El Faro Youth Chorus shares 'their love of singing' - Albuquerque Journal

El Faro Youth Chorus shares ‘their love of singing’

El Faro Youth Chorus debuted with their first concert on May 7, at Fusion ABQ. (Courtesy of El Faro Youth Chorus)

El Faro Youth Chorus is just getting started.

The word is out on the local group who is getting out in the community. The group had its first solo performance at Fusion ABQ on May 7.

Under the guidance of Gabrielle Dietrich, this new youth choir was proud to host their first solo concert ever.

Their youth helps them sing in multiple languages.

“One of the most interesting things about working with young people is that their brains are just like sponges,” Dietrich said. “So they can soak up information extremely quickly and music always sounds best in its original language, and you learn kind of subconsciously about the people by singing it in their original language.”

El Faro is aimed at kids aged 7-18.

“It is sort of a culturally immersive approach and I think it’s really important,” Dietrich said. “In particular, here in New Mexico, it’s important to have kids singing English and Spanish, because a lot of kids come from Spanish-speaking home.”

With El Faro, kids have the opportunity to fully express themselves.

“It has the capacity to be a safe space for kids to come and express their feelings and to talk through with their friends about what’s happening in your head,” Dietrich said. “For them to see through mirroring that they are not alone, that whatever they’re going through, other kids are going through the same stuff and maybe most importantly, other kids share their love of singing and music and that they can do this thing together.”

“One of the things that we’re trying to get done is to get busing arranged from school sites to our rehearsal center rehearsal as kids aren’t necessarily able to walk there,” Dietrich said. “So we need a way to get kids from school site work when mom and dad so might be working safely to the faithful rehearsing.”

This choir is newly-formed under the umbrella of nonprofit choir Coro Lux and the artistic guidance of Bradley Ellingboe and looks to educate young people in Albuquerque in classical music, as well as give them a safe place to sing.

“Yeah, so we rehearse weekly on Thursdays for about an hour and a half each time and we have learned the same music since January,” Dietrich said. “We did have one other concert in between times and we did a performance at a workshop for a closing that’s up in Santa Fe.”

Dietrich emphasizes mental and emotional health and physical body awareness and wellness through music education.

“Every kid goes through hard things in one way or another and they need a way to process it,” Dietrich said. “They need a place where they can kind of work through those things, whether they’re, talking about them out loud or just existing in an environment that kind of makes them feel OK.”

El Faro would also like to offer more than just a place to sing.

“We’d also like to be able to offer meals to the kids. So that after choir has to run from like 4:30 to six, they’re hungry at the end,” Dietrich said. “For the younger kids, we might send them home with a box sooner. For the older kids, they might hang out. And we would do like dinner and homework help kind of thing just to give one more benefit families that might need it.”

With increased numbers, El Faro could break down into two groups.

The group hopes to do a couple of more concerts once school gets back in next semester.

“We are hoping to do two more concerts in the fall and as time goes by, this kind of thing is growing,” Dietrich said. “We only have 11 kids in school right now, but as the numbers grow and our program grows, we want to do things like sing the national anthem for sports events, perform for senior living facilities.”

Dietrich and El Faro have big things planned for the future.

“I think we have three concerts planned for the fall, where they are going to do another standalone concert in December, and they are going to sing with Coro Lux, the adult chorus, in both October and December,” Dietrich said.

Tuition is $75 per semester, though El Faro is committed to not turning away prospective chorister due to lack of funds.

El Faro also offers a $75 one-time payment, as well as three payments of $25 or 10 payments of $7.50.

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