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"I Am a Musician!" Fostering a Child's Artistic Identity

Kendra Friar: Pacific Youth Choir Nova 2 (elementary age choir)

"I Am a Musician!" Fostering a Child's Artistic Identity
Session Description

The children who first experienced choral singing on Zoom fill the ranks of children's choirs today. Pacific Youth Choir's Nova 2 singers and Kendra Kay Friar, conductor and Oregon's 2021 Outstanding Elementary Music Educator (OMEA), lead an interactive session celebrating and highlighting the educational needs of today's youngest choristers. Children's inability to experience live performances at a formative time in their lives led to gaps in knowledge that had to be addressed in each rehearsal cycle. PYC focused on rebuilding COMMUNITY alongside individual ARTISTRY. The presentation will include a "buddy bench" activity and sharing time for participants. Selections include "Three Rhymes, Set 1" by Paul Bouman (earthsongs) and “Zol Zain Sholem” arr. by Joshua Jacobson (World Music Press).

Ensemble Bio

In 2003, with talent, conviction, and enthusiasm, Mia Hall Miller (Savage) and a small team of dedicated musicians started two youth choirs: one for elite treble singers and one for high school students. Today’s PYC is made up of nine resident choirs, an alumni choir, and multiple neighborhood choirs supervised by new Artistic Director, Chris Maunu, and Associate Conductors, Amber Schroeder (Grades 6-8) and Kendra Kay Friar (Grades K-5).
Pacific Youth Choir strives to be the benchmark for choral excellence in the Pacific Northwest. Beyond the field of choral music, we aspire to shape our community by fostering empowered skill development, community unity, and empathy in young people. We aim to create a world where choral music is a catalyst for making new connections, promoting personal growth, and embracing positive change.

Presenter/Conductor Bio
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Kendra Kay Friar, Associate Conductor, directs Nova 1 and 2 Choirs (Grades K-5) and supervises PYC’s Neighborhood Choir Program serving multiple public schools. Kendra, an early childhood specialist, received Oregon Music Educators Association's 2021 Excellence in Elementary Music Education Award. She is a current member of NAfME’s Diversity Committee and a frequent speaker at national, regional, and music education conferences. A passionate advocate of authentic cultural representation, Kendra recently presented two NAfME Academy webinars highlighting curricular uses for the music of Scott Joplin and Margaret Bonds. Her work as collaborative pianist appears on Portland Phoenix Chamber Choir’s upcoming world premiere recording of the piano-vocal setting of Margaret Bonds’ Credo (Especially Do I Believe: The Music of Margaret Bonds, Centaur Records, 2023). Kendra, a lifelong choral singer, has performed with Portland Symphonic Choir, Bach Cantata Choir, Oregon Chorale, and Choro in Schola.

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