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Chandler Children’s Choir

The Cantus Choir Selected To Perform at Temple Square

The Chandler Children’s Choir teen program, Cantus, was invited to perform at the American Choral Directors Association’s 2020 Western Regional Conference on March 5. The 29 Cantus singers, who range between the ages of 13-18, will perform at Temple Square in downtown Salt Lake City, Utah. They are one of 18 choirs performing and the only youth choir selected.

“The conference is for all the choral directors in the Western region. It’s a very arduous audition process and it’s all anonymous,” says Aimee Stewart, founder and artistic director of Chandler Children’s Choir.

The application process included sending live recordings from the past three seasons, as well as a proposed program for a 30-minute concert.

“It’s a really high-profile experience to perform for an entire region of choir directors and to be an example of what a good children’s choir is. It’s a prestigious honor to be chosen,” explains Stewart.

Stewart applied several times for this opportunity, but it’s fortuitous this is the first year they were selected. The conference is held every other year in various states, and this time it’s in her parents' hometown. There will be three generations of family on stage. Stewart’s mother, an orchestra violinist, will perform, as will her daughter, Ivy. Stewart is the conductor.

This is Chandler Children’s Choir’s 12th season, and there are 130 children in the program. Stewart was inspired to start the nonprofit organization because of her 7-year-old daughter who loved to sing.

“We recently moved here from Connecticut. Phoenix was such a big city, and everything was downtown. There was nothing in the East Valley. There were so many families in Chandler, and such a need for this,” she says.

Stewart was teaching private voice lessons at the time and felt strongly that the best place for young singers to improve was choir, where they could learn to harmonize with others and sing a wide variety of repertoire.

“Choir is a really good avenue to build character in young people. It can be really rewarding artistically, socially and emotionally. Kids who come to choir every week are a part of a team. They leave feeling good about themselves and go out and make the world a little better.”

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