Insight News

Feb 09th

J.D. Steele and the MacPhail Community Youth Choir – Youth from Twin Cities join in song and cultures

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mmlJ.D. Steele (of the Steele family singers) and MacPhail Center for Music have brought together youth in grades 7-12, from all corners of the Twin Cities, all walks of life, to join hands and voices in a new youth choir which was created last spring. The MacPhail Community Youth Choir (MCYC), is led under the direction of Steele.

The MCYC Winter Concert is December 1, 7 pm in Antonello Hall, MacPhail Center for Music, 501 South Second St., Minneapolis. They will be in performance with the MacPhail Suzuki String Teens with music selections written by members of the MCYC.

“The MCYC allows the kids to experience something different in fellowship as well as music,” Steele said. “It raises their self-esteem when they have to perform professionally. It’s amazing to see how they change and develop. When kids have the opportunity to shine, they reflect it back bright and shiny!”

The youth are from all areas of the Twin Cities: Minneapolis, St. Louis Park, Plymouth, Columbia Heights, Brooklyn Center, Edina and Golden Valley and attend schools across the Twin Cities including: South High, Minnehaha Academy, St. Therese’s, Patrick Henry, and Wayzata High.

The MCYC is free and open to students of all skill levels and abilities. They rehearse every Saturday at the historic Capri Theater in north Minneapolis. Steele said this is a great opportunity for the students to learn music techniques they won’t get anywhere else, covering all genres of music, including jazz, gospel, pop and East African.

This past June, the MCYC had the opportunity to perform for the first time with the Shangilia Youth Choir of Kenya, at the Flint Hill International Children’s Festival. Steele created music in English and Swahili that he taught both choirs for their performance. Before the Kenya choir came to the United State, a virtual Skype exchange occurred between Steele and Shangilia in Nairobi and MCYC members at MacPhail to meet one another and sing together for the first time. A once in life time experience for both choirs.

Steele hopes that this mix of kids will learn to respect and understand each other’s cultures.

This concert is free. For more information, call (612) 321-0100.

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