“We are much more than a song.
“The Texas Girls’ Choir (TGC) was founded in 1962 during the same time as the Civil Right’s Movement in the United States. Shirley Carter, the founder of TGC, was a true visionary. She saw music as a great leveler and desired to provide a safe place where girls could sing together, grow musically and develop their lives in a positive way; regardless of race, religious beliefs or financial background.
“She saw that some girls had a passion for sports or band and that those activities filled a void in their lives and taught them valuable lessons about teamwork and discipline. But, if a girl’s passion was singing and performing she wondered where those girls could go to learn those same lessons?
“Chanel, as well as about 25,000 other girls during the past 53 years, found that place to be the TGC. She auditioned for the choir, was accepted and threw herself into the many programs offered there. Three rehearsals a week, annual Charm School weekends, Leadership Training classes, Music Clinics, and performing opportunities locally, nationally and internationally with TGC became Chanel’s life after school and on the weekends.
“Nearly 40% of TGC Members are considered “at risk” children who would not have had the opportunity to be challenged and succeed musically without the benefits of the scholarship fund and TGC fundraising efforts.
“Because of the generosity of our donors over the past two North Texas Giving Days we were able to help Chanel travel on her “dream tour” to South Africa and perform for children at a local elementary school in the suburbs of Cape Town. The children from the school cheered for the Texas Girls’ Choir like they were rock stars.
“Chanel, along with two siblings has been raised by a single parent. She took her last bow with the Texas Girls’ Choir this past May and will be attending Texas Wesleyan University in the fall, majoring in Music. She received a full scholarship to cover her tuition and all expenses.
“The donations have also helped 30 other girls with full and partial scholarships – scholarships for travel and scholarships for their semester fees. Many of these young women would not have been able to benefit from our programs if our founder did not make our mantra “we never want finances to be a reason a young girl could not be a member of the Texas Girls’ Choir.”
“We believe that teaching girls to raise their voices is important work, and we appreciate all who help us to continue our goal to develop young girls’ lives. On September 17, we can all raise our voices for the Texas Girls Choir and help continue Shirley Carter’s vision.
“Our children are our hope for the future. I believe the opportunity that we give to young girls of seeing the world, gives them a perspective going into adulthood of changes they will help facilitate during their lifetimes. As long as we have faithful donors, we will continue to do our important work of developing little girls’ lives through excellence of music.”
-By Debi Weir, Texas Girls’ Choir executive director
* Graphic provided by Texas Girls' Choir ** Photo credit: Marybeth Noriega