Ellen McLemore – Co-Founder of Chorale Des Amis, Youth Choirs of Acadiana

Ellen McLemore, co-founder and Executive Director of Chorale Des Amis, exudes passion for teaching children the joys of choral singing. Listening to Ellen speak of her dream for building up Chorale Des Amis is reminiscent of the feeling one gets listening to Fraulein Maria and the von Trapp children make the hills come alive with the sound of music!

Chorale Des Amis is open to all students in the greater Acadiana area who love to sing. Along with her partners, Artistic Director and Co-Founder Holly Grefe, and Director Rusty Roden, the students’ enthusiasm and love for music are nurtured in a challenging, yet safe environment. Along with improving their abilities, the children have the opportunity to make new friends and travel to make appearances with the choir.

Chorale Des Amis was formed in March 2017 as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. It is supported by community donations along with students’ tuition. Currently, 60 students are enrolled from 18 Acadiana-area schools representing five different types of school settings: public, private, charter, Montessori, and homeschooling.

The Les Petits Choir is a “get your feet wet” choir for students in 2nd through 5th grade. Les Chanteurs Choir is open for 6th through 8th grade girls with a focus on sightreading, blend and diction. La Chorale is comprised of singers who have demonstrated advanced vocal technique and music reading skills and usually high school age.

The group is off to Carnegie Hall on June 8, 2018, to perform. Fundraisers are underway to provide much-needed support as this important arts organization spreads its wings and spreads the joy of singing.  “So You Think You Can Sing!” is Chorale Des Amis’ Spring donation drive held from April 2 to May 1. There are 11 participants, all of whom are members of the Lafayette community. Each participant will be raising a minimum amount of $1200 to help reach their goal of $30,000 The participant who raises the least will have to sing a solo at the May 14, 2018, spring concert! The participant with the highest donations will get to choose whether or not (s)he participates.

Why support Chorale Des Amis? Let’s allow Ellen to explain, as she did in this episode of Discover Lafayette: “We know that singing promotes academic work. The studies have shown that the skills that students receive from singing and from studying. focusing. and learning, the discipline of learning, follows them into their academic world. We want lifelong singers. We want our churches to have choir members that are not aging out, but love to sing.” And, of course, we all want our community to offer children much needed outlets for their creative expression!

For more information, please visit www.choraledesamis.com