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HomeNewsLocal newsSt. John All-Island Children’s Choir Performs Dec. 7

St. John All-Island Children’s Choir Performs Dec. 7

Kristen Carmichael-Bowers, far right, and third graders at the St. John Christian Academy wave at the end of a rehearsal. (Photo by Christie Paul)

More than 100 youngsters from St. John will be singing their hearts out on Wednesday,  Dec. 7 when the St. John All-Island Children’s Choir presents its first concert in three years.

The public is invited to the free 30-minute performance which will be held at the Julius E. Sprauve School auditorium at 5:30 p.m. Because seating is limited, the concert will also be live-streamed on Sing St. John’s YouTube Channel.

“The kids are so resilient,” said Kristen Carmichael-Bowers, the director of Sing St. John. “They have gone from not singing together since 2019 to suddenly singing in two and three-part harmony in only seven rehearsals, which is astounding.”

Carmichael-Bowers and her new assistant, Christie Paul, have been visiting individual classrooms in grades 3 through 5 at the Sprauve School, the Gifft Hill School, and the St. John Christian Academy combined with home-schooled children to get the students ready for the limelight. On December 7, the children from all three schools will come together for the day to play games, rehearse, and perform as one choir for the first time.

“It truly takes a community to make this event happen,” Carmichael-Bowers said. In addition to nine classroom teachers, 25 community volunteers and staff members must be on hand to keep the production running smoothly.

“Sing St John is so grateful to JESS Principal Mrs. Rogers-Bully for generously hosting this event,” Carmichael-Bowers said.  “It’s a disruption to their schedule on choir concert day, and she always weathers it with such grace!”

But Carmichael-Bowers never doubts that it’s worth all the effort. “On St John, our connection to each other is a vital resource that needs to be mindfully maintained. In times of hardship and crisis, this is what sustains us.”

The children seem to sense this. “Probably the young singers’ favorite song of the program is ‘Sisi ni Moja’ by Jacob Narverud,” Carmichael-Bowers said. “The lyrics say, ‘We are one world, one people, and we all breathe the same.’”

Carmichael-Bowers teaches this song every year “because it is the very essence of what Sing St John aims to do: to bring us together through song to realize that our community is as one body.”

All Sing St John programs — for children, adults, and seniors — are offered free of charge to ensure that everyone is included. The organization is funded by community donations and by grants from organizations including the National Endowment for the Arts, Virgin Islands Council on the Arts, Virgin Islands Lottery, and the Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands.

Live-streaming of its programs is made possible with the help of Love City Community Network.

Tax-deductible donations can be made online: www.singstjohn.org, or by check, addressed to Sing St. John, PO Box 37, St. John, VI 00831.

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