Dean Hershman has watched his oldest daughter Saylor develop as a singer since she joined Indianapolis Children’s Choir.
Hershman said his daughter has improved “leaps and bounds with the opportunities Saylor has been given.”
“The friendships she has made go even beyond even her school friends,” Hershman said.
Saylor, who will be a freshman at Hamilton Southeastern High School in August, said she enjoys the music she has learned and the places she has performed.
Saylor joined the ICC’s advanced choir in July on a 10-day trip down the Danube River in July, visiting Germany, Austria, Hungary and Czech Republic. In the summer of 2018, the choir performed in Dallas and Memphis, Tenn.
Saylor is glad her sister Lucy, 8, has already been in the program for a year.
“I feel she will make a bunch of long-lasting friendships and get the amazing opportunities I got and more starting at a younger age,” Saylor said.
Saylor watched the Christmas special with ICC on WFYI when they were opening Christmas packages 2 1/2 years ago and she immediately told her parents she wanted to join the choir.
“She had always sung in her school choirs,” Hershman said. “So, we made a phone call that day, even though we knew the office would be closed. We got a call to come for a live auction the following week. Mrs. Dwyer asked right there on the spot if she could be at tomorrow night’s practice and the rest is history.”
Her then-ICC instructor, Ruth Dwyer, helped prepare Saylor to sing “Ava Maria” for her grandparents’ 50th wedding anniversary party in July 2018.
“There wasn’t a dry eye in the place,” Hershman said.
Saylor said she now has more confidence to sing solo or in smaller groups. Her knowledge of music has improved as well.
“She has sung more music in other languages,” Hershman said. “What is amazing is not only are they learning different languages, but they are learning different cultures and how the song fits into the culture and the stories behind the songs.”
ICC Director Josh Pedde, a Carmel resident, said summer is a good time for enrollment.
“It’s a great time to reach out to new kids that might be interested in this,” Pedde said. “For kids that want to get that feel of the stage performing, but are a little nervous about standing out alone, being in choir is a great way to try that because you have support of a group around you. You get to perform in some great places, such as Hilbert (Circle Theatre), Clowes Hall and various places around the city.”
For more, visit icchoir.org or call the office at 317-940-9640 to audition.