Singing Joy and Ringing Faith

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Today, to illustrate “giving thanks” for 9:30 service at Children’s Time,  Tom Shelton presented five of the youngest choristers singing folk favorites like  “Kumbayah,” “I’ve Got the Joy in My Heart” and “This Little Light.” It was such a blessing to hear them. Here is the video — see and hear for yourself!

This choir rehearses on Wednesdays at 4:30 and is open to all at no cost. It will join the older children to sing at the 9:30 service on December 4 and to present “Twas the Light Before Christmas,” an Advent musical, on Sunday, December 11, at 5 p.m.

Even the very youngest children, the three-and-four-year-olds, can enjoy singing. Shelton visits their class on some Sunday mornings.

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Duo Grazioso: Hyosang Park, left, solo handbell artist, with pianist Akiko Hosaki

At both the 9:30 and 11 a.m. services, the congregation was blessed by hearing the handbell choir play two spirituals. Enjoy video,  taken from the balcony. Hyosang Park directs the ringers in arrangements by B,  Ingram of “Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen” and “Swing Low.”

The next opportunity to hear handbells ring will be Sunday, December 4, at 5 p.m., when Park directs the Handbell Choir and the Handbell Ensemble. As a special delight, Park will play solo handbells, along with Akiko Hosaki, as part of Duo Grazioso.

It was a joyful time of giving thanks.

Musical Highlights

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La Fiocco, a period instrument ensemble that has scheduled a series of concerts at Princeton United Methodist Church, presents “Golden Age of the Countertenor” on Saturday, October 29 at 7:30 p.m. It features international opera star Ray Chenez and emerging artist Daniel Moody in bravura arias and duets of Handel, Vivaldi, Vinci, and Telemann.  Ray Chenez was a 2014 first-prize winner of the prestigious George London Award and was recently profiled in Opera News. Daniel Moody recently completed his masters degree at Yale, and has been a featured young artist at Tanglewood.  La Fiocco will be performing on period instruments including baroque strings, recorder, and harpsichord. Tickets are $25, $10 for students, children 12 and under free when accompanied by an adult.

Other musical events with PUMC connections:

Christopher McWilliams plays in Bristol Chapel of Westminster Choir College on Saturday, October 15, at 7:30 p.m., in a free faculty recital “Tea for Two and Beyond.” He is the organist at PUMC.

PUMC’s handbell choir, directed by Hyosang Park, leads worship on Sunday, October 16 at 9:30 and 11. 

PUMC’s children’s choirs, directed by Tom Shelton, sing on Sunday, November 6, at the (:30 a.m. service.

 

Confidence – Creativity – Collaboration: Choirs at PUMC

 

 

lorie photoParents—PUMC members and non-members–don’t let another year go by without signing  yourr child up for PUMC’s Children’s Choir. Music education is one of the most important developmental programs we offer children and we don’t want you to miss out on this opportunity.

Under the direction of Tom Shelton, Professor of Sacred Music, Westminster Choir College, PUMC’s Children’s Choir offers invaluable musical training. Mr. Shelton is an accomplished choral director, with a long history of conducting children’s choirs in the public schools and directing honors choirs in choral festivals across the country and internationally. He is also very active with choral associations, serving as President elect of the American Choral Directors Association, and selected by the US Choristers Society to teach a webinar on How to Teach Songs to Children’s Choirs, on August 18th. PUMC is very lucky to have a children’s choral director of his caliber.

Under Mr. Shelton’s superb guidance our program develops the highest standards of children’s choral singing. Moreover, it is fun. He makes it fun. The children have a wonderful time singing and performing together and even acting. Part of the musical training at PUMC is musical theatre –a unique element of our program.

It isn’t all just fun and games, however. The children are developing critical life skills through this musical training that will carry them far in life.

In 2008, the President’s  Committee on the Arts and Humanities (PCAH) released the findings from a landmark study on arts education (Reinvesting in Arts Education: Winning America’s Future) that “clearly showed the effect of arts education on student academic achievement and creativity.” The report went on to say that “It also became clear that arts education provides a critical benefit to the private sector. To effectively compete in the global economy, business leaders are increasingly looking for employees who are creative, collaborative and innovative thinkers. A greater investment in the arts is an effective way to equip today’s students with the skills they will need to succeed in the jobs of tomorrow.”

SpreadMusicNow Foundation, a private foundation that raises funds for the arts, has developed a memorable moniker for the key benefits of music education: “Confidence. Creativity. Collaboration.” They go on to say that these are just some of the things that improve when a child participates in structured, rigorous music education.”

So, Parents, please don’t miss out on this opportunity to sign your child up for PUMC’s Children’s Choir and give them the gift of music education.

Contact Tom Shelton directly at Tom@PrincetonUMC.org to learn more about this program.

by Lindsay Diehl

Warming up to music: Tom Shelton

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Tom Shelton, PUMC children’s choir director, tapes PUMC choristers for his webinar.

Tom Shelton, director of children’s and youth choirs at Princeton United Methodist Church and  assistant professor at Westminster Choir College. will present a nationally broadcast webinar on Thursday, August 25, at noon for the Choristers Guild, a church music publisher, on Effective Teaching Techniques for Working with Children’s Choirs.

To prepare the webinar he invited members of the choir to join him in the music room last week. Here is how they “warmed up.”

And here is how Tom uses the Dalcroze Method to teach rhythm:

Looks like fun, doesn’t it! EVERY child is invited to join the PUMC Children’s Choirs. Participation is free, all are welcome.

Tom Shelton invites children and parents to a Children’s 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.

Youth from grades 6 to 12 are invited to an open house for the Youth Choir, led by Tom Shelton, at Princeton United Methodist Church, Nassau at Vandeventer, on Sunday, September 11 at 5 p.m.  Parking is free on Sundays; for parking information click here.  Email Tom@PrincetonUMC.org or call 609-924-2613.

 

 

 

Sing with Us: Meet the Children

Introducing singers from PUMC’s Children’s Choir!

Tom Shelton, director of children’s and youth choirs at Princeton United Methodist Church and  assistant professor at Westminster Choir College. presented a nationally broadcast webinar on Thursday, August 25, at noon for the Choristers Guild, a church music publisher. To prepare the webinar he invited members of the choir to join him in the music room last week.

A sought-after conductor, educator, and composer, Shelton welcomes everyone to his choirs at PUMC; there is no audition and no participation fee. On Wednesday, September 7, Tom Shelton invites children and parents to a Children’s 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. Youth from grades 6 to 12 are invited to an open house for the Youth Choir, on Sunday, September 11 at 5 p.m.  Parking is free on Sundays; for parking information click here.  Email Tom@PrincetonUMC.org or call 609-924-2613.

With bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Shelton is assistant professor of sacred music at Westminster Choir College of Rider University and president elect of the American Choral Directors Association. He has conducted ‘all state” and festival choirs in 20 states and abroad, including at Carnegie Hall.

Through music of the Christian faith, PUMC choristers learn good singing techniques and music theory; they participate in worship monthly, present a musical in the spring, and sing at special services throughout the year.

Here’s an example of how they learn:

 

 

Sing with Us! Open house September 7

 

 

Watch a master teacher at work! See and hear the Children’s Choir from Princeton United Methodist Church in rehearsal. This clip — warming up their voices — was filmed by Tom Shelton for a national webinar he’ll give on August 25.

Please share this with families you know: Tom Shelton offers an introductory session on Wednesday, September 7, at 4:30 p.m. (kindergarten and first grade) and at 5:30 p.m. (second through fifth grade). The open house for youth (grades 6-12) is Sunday, September 11, 5 p.m. Shelton teaches the youngest children, ages three and four, during their Sunday School class. Parking information here.  For info, call 609-924-2613 or email Tom@princetonumc.org.

A sought-after conductor, educator, and composer, Tom Shelton welcomes everyone to his choirs at PUMC; there is no audition and no participation fee. Through music of the Christian faith, PUMC choristers learn good singing techniques and music theory; they participate in worship monthly, present a musical in the spring, and sing at special services throughout the year.

Here’s a great example of how music education develops singers’ minds:

Do you know a child who could love music? Invite them to PUMC’s choirs!

15 Reasons Why Your Child Should Join the PUMC Children’s or Youth Choir

Tom Shelton rehearse musical at Princeton United Methodist Church
Tom Shelton rehearse musical at Princeton United Methodist Church
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

  1. Tom Shelton at PUMC
    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

  2. It’s FREE! There are other choirs in Princeton, but they are expensive
  3. There are NO auditions, which makes it very inclusive
  4. There are more chances of getting a solo
  5. Choirs have accompanists (piano, organ, or other instruments) for a more professional performance
  6. It could be supplemental to other choirs (practice makes perfect)
  7. They have weekly or bi-monthly rehearsals and sing monthly (summer months they’re off)
  8. 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
  9. Musical theater training is included since they perform in the PUMC Pageant during Advent, and they stage a musical in the spring.
  10. Smaller group sizes allow for more individualized instruction
  11. If you are not a member of a church, it’s a fun way to introduce your child to church
  12. Children can learn parts of the Bible through song
  13. You do not need to be a member of the church to join and you can ask non-member friends to join you
  14. They will occasionally travel to perform to bring joy to others
  15. 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 5 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.

You’re invited to the May 15 coffee house!

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Last year’s musical was fabulous — you won’t want to miss it this year! (Photo by Bob Meola)

The Youth Choir invites you to a “Coffeehouse” on Sunday, May 15, at 7 p.m. in Fellowship Hall. While we enjoy coffee, beverages, and desserts, the youth will perform, directed by Tom Shelton, accompanied by Christopher McWilliams. We’ll enjoy the special solos, duets, and group numbers. Try to join us for this special evening of music and fellowship.