Young Singers of the Palm Beaches starts choir in western communities

November 4, 2014
Young Singers of the Palm Beaches starts choir in western communities

Young Singers of the Palm Beaches starts choir in western communities



Young Singers of the Palm Beaches has introduced a new satellite chorus, offering free music education to the children of Belle Glade, Pahokee, South Bay and Canal Point.

The “Choir in the Glades” was unveiled last month at the Dolly Hand Cultural Arts Center in Belle Glade.

Joining the Young Singers were several community leaders, officials and business representatives, including South Bay Mayor Shanique Scott; Pahokee City Commissioner Diane Walker; Lake Okeechobee Regional Economic Council Leader Donia Roberts; PBSO Chief Deputy 

Michael Gauger; and representatives from Congressman Alcee Hastings office, the Red Cross, Florida Crystals, and the Sugar Growers Cooperative.

“It’s exciting to know that we will be doing this arts project, to make a difference,” School Board member Marcia Andrews said in a prepared statement. “We know that arts and academics strive to make better citizens.”

The board of directors and staff of Young Singers are aware of the large amount of untapped talent among the underserved children of the Glades region. Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Michael Gauger, described the reason perfectly.

“What these programs like Young Singers do is give a child the opportunity to build self esteem,” Deputy Gauger said “It gives them hope. It gives them direction. It helps them with team work, and how important is that.”

Demonstration of Young Singers of the Palm Beaches’ high-caliber children’s choral instruction was evidenced in a performance by three current YSPB choir members: second-grader Alexa LaSanta, 11th-grader Renee Poskitt and fifth-grader Hunter-Lynn Bhagwandeen.

The program has been made possible by a 3-year grant from the Community Foundation of Palm Beach and Martin Counties through the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Fund.

“One of the goals for this year’s arts and culture grant making was to support projects that focus on bridging cultural divides,” said Michael Hurlbert, Community Foundation president and CEO. “The Young Singers new choir in the western communities is a shining example of a program that has the potential to unite the community in a unique way.”

“Choir in the Glades” will be offered at no charge. Auditions will be held at elementary schools, as well as at an open audition Nov. 8 at the First United Methodist Church of Pahokee and at the Community United Methodist Church in Belle Glade. ¦

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Photographs by David R. Randell and Danielle M. Zaros