Wednesday, October 8, 2008

what are the odds?

"The odds of your child performing in Carnegie Hall: 1 in 73,000." I just heard that on the radio!

That was the extent of an e-mail I received from Heidi awhile back...and it brought back a lot of memories! Twenty years ago this fall, Heidi began singing in the Pacific Mennonite Children's auditioned, faith-based community choir with singers aged 8 to 16. (Heidi is the dark-haired gal in the front row...just left of centre.)

Singing in the choir was not something I had suggested...not even something I really wanted for my daughter...simply because it would mean a lot of driving, since the choir was based a half hour drive from our home. But after much pleading on her part, I agreed to the audition...thinking the chance of her making the choir that year would be quite slim. I clearly remember the drive to Abbotsford on a bright September day in 1988. I can still picture her skipping in for the audition...wearing her short denim skirt and hot pink sweater...and not being one bit nervous. How well I recall her excitement when the director called to say she had made the choir. It was not only Heidi's life that was affected...but that of the entire family. Practices were not optional...and often the well-laid plans of mom and dad were put aside to ensure Heidi was at her practices and concerts. But it was an experience that was worth every bit of sacrifice on our part...something that few young people would ever have the opportunity to be a part of. I never tired of hearing their performances...and still pull out the old cassettes on occasion.

The Pacific Mennonite Children's Choir has been an excellent musical ambassador for our community, our province and our country over many years. Heidi had the privilege of travelling to New York with PMCC...of singing in Carnegie Hall (at the age of ten)..of performing at the Mennonite World Conference in Winnipeg in 1990...and of singing in Crystal Cathedral in California on a Sunday morning. Now, as an adult, she can fully appreciate the incredible opportunity she had at that time.

The choir still lives on...the next generation of parents are driving their children to rehearsals...and working tirelessly at fundraising. Could my granddaughter one day be singing in the same choir? One thing we can be certain of...the tartan has been replaced. What memories!


  1. Wow, what a great privilege indeed and yes, looking back now, what a fantastic opportunity for her.
    Our boys never did sing in that choir. .but I surely know many that did. . .I smile now. . .thinking that the MGCC group has more than a few connections with that choir. . what are the odds of that do you think?

  2. Isn't that wonderful! It's exciting when our children have experienced these wonderful opportunities. Personally, I love the tartan. The choir looks sharp; I imagine that they sounded heavenly.

  3. I love this memory. And, you are a mother in a rare class of children singing at Carnegie Hall.

    Your children are so blessed to have you.

    Oh, and about the tartan. What's the fashion now?

  4. Great Now I have to go back and check...but was that the choir that sang on the dvd you sent my way?

  5. we had/have a mennonite childrens choir in manitoba as well.
    music crosses all cultures and bridges the world together. what a privelage to have an experience like that.

  6. What a wonderful experience for Heidi, and you and your family, Judy! Memories to last forever and an accomplishment of hard work, dedication and talent to be proud of!

    Heidi looked so sweet in her tartan in the photo. Hope her daughter will be a part of the choir someday ... a nice thing to dream about!

  7. Don't we all know someone who sang in that choir?
    I miss choirs today.
    That was always a highlight in my life.
    You gave your child an opportunity and let's see what she gives back to Maelyn.

  8. How wonderful. We watch the Crystal Cathedral service every week from France! We'd love to go there.

  9. I remember so desperately wanting to be part of that choir. What a strange wish for 8 year old. I do appreciate the sacrifice, and hope I'd be willng to do the same for Maelyn one day. She's so cute, and I'm so glad to be with her today that right now I'd give her anything she wanted. Mostly she just wants one or two things from me at this point....but I expect the requests to get a wee bit more complicated down the road. :)

  10. My daughter Carissa wore that same tartan outfit when she sang in PMCC. It must have been shortly after Heidi as Carissa is not in the picture. I will have to look up the dates. Just the other day I was going through some old photos and found some photos and news papaer clippings with Carissa in the front row. She always stood beside a girl named Sheri. Frank and Nancy were good family friends of my parents and Frank also was Carissa's principle. Her audition song was 'Somewhere over the Rainbow'. My brother and his wife took over the directorship of PMCC after Frank and Nancy. The tartans have been retired and the last time I heard them sing was at The Orphium in Vancouver and the girls wore long blue dresses. Still sharp as ever! These children work hard and display excellence in their music. Your post brought back great memories. Kathy

  11. What a small world!! I am married to one of Nancy's son's - and he sang at Crystal Cathedral then too!

    I am just getting into your blog and I cannot remember where I found the link but I'm glad I did, I love reading about fellow Fraser Valley residents! I live half an hour away from you, in Abby.


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