Erin Mayer’s daughter, Katie, began singing at the Indianapolis Children’s Choir in the 2nd Grade-just one year after her family moved to Indianapolis from Georgia. As they were settling in, Erin noticed ICC car decals and yard signs. She heard murmurs about how wonderful the choir was and decided to check it out for herself because it’d be a great way to help Katie get involved in her new community.
Erin loves how the ICC has room for everyone regardless of age or skill level. She loves that ICC’s music selection exposes children to diverse languages. Additionally, she noted how music education helps children succeed in school through improved memorization and mathematical skills. While these details are important, they don’t compare to the personal growth that children, like Katie, discover.
Katie’s confidence has flourished during her time in the ICC. One example of this confidence particularly stands out in Erin’s mind: the family’s annual Thanksgiving talent show. Katie’s father has a huge family, which can create an intimidatingly large audience. With the ICC’s help, Katie has grown bolder each year for the performance. At first, she’d sing with other kids while facing backwards. The next year, she still sang in a group- but looked at the audience. Now, she confidently sings solos at the talent show.
Erin has noticed Katie’s progress in other ways. Last year, Katie went on retreat and felt incredibly homesick. This year, she could empathize with other children who were having difficulties. In one year- growth, maturity, and independence have become evident to Erin.
Katie has gotten other opportunities to travel with the ICC as well. Most notably, she traveled to New York City and sang in Carnegie Hall. Katie has extended family in New York who don’t typically get to see her perform-which made this occasion extra special. After the performance, Katie said something that Erin can never forget which was “This was the best day of my life.” This memory was Erin’s answer to my difficult question, “What experience best encapsulates your family’s time at the ICC?” She explained how that performance opened her extended family’s eyes to music. And, of course, the support meant the world to Katie.
As amazing as these trips are though, Erin believes that the people will leave the greatest impact on Katie’s time in the ICC- her roommates on tour, her friends in rehearsal, her relationships with the choir directors.
Katie loves her time at the ICC because she feels like she is part of something bigger- and Erin loves watching the journey unfold.
by Emma Ahlert