News

Long Island Children’s Choir Prospers In The Face Of School Budget Cuts

DEER PARK, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A children’s choir on Long Island has seen immense success even in the face of school budget cuts, as they get ready for a big performance.

As TV 10/55 Long Island Bureau Chief Richard Rose reported Thursday, just a year ago, many of the kids now belting it out for the Deer Park-based Long Island Children’s Choir were wondering if they would get to follow their love for music.

The program was in jeopardy because of budget cuts at their schools. But that was when parents, educators and musicians decided that if districts could not afford music classes, then they would do it themselves.

“We formed this choir just last September, and in the first semester, we had over 100 children enrolled from all across Long Island,” said choir board member Jennifer Shear.

Professional musicians have helped shape the talent of three different choirs, aged from first grade through high school seniors. Many of the kids in the choir told TV 10/55 they have an appreciation for the work that went into writing the songs they love.

“If you’re listening to a song on the radio, and you start singing along automatically, and you realize you really like the song, and if it wasn’t there, you wouldn’t get to hear the song,” said Kennedy Royal, 10.

Choir artistic director Colleen Regan said over the last few months, she has watched the kids turn into polished musicians.

“I think one of my favorite moments is when they get something it, like, clicks, and then there’s that look on their face and that excitement, and you know, they’re experiencing this wonderful musical thing together,” Regan said.

The choir will get to do just that on a big stage next month, performing a song with special meaning for them about their journey called “Keep on Walking.”

The Long Island Children’s Choir will perform June 21 at the Tilles Center in Greenvale. Auditions will be held next month, because the choir is adding a fourth unit.

The choir has already performed for the Long Island Ducks and the Islanders.

Tuition for six-month semesters with the choir runs $200 to $300.