Columbus Indiana Children’s Choir a focus of Philharmonic pop concerts

Photo by Tim Miller

For many during the holiday season, the innocent, angelic, melodic voices of youngsters can penetrate even the hardest of hearts.

Melissa Garcia understands. She’s the director of the Columbus Indiana Children’s Choir that has been softening hearts this time of year for seemingly as long as the Scrooges of the world have been battling cynicism.

The choir has become a staple at the Columbus Indiana Philharmonic’s annual holiday concerts that sometimes have becomes sellouts. This season’s “Holiday Pops” performances are at 3 and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 9 at Clarence E. Robbins Auditorium, 230 S. Marr Road.

The matinee performance will include all three levels of the choir singing. The evening show will feature only the concert choir, which includes third- to ninth-graders.

Garcia grew up in the Indianapolis Children’s Choir system in Anderson, so she understands the power of young ones to transform this season’s cynics into sentimental celebrators.

“I think we’re all are able to find the inner child during the holidays while we’re listening to beautiful voices sing,” Garcia said. “I think that’s pretty easy to do.”

The choir is scheduled to perform “Sing Alleluia” and “A Star Dances, An Angel Sings” by itself with the orchestra.

The latter tune is one that Garcia calls “a lovely arrangement with a really beautiful orchestra sound. And it is simple enough for the orchestra that they don’t have to be quite so loud so that the kids can be easily heard over them.”

The children’s choir will join the Philharmonic Chorus on “All is Well,” and “Candlelight Carol.”

Besides the holiday festiveness, the concerts regularly have been among the orchestra’s most popular, partly because some concertgoers have lauded the sheer spectacle and stirring sense of so many blended voices.

“I think this concert is a great community event for everyone,” Garcia said.

That includes the children’s choir alumni, who are invited back to perform with the ensemble at these shows every year. Garcia relates to that draw since she herself came out of that same training.

“I just want people to come away with a sense of the gift of the season,” Garcia said. “We want to be able to spread some Christmas cheer, but we also want to know if there are other children out there interested in singing with us in the future. We also want them to see that the Columbus Indiana Children’s Choir is doing remarkable things.”

About the concerts

Who: The Columbus Indiana Philharmonic presenting two “Holiday Pops” concerts.

When: 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 9.

Where: Clarence E. Robbins Auditorium, Columbus East High School, 230 S. Marr Road.