Texas Girls’ Choir Promotional Video: Choir Girls from 1962 to the Present.
Texas Girls’ Choir members have been singing their way around the world since 1962. Crossing borders into over 50 countries through the years has given the choir girls a deep understanding of other cultures. As parents of a former choir girl, we know that this understanding and acceptance of differences in the world lasts well beyond their youth.
Perhaps the lessons that the choir girls learn about lands faraway from Texas are equally as important as the professional musical training that they receive. I truly believe that offering an over-abundance of exchange programs for students is one key to solving so many of our current problems. I realize that this is an over simplification of the world situation, but every effort that we can make will push us forward.
Our daughter auditioned for the choir when she was eight years old and remained a member of the Texas Girls’ Choir for seven and 1/2 years. The choir program is a series of stepping stones through the various choir levels. The girls can advance through Preparatory Choir, Millsap Main Choir, Thompson Main Choir, Pate Concert Choir, and Carter Concert Choir.
Each semester, the girls take a written music theory test and have a vocal audition to move to the next level. With three rehearsals a week for the older girls, the choir represents a significant amount of their time. Parents are encouraged and needed to volunteer with every choir activity. Choir members, their parents, and the choir directors become a large family with one purpose in mind: to “Develop little girls’ lives through excellence of music”.
The Texas Girl’s Choir was founded in 1962 by Shirley Thompson Carter and the Executive Director is now Layne Trent. The choir began with 16 members and now has approximately 275 girls in the five levels. It was Mrs. Carter’s belief that the choir would accept all girls with an adequate voice, an overall B or above grade average in school, and be selected without regard to race, creed, or religious origin. I view the choir as an early lesson in the positive results from being a part of a diverse culture.
Besides leaning to appreciate diversity, the girls in the Concert Choirs may audition each year for the wonderful opportunity to tour to various locations around the world. In addition, the choir has sung at the White House six times since 1989 and has appeared on many television shows. They have performed at many of the most outstanding concert halls in the world. The girls learn about the results of accepting responsibility and the joy that comes from perseverance.
Their voices are beautiful, but their sense of personal discipline and focus is a gift that they will never forget. Our daughter traveled throughout Europe, to Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, New York City as well as the White House. She is grown now and still very involved with helping the choir to keep succeeding. The friendships she made in choir are still important to her. Perhaps even more important are the borders that she and the other choir girls crossed in order to bring music and friendship to distant countries.