This year’s Sing Raise the Roof Festival is a celebration of music from around the world, a veritable multi-cultural bonanza. Our youngest singers are working on material pulled from such diverse repertoire as the Italian Opera tradition, Serbian and Swahili folk culture as well as an American song dedicated to the victims of Haiti’s earthquake. Our Young Men’s Chorus can’t help but sing all day, as they profess in the Spanish song Yo Le Canto Todo El Dia. They will also perform music from acclaimed gospel composer Rollo Dilworth as well as a South African Freedom Song Tshotsholoza. Give pronouncing this word your best shot, then come to the concert and see how close you were.
The Colorado Springs Children’s Chorale began producing Sing Raise the Roof in 2001 as an ongoing outreach effort aimed at boys and young men. The benefits of choral singing uniquely suit many of the challenges our young men face in their lives and schooling. According to a 2009 study by The National Music Educators Association people who sing in choir see academic as well as social gains. There is also evidence that parents perceive many benefits of choral participation ranging from improved self-esteem to better focus, longer attention spans, and improved academic success. Unfortunately these benefits are disproportionately going to female students. According to a study by Jana Grace Williams in choirs across the country the ratio of female to male students sits at roughly 3:1 with only 26% of young men participating in school choirs. There is a perception among many students that singing is something that men don’t do. Our country has a proud tradition of singing men and Sing Raise the Roof! aims to build on this tradition and make it grow in the 21st century.
The Colorado Springs Children’s Chorale is the Pikes Peak regions premier community youth chorus. Comprised of 200 hundred young people grades K-12 divided among 5 choirs: The Dawn Singers, Springs Singers, Pikes Peak Singers, the Summit Ensemble and the High Altitude Youth Chorus, serving Teller County, the Chorale has pursued its dream of a better world through song for 36 years. In doing so it has touched the lives of tens of thousands of young singers and audience members beyond count.