Quincy Area Youth Chorus Marks 25th Anniversary

The Quincy Area Youth Chorus will celebrate its 25th anniversary with a special concert at 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 30 at First Union Congregational Church, 12th & Maine. 

Founded in 1995, the QAYC offers two singing groups for children in 3rd through 12th grades. The Concert Choir is under the direction of Paul Shelor, who is also marking his 25th anniversary with the organization and is accompanied by Mary Shelor. The Kinderchor, featuring the youngest students, is directed by Amy Walker and accompanied by Denise Pearcy.

Each group will perform a selection of beautiful music. The two choirs will join together for the premiere of “When Music Sounds,” a new song commissioned by the QAYC and composed by Mary Lynn Lightfoot. 

“What an honor it is to be the commissioned composer of the piece commemorating the significant milestone of both the 25th anniversary of the Quincy Area Youth Chorus and conductor Paul Shelor,” Lightfoot said.  “When I began this journey, I asked Paul if he had any text/theme ideas … that he would like for me to set. He suggested “When Music Soundsby Walter de la Mare. I was very familiar with this marvelous poem as it was in my file of poems to set at some point in the future. It felt like a great fit for this commission. Once I began to write, the ideas began to flow and the piece came to fruition relatively quickly.”

“When Music Sounds” has already been accepted for publication by Choristers Guild and is part of their Sing! choral line.

Lightfoot, a native of Lewis County, Missouri, is the daughter of the late Mary Ellen Todd, a well-known music educator and area musician.  Lightfoot received her BME degree from Truman State University, Kirksville, Missouri. She served as a choral editor for 30 years in the educational music publishing industry. Since 1980, she has established herself with an active composing career and currently has over 320 published choral compositions, arrangements, and musicals. Mrs. Lightfoot will attend the performance to hear the Kinderchor and Concert Choir combine to perform “When Music Sounds.”

Free will donations will be collected. The concert is included on the Quincy Symphony Orchestra Association season ticket. There will be a reception following the performance in the fellowship hall. 

Hundreds of young singers have participated in the Quincy Area Youth Chorus during the last 25 years. An educational outreach of the Quincy Symphony Orchestra Association, QAYC seeks to supplement school and church choral training with the performance of excellent treble chorus literature, including both secular and sacred music, appropriate for both girls and boys with unchanged voices. Children are selected by audition, and perform two concerts each year, in addition to other performances. The next audition will be held on Nov. 5. The QAYC will join the Symphony Chorus for a Christmas Concert on Dec. 4 in Morrison Theater. 

The Quincy Area Youth Chorus is funded in part by Encore! Symphony Volunteer Council, the Tracy Family Foundation, the Michelmann Foundation, the Jayne & Leroy Boeckelman Fund for Young Musicians, the Arthur O. & Lela B. Lindsay Fund, the Alan L. & Mary Ellen Stiegemeier Fund, and the Samantha Otte Youth Opportunity Fund of the Community Foundation as well as the Illinois Arts Council Agency. Call 222-2856 or visit www.qsoa.org for more information.