Vocalis Youth Choir at the Southfield Church - The Berkshire Edge
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Vocalis Youth Choir at the Southfield Church

June 9 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Admission is free.

Music at the Southfield Church continues its 8th spectacular season on Sunday, June 9th at 4:00 pm with the angelic voices of Vocalis Youth Choir, under the direction of Julie Bickford. The choir will be joined by Jon Suters – guitar, Eric Martin – violin, and pianists Elizabeth Allyn and Dorothy Cowles. The evening’s eclectic program will feature works ranging from Faure to American folk to songs of the sea.

This evening’s concert marks the third appearance of Vocalis Youth Choir at the 230-year-old Southfield Church, located at 234 Norfolk Road in the Southfield Village of New Marlborough. This quintessential New England meeting house with its 12-foot windows, seating for 130+, and handicap accessibility, possesses the most divine acoustics, perfect for a most intimate encounter with live music. Music lovers of all ages are welcome! Admission is free; a retiring collection will be taken at the door following each concert to support the artists. A reception on the lawn follows each concert, weather permitting.

Music at the Southfield Church is supported in part by the Massachusetts Cultural Council and the New Marlborough Cultural Council.

The 8th Season of Music at the Southfield Church – a New Marlborough edition – features a line-up of immensely talented headliners, all who reside within the bucolic villages, woods and hills of New Marlborough.

Vocalis Youth Choir, founded by Julie Bickford in 2021, has as its mission to educate young people in the art of choral music while providing opportunities for personal and creative growth, youth leadership, and community engagement.

The name, Vocalis, translates to “having a voice” in Latin. Vocalis believes that developing one’s voice as a young person is an important part of growing up and learning about oneself. The VYC strives to help all children and young people to find their voice, both as individuals and as choristers.

The choir is comprised of three different ensembles of different ages. Each ensemble performs separately as well as together as a full ensemble.
Training Choir, for children ages 8-10, is open to all children who are interested in learning how to sing. This ensemble offers engaging music education and choral training through which they are taught music literacy skills such as identifying notes on the treble staff, navigating a piece of choral music, and reading simple rhythm patterns. They also begin to hone their vocal technique through breathing exercises, vowel work, projection, and listening.

Senior Choir, for treble singers ages 10-14, is one of the primary performance ensembles of the organization. Encore, for treble singers ages 14-18, is the highest-level vocal ensemble of the Vocalis Youth Choir. During rehearsals, members of Senior Choir and Encore are taught proper vocal technique, develop music literacy and sight-reading skills, and work with their peers to hone listening, blend, and other critical aspects of ensemble work. They work to learn challenging multi-part repertoire of various and diverse genres, which they perform several times each year in the Berkshires and beyond.

For more information, visit vocalisyouthchoir.org.
Julie Bickford holds a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from Ithaca College and a Masters of Music Education from the Hartt School of Music, University of Hartford.

After completing her undergraduate degree, Julie joined Chorus Angelicus as Junior Choir conductor, a position she held for nearly a decade. In 2007, she moved to the Berkshires to become Choir Director at Monument Mountain Regional High School in Great Barrington. Throughout her 17-year tenure, she has expanded the school’s choral programs (including its first a capella group, the Spartones) and broadened its course curriculum, including piano classes and music theory.

Prior to Vocalis, Julie was Artistic Director of the Berkshire Children’s Chorus. During her seven years there, she expanded the choristers’ classic treble choir repertoire by introducing them to several major works, facilitating collaborative projects with other arts organizations in the area and participating in both domestic and international tours. Julie lives in Southfield with her husband and two sons.


June 9
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Admission is free.
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Southfield Church
234 Norfolk Road
Southfield, MA, 01259 United States
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