Haze rising from the mountains on a beautiful Pioneer Day morning. Strains of “Let Zion in Her Beauty Rise” echo through the hills. Sounds like Utah. Would you believe…it is China! The voices of the International Children’s Choir singing on the Great Wall. When music and children are combined together, powerful miracles happen. Hearts soften. Barriers lift.
26 years ago Dr. Kathy Sorensen formed The International Children’s Choir. For her doctoral dissertation, she interviewed hundreds of immigrants, recording and notating their cherished childhood songs. The memories of these childhood songs have many times touched the hearts of dignitaries from countries around the world. In chandelier-lit rooms, lofty titles of Prince, Princess, President, First Lady, Ambassador, etc. all melt into one human heart as the children sing. Those who come to Utah with preconceived notions leave with the best of feelings, as the choir sends love to children of their countries through spoken greetings and musical messages in their languages.
Of course, the choir is about great music making, too, having performed on many occasions with the Tabernacle Choir, Utah Symphony and Utah Opera, as well as many famous singers and composers. One of their CDs won the Pearl Award for Best Holiday CD. In the World Choir Olympics in China they won a bronze medal in the children’s choir category and also a bronze medal in the religious music category (which included choirs of all ages.) See them in the video below at President Hinckley's 90th birthday celebration singing, "The Spirit of God" which tenderly starts with a boy trio at the 1:32:02 mark.
My three children had the blessed opportunity to participate in this beautiful angelic choir for over 10 years. Not only were they instructed in correct singing techniques and musical skills, they learned to stand tall, help others, and value dignity, honor, and tolerance. They developed friendships that have lasted decades. The music is glorious. The value and contributions are immeasurable. The experience is life-changing.
For more information, or to join the choir, please visit www.internationalchildrenschoir.com.