Dad's Choir makes for beautiful music in Villa Victoria Academy
By Mary Stadnyk | Associate Editor
Villa Victoria Academy has a special activity in place for fathers who enjoy singing and spending some extra time with their daughters.
Four years ago, the West Trenton all-girls school introduced a Dad’s Choir that invites fathers to vocally accompany their daughters for the Christmas and spring concerts. There is also a repertoire the choir performs as well.
According to Katrina Tammaro, who is in her fifth year as the school’s music director, the Dad’s Choir was formed after she had been told about how the annual Christmas concert had always concluded with the singing of the “Hallelujah Chorus,” which is a four-part harmony piece for sopranos, altos, tenors and bass. Since the all-girls school has soprano and alto voices, Tammaro said a male choir had previously been hired to sing with the students for such occasions. However, when the male choir was not able to participate on the date of the Christmas concert, Tammaro explained, “We needed to get a little creative with how we were going to fill those voice parts.”
“That’s when we had the idea to ask the men in our school community to help out and have a great musical experience while doing it,” she said. The first Dad’s Choir started small with about three fathers, “but they did a great job,” Tammaro said. “After our first Christmas concert, interest in the group was really sparked, and we started adding more dads, family members and teachers to the group each year.”
Tammaro said that each semester, from 12 to 15 members sing with the students. Most of the members are fathers but there are also some siblings and teachers as well. There have even been some fathers who continue to return and sing in the choir after their daughters have graduated because they enjoy the activity, the experience and the camaraderie, she added.
Tammaro said members are not required to have a musical background to join the choir. She holds several rehearsals leading up to the concerts and during the rehearsals, there is discussion on vocal technique, how to read and recognize musical symbols and how to count rhythm.
“Members who have been in the group for multiple years continue to develop their musical skills,” she said. “Many who have daughters who take music class enjoy talking with them about the subject and learning even more from them.”
Tammaro smiled when she said she has observed fathers being involved in their daughter’s school through the Dad’s Choir.
“I absolutely think it fosters a special relationship between the fathers and the daughters,” she said. “Some dads don’t even tell their daughters when they join, so that it’s a surprise when they show up to sing at the concert.”
“I think that having our families support the music department is huge. It really shows support for the girls and encourages a creative and musical environment,” she continued. “It also creates a greater sense of community in our school because we are all working toward an artistic goal together.”[[In-content Ad]]