girls Chorus, the Frederick County (MD) Elementary Honor Choir, PMEA District 5 Elementary Choir Fest, and PMEA District 7 Elementary Songfest.
In his current position at the Bermudian Springs School District, Mr. Carlson teaches high school choir, fourth grade general music and choir, and serves as music director for the spring musical. In these dynamic learning environments, musicians uncover their expressive, creative, and musical voices by engaging in music making that informs their humanity and inspires life-long musicianship. Mr. Carlson has attended choral conducting symposia at Temple University, the University of Michigan, and Westminster Choir College, where he refined his conducting gesture and rehearsal technique. His conducting teachers include Robert Natter, Paul Rardin, Rollo Dilworth, Jerry Blackstone, Gary Graden, James Jordan, Charles Bruffy, Jonathan Reed, and David Rayl. He received his Orff Level 1 certification from the Eastman School of Music with Jim Solomon, Mary-Helen Solomon, Karen Medley, and Janet Robbins. He combines these experiences to best showcase the musical strengths of his students, constantly arranging and composing for the ensembles with whom he works. In 2017, he received the Outstanding Young Conductor award from the American Choral Directors Association of Pennsylvania.
Mr. Carlson has continued to be an active member of the Gettysburg music community. He sings with the Gettysburg College Concert Choir and was their interim director in the spring semester of 2017. He also served as Interim Artistic Director of the Gettysburg Children's Choir in the fall of 2014 and has been the assistant director of their youth choir camp since 2015. For more information, visit Mr. Carlson's website at http://www.mattcarlson.co
Owen Yingling, Littlestown High School, and Max Wolfe, Gettysburg Area Middle School, were selected to participate in the National Honor Choirs of the American Choral Directors Association in Salt Lake City in February, 2015. Guest conductor for the High School Honor Choir was Andre Thomas and guest conductor for the Junior High Honor Choir was Bob Chilcott.
Dr. Talbot will be on sabbatical in Bali, Indonesia, for the fall semester. The Choir has announced interim directors. Dr. Talbot will return in December. Matt Carlson is the interim director of the Children’s Choir. He teaches high school chorus and fourth grade general music in Bermudian Springs School District in York Springs, PA. He is a graduate of the Sunderman Conservatory of Music at Gettysburg College with a B.S. in Music Education. A frequent performer Matt has sung with the Gettysburg College Choir and Camerata, played percussion in the Wind Symphony and Jazz Ensemble, and was the assistant director of Gamelan Gita Semara, Gettysburg’s gamelan ensemble. Matt also studied conducting with Dr. Robert Natter, served as Assistant Director of the Gettysburg College Choir, and interned with the Gettysburg Children’s Choir. Eric Dundore will serve as director of the High School Vocal Ensemble. He is a retired vocal music teacher with twenty-two years as the Director of Vocal/Choral Music at Mechanicsburg Area High School, where he conducted the Concert Chorale, Mixed Chorus, Wildcat Singers and the Spring Musical production. Eric has also been the Director of Music at St. Paul’s U.C.C. in Mechanicsburg for the last 31 years. He currently directs the Men’s Chorus at Bethany Village in Mechanicsburg. Mr. Dundore holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Lebanon Valley College, where he studied with Pierce Getz and Ronald Burrichter. He has done additional graduate work at Westminster Choir College, the Peabody Conservatory and Hartt College of Music, studying with Joseph Flummerfelt, Paul Hill and Gregg Smith. Eric served as Artistic Director of the Chamber Singers of Harrisburg and the Lebanon County Choral Society. He is a frequent musical director/stage performer with Theater Harrisburg. He served three years on the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Opera/Choral Panel, the PA Board of the American Choral Directors Association, and is a past President of the Cumberland County Music Educators Association.
Three Gettysburg Children's Choir members were selected for the ACDA Regional Honor Choirs in Baltimore in February, 2014: Lucy Pratt, Gettysburg Area High School for the High School Honor Choir; Max Wolfe, Gettysburg Area Middle School, and Owen Yingling, Littlestown High School for the Junior High Honor Choir.
Guest conductor for the High School Honor Choir was Jo-Michael Scheibe, chair of the Thornton School of Music Department of Choral and Sacred Music at the University of Southern California, and guest conductor for the Junior High Honor Choir was Jeffrey Ames, director of choral activities at Belmont University.
Grant Sanders, grade 9, and Owen Yingling, grade 8, were accepted into the ACDA National Junior High Honor Choir. The Choir will perform in Dallas, TX, in March, 2013.
Four students from the Gettysburg Children's Choir participated in the thirteenth annual Baltimore Boychoir Festival hosted by the Maryland State Boychoir in May, 2012. Joshua Larkin, St. Francis School; Maxwell Wolfe, Lincoln Elementary School; Arjun Guidroz and Michael Kiehl, Gettysburg Area Middle School joined other participants including The Newark Boys Chorus, Newark, New Jersey; The Georgia Boychoir, Atlanta, Georgia; The Boychoir of Ann Arbor, Michigan; and The Maryland State Boychoir , Baltimore, Maryland. Guest conductor was Dr. Paul Rardin, Temple University.
Grant Sanders was accepted into the ACDA Regional Junior High Honor Choir and Emma Sanders and Maxwell Wolfe were accepted into the ACDA Regional Elementary Honor Choir held in Providence, RI, in February, 2012. Grant is in eighth grade at Gettysburg Area Middle School. Emma Sanders is in fifth grade at James Gettys Elementary and Maxwell Wolfe is in fifth grade at Lincoln Elementary.
Four students participated in Boyz Noyz, a festival for junior high boys, held at Allen Middle School in Camp Hill on November 16, 2012. Guest conductor was Christopher Fox, Loudon County Virginia Public Schools. Participants were David Buxton, Owen Yingling, Josh Larkin, and Maxwell Wolfe.
Released November 2011
Four members of the Gettysburg Children’s Choir participated in Boyz Noyz, a choral festival for middle school boys, at Allen Middle School, Camp Hill, on November 18. The annual Festival is sponsored by the Pennsylvania chapter of the American Choral Directors Association. Participants were David Buxton, Arjun Guidroz, and Grant Sanders, Gettysburg Area Middle School and Joshua Larkin, St. Francis Xavier School. Guest conductor was Robert Drafall, director of choirs at State College Area High School.
Released August 2011
On August 7 and 8, three members of the Gettysburg Children’s Choir participated in the select Junior High Honor Choir sponsored by the American Choral Directors Association of Pennsylvania at their annual summer conference at Pennsylvania State University. The participants were Gisele Betances, Grant Sanders and Kelsey Wendell, all students at Gettysburg Area Middle School. Guest Honor Choir conductors were Margaret Jenks, director of the Madison, Wisconsin, Youth Choir, and Randal Swiggum, director of the Elgin, Illinois, Youth Symphony.
Released March 2011
Seven students from the Gettysburg Children’s Choir will participate in the twelfth annual Baltimore Boychoir Festival hosted by the Maryland State Boychoir on May 20 and 21. Joshua Larkin, St. Francis School; Arjun Guidroz and Grant Sanders, Gettysburg Area Middle School; Grant Doehring and Maxwell Wolfe, Lincoln Elementary School; and Will Bein and Owen Yingling, Maple Avenue Middle School, will join other participants including The Newark Boys Chorus, Newark, New Jersey; The Georgia Boychoir, Atlanta, Georgia; The Boychoir of Ann Arbor, Michigan; The Maryland Boy Choir, Riverdale, Maryland; and The Maryland State Boychoir , Baltimore, Maryland. This year’s Festival Director is internationally known conductor Simon Carrington. The Festival concludes with a concert at Kerr Center for the Arts, Severna, MD, on Saturday, May 21 at 7:30pm. The concert is open to the public. Tickets are available online at www.marylandstateboychoir.org.