LA CROSSE, Wis. - The La Crosse girl choir is putting the finishing touches on their upcoming concert this weekend. And it's a big one.
It's now been 25 years since the debut of this organization. "So for 25 years we've been rehearsing and educating girls about music," says director Shealan Bahn.
Yes, their main focus is music - but it's really about so much more than that. "Our mission statement is that we are dedicated to the social, character and musical developments of girls. The social aspect for girls is huge. They're all from different schools. They make life long friends. It's incredible."
7 year member Katie Heilman has come a long way from the terrified 6-year-old that started with the group. "I was too scared to sing on stage so I sang in the back of the rehearsal hall."
"When she first came to girl choir she would never audition for a solo. She was crying having to go on stage. This shy, timid little girl. And now she's in 8th grade and she does solo's at a lot of our concerts and she's just developed into an amazing singer. It's just fun to see them grow up."
The girls range in ages from 7 all the way up to high school. "There's 2 choirs. The concert choir is like the preparatory group. Most of our girls start out in there. And as they progress, they audition to be in the touring choir."
They tackle a wide range of music from classical to pop, show tunes to jazz. "We do all styles so that the girls can learn all different types."
"It's just nice to have a group of girls who are enthusiastic and excited about singing."
"It feels good singing in front of people. Showing them your talent. Show them what you can do. I've made a lot of friends."
"If you love music and you love to sing, this is the place to be because you are going to learn so much and have fun doing it"
"Groups like this are so good for the community. I think it just adds to the whole atmosphere of La Crosse."
"It says a lot about our community that we're committed to this type of thin. That this many people will put their time and effort and money in to an organization like this to make it last. It's also a testament to the importance of music in the lives of children."
The 25th Anniversary concert is this Sunday, May 1st at 2:30 at Logan Middle School. They are expecting 40 to 50 alumni to be in attendance.
Also, the girl choir is offering singing-grams for mother's on Saturday, May 7th.
If you would like more information on the concert, the singing-grams or the choir in general, check out their website at www.lacrossegirlchoir.com