Kids Choir program in Neepawa


Miranda Leybourne
Neepawa Banner & Press

The Neepawa Kids Choir is in full swing at ArtsForward. The choir is a chance for children between five and 11 years old to learn about singing technique, rhythm and to have fun singing together. The choir is run by Clinton Jeffrey, who has been running the group since 2017. Jeffrey says he’s been involved with music for his whole life, including participating in choirs and playing the flute and piccolo.

He’s also been involved in various musicals, and was the co-leader of a “From the Page to the Stage” week-long day camp for eight to 10 year olds who were taught music, set design, costume design and theatre fundamentals in Regina, Sask. He’s also taught for over 15 years, with a focus on music specialisation. It was this intense love and participation with the musical world that inspired Jeffrey to get involved with the Kids Choir.

“I decided to get involved because I enjoy music and wanted to pass on this love of music to the next generation, including [to] my own child,” Jeffrey explains. “I have found that Neepawa has many opportunities for children to participate in physical activities [like] sports outside of the school setting, but that the arts area for children is not as prominent.”

Music has been a huge part of not just Jeffrey’s life, but that of his family. He says he believes music can teach children in a way that can really improve their minds, helping some students who have learning difficulties to remember things and understand difficult concepts, while aiding other children with difficulties in speech and language.

“In many cultures, music is the way information, tradition and love is transferred from one generation to the next. Music helps us tap into another part of our brains. It combines the logical with the emotional. I personally would be lost without it.”

Jeffrey says he believes all children can sing when they’re provided with enough support and encouragement, and that any children who are interested in joining the choir don’t need any previous musical training.

“If you enjoy music, enjoy being with other children and want to try it, then you should. It’s only for a little bit of time, but [it’s] a great way to figure out if you enjoy singing in a group.”

Jeffrey says he hopes to run more programs like Kids Choir throughout the years here in Neepawa, and perhaps even a musical theatre program, if there is enough interest.

The Kids Choir meets at ArtsForward on Wednesdays from 4:45 - 5:45 p.m., and costs $5 per student. It started on Jan. 24 and will run until Apr. 4, when the sessions will wrap up with a performance in the Neepawa and District Fine Arts Festival.