Homegrown with Hope: moved by music

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BISMARCK, N.D. - There's something magical about the harmony of young voices during the holiday season.

At Bismarck High School's new auditorium in late November, a chorus of holiday cheer spread among hundreds of Bismarck elementary students. The Central Dakota Children's Choir's annual performance for the SIPS music educational program, helps to inspire more young people to pursue music.

"It might seem like it's a lot of work, but it can really help you in the end," said Avery Hoyt, a member of CDCC's Bel Canto. "You make friends and can learn new things that can help you in life."

Singers say their community of students brings together children in different grades and from different schools, and binds them together through a shared passion.

"It's kind of scary going to a new place where you don't know many people, but once you get there, the people are so friendly," Shane Quirk, also a Bel Canto member, said.

Central Dakota Children's Choir begins training students as early as second grade, but they can join at any point through senior year of high school. The performance for students across Bismarck Public Schools helps new students see why the singers are so passionate about music.

"It just feels like a part of me. I don't think I could live very long without singing," said Emilee Dasovick, of Bel Canto.

Instructors with CDCC know the younger they can inspire children, the greater impact they can have on their futures.

"To see their poise and their confidence, all those social skills and soft learning skill that are also becoming so important. Because in this day and age, with all the cell phones and electronics, it's nice that you put that cell phone away and concentrate on something that really does build interaction and empathy, and all of those kinds of skills," said Executive Director Tammy Rector.