CHRIST CHURCH MUSIC: Hearing is Believing

– Glory. – Opportunity. – Truth. – Beautiful. (upbeat music) ♪ Let all the people praise thee, O God ♪ ♪ Let all the people praise thee ♪ – The music program at
Christ Church Greenwich, it’s really special. One of the most special things about it is the fact that it incorporates all ages from kindergarten through
to an adult musician. Anyone can come with an interest in music. No previous experience is required and no religious affiliation
is required either. – There’s like the Saint Nicholas Choir for the young, little kids. There’s the boy’s choir
which starts in second grade. There’s the girl’s choir. There’s just a lot of choirs. And during like huge services, we’ll all come together
and we’ll sound awesome. – We also have a mixed adult choir, the Christ Church Singers, comprised of auditioned
adults and professionals. We have a Compline Choir
and we have a Bell Choir. And the Bell Choir is renowned as being one of the best of the bell choirs in the area. And they play at special occasions. So, we have something for everyone. (harmonic bell music) There are several different aspects to our music program. The primary aspect is the singing aspect, in which children,
particularly, are educated in music theory and vocal technique. ♪ Bumblebee ♪ ♪ Bumblebee ♪ ♪ Bumblebee ♪ ♪ Bumblebee ♪ – Teenagers are able to participate in a high school program that sings uniquely with professional men, which is a unique ensemble to this area and, I believe, in most
of the United States. – They sing really
difficult repertoire here. And they sing in different languages and they sing with adults
and they sing on their own. (boy practicing vocals) – There’s no other place
where a singer can get the kind of musical education
that the kids get here. – Our singers here learn
an incredible amount. They start off as novice children. They become accomplished teenagers to professional adults. And this is in large part due to our leadership here. Jamie Hitel, our Director of Music, and Jonathan Vaughn, our
Assistant Director of Music, have an incredible pedigree. They have studied and performed and taught around the world and they’ve
brought all of that with them and our kids are the beneficiaries of it. (choir singing) – Good, alright. – The opportunities that
are available to choristers from this program are not
theoretical, they’re real. So, for children who aspire to make music a part of their
life in the long term, this is a really good training ground. – One of my sons was able to audition in New York City and he ended up performing at Lincoln Center. He had the lead in an opera there, which was just an unbelievable experience. – By the time they’ve spent their years singing and participating in this program, they’ve had opportunities
to travel to Europe, to sing in the great cathedrals there. – We got to go to England and we got to sing in Bristol and we got to sing in Westminster Abbey which is a very well known church. – From a musical standpoint, the difference that our program has is that we perform every
week, a different repertoire. – We sing quite a few songs. We don’t just sing like 10, we sing like hundreds and
hundreds and hundreds of songs. – The program here is multi-generational, so I’ve had three children
of my own in the choirs and I’ve witnessed them
relate to, and be formed by, the adults with whom they work and with whom they make music. And that’s a very significant difference to any other after-school program. – My children are now third generation choristers here, and I am very grateful for the influence of the music program in all of our lives. – It’s just such a formative
experience for my children, and to know they are a part of a choir, along with their mother, my wife, is also just a wonderful
family experience for us. – The kids love it. They come here and they
sing the great masters, Haydn and Bach and Mozart, and they can’t wait to get here. That’s just an exceptional thing. – I see it in my children. They rehearse during the week and they perform in
front of a live audience every week and you know what? When they come home,
they’re still singing. – It is one of the most
important things in my life. I love it so much, I
wouldn’t be the person I am today if I hadn’t joined the choir, you know, 10 years ago. – Not only is this such a good like spiritual thing, but it’s also a great way for people to know that
you’ve grown as a singer and that you are a phenomenal singer. – The choir is awesome
because instead of just getting to sing and show what
I can do, you get to know other people who can become your friends. – It’s amazing how like,
how we all have one thing in common and it’s like music. We all do music and I love it. – So it’s really like a sanctuary, like a sacred place where
you just sort of forget everything else that’s
going on in your life and all you really have to
worry about is the music. – Music is something that is
a living, breathing entity and when you’re breathing
together as a group and these are your best friends and you’re putting on a performance and then it becomes more
than you individually and becomes something really important. That’s what this program’s all about. – I remember one day I was dropping my then third
or fourth grade daughter off at choir rehearsal and we pulled up in the parking lot and I stopped the car and she was ready to get
out and she turned to me and she said, “Mom, you know
this really feels like home.” And I thought, wow, I
remember feeling exactly that. – When the spark gets them and they have excitement in their eyes and they learn and they improve, that really makes me feel satisfied and causes me great pride in these young singers. – Excitement. – Joyful. – Friendship. – Happiness. ♪ Amen ♪