Tom Shelton at PUMC Musical Rehearsal
Princeton United Methodist Church offers robust children and youth choirs for members and non-members. But in the time of kids being encouraged to participate in sports, academic activities, and community service, why should they consider singing in a choir?
- Children sing naturally and joyfully
- Builds valuable life skills
- Boosts self-confidence
- Increase self-discipline
- Meet new friends
- Proven to raise IQs and SAT scores
Why join PUMC’s Children or Youth Choir when there is Princeton Girlchoir and American Boychoir School as choices?
The choir at Princeton United Methodist Church has been a true GIFT for our daughter… Since she started choir two years ago, I have also witnessed increased confidence and actual vocal improvement too! Tom Shelton, our choir director, creates a bonding environment for our children… [he] is EXCEPTIONALLY talented… – Mae, mother of an 8 year-old
Tom Shelton at PUMC
Choirs are under the direction of Tom Shelton, who is also an Assistant Professor of Sacred Music at Westminster College, and has a long career conducting children’s choirs. He directs honors choirs in festivals across the country and internationally
- It’s FREE! There are other choirs in Princeton, but they are expensive
- There are NO auditions, which makes it very inclusive
- There are more chances of getting a solo
- Choirs have accompanists (piano, organ, or other instruments) for a more professional performance
- It could be supplemental to other choirs (practice makes perfect)
- They have weekly or bi-monthly rehearsals and sing monthly (summer months they’re off)
- There are four choirs: Children’s (3-4 years old), Lower Elementary (K-1), Upper Elementary (2-5), and Youth (6-12) so they will feel an accomplishment moving up to the next choir
- Musical theater training is included since they perform in the PUMC Pageant during Advent, and they stage a musical in the spring.
- Smaller group sizes allow for more individualized instruction
- If you are not a member of a church, it’s a fun way to introduce your child to church
- Children can learn parts of the Bible through song
- You do not need to be a member of the church to join and you can ask non-member friends to join you
- They will occasionally travel to perform to bring joy to others
- Their free off-site performances are also considered outreach and community service
…[Tom’s] respect for children is definitely an asset along with his fine music teaching skill. Through his music program, everybody in the choir felt included and got along well regardless of familiarity with each other and experience level… – Christine, mother of a 6th grader and Kindergartener
There’s no doubt that music education is very beneficial to children. They learn the alphabet and nursery rhymes through song. Being in a PUMC choir is quite special; what they learn is invaluable. They enter wide-eyed and curious and leave musical and global citizens.
…We also benefit from the choir by impacting the lives of other people within the church and the community. It’s fulfilling to know that we can make some [seniors] happy by performing for them at their assisted living community. We get to do all of that by working with our wonderful Choir Director Tom Shelton and his staff! – Marie
The other asset other choirs are missing is Tom Shelton. Parents praise his ability to connect with their child and help them reach their potential, regardless of their skill level. He makes it fun for them, which increases the retention rate.
Children and parents are invited to a choir open house at the church, Nassau at Vandeventer, on Wednesday, September 7. Kindergarten and first grade come at 4:30 p.m., second through fifth graders at 5:30 p.m. Participation in the choir is free, and all are welcome. Open house for grades 6 to 12 is Sunday, September 11 at 6 p.m.
If you think your child would be interested in joining one of the PUMC choirs or have any questions, contact Tom Shelton at Tom@princetonumc.org or call 609-924-2613.