Tuesday: New Children's Choir Brings Joyful Noise Back To Maria Ellis' Old Stomping Grounds | St. Louis Public Radio

Tuesday: New Children's Choir Brings Joyful Noise Back To Maria Ellis' Old Stomping Grounds

Jan 24, 2020

Maria Ellis leads a rehearsal on Jan. 22 in UMSL's Music Building.
Credit Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

This live interview will be on “St. Louis on the Air” Tuesday. This story will be updated after the show. You can listen live.

Growing up in north St. Louis County, where she was leading choirs by the time she was 12 years old, Maria Ellis remembers thinking about St. Louis Children’s Choirs as “the ultimate vocal group.” But as her alma mater, the University of Missouri-St. Louis, notes in a recent UMSL Daily story about Ellis’ journey, Ellis couldn’t afford to join the SLCC program as a child.

She did participate in one of the organization’s community honors choirs, and now she’s come full circle, having landed a position as SLCC’s community engagement manager several years ago. But shortly after starting that job, she realized the north St. Louis County honors choir she’d so enjoyed as a child was no more. Now, in 2020, it’s coming back thanks to Ellis.

Dozens of children in grades three through six are now gathering for regular rehearsals on UMSL’s campus — a place that was pivotal for Ellis’ own musical journey.

On Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air, she’ll join host Sarah Fenske in studio to talk about her vision for the new choir. Also participating in the discussion will be Michael Smith, the E. Desmond Lee endowed professor of music education as well as the chair of UMSL’s Music Department.

Did an early choir experience change your life in a big way? Let us know. Tweet us (@STLonAir), send an email to talk@stlpublicradio.orgor share your thoughts via our St. Louis on the Air Facebook group, and help inform our coverage.

St. Louis on the Air” brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. The show is hosted by Sarah Fenske and produced by Alex Heuer, Emily Woodbury, Evie Hemphill and Lara Hamdan. The engineer is Aaron Doerr and production assistance is provided by Charlie McDonald.

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