By Kathy Chouteau
Rich City is even more enriched following a visit from the Kairos Youth Choir last weekend.
On Sun., March 27, the choir singers—who range in age from 6-14 years old—brought the gift of song, community service and chalk art messages of peace to Richmond’s shoreline during its “Marina Bay Beach Clean-Up & Kairos Youth Choir Spring Showcase” at Marina Bay Park.
The youth choir kicked off its visit to the Richmond shoreline by cleaning up the park and its nearby beaches—an effort that saw 53 volunteers pitch in to help, including some of the choir’s teenage alumni. All told, 14 bags of trash were collected that day.
The choir’s beautification of the Richmond shoreline didn’t stop there. The youth also took time to add some vibrant chalk art to the park’s surroundings with the themes of “peace and support of Ukraine,” as well as “music for peace.”
Following the cleanup and colorful creations, the choir gave a performance that included scenes from its upcoming spring musical, William Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” Songs performed from the park’s stage to an audience of about 45 people included: Dream a Dream (Ed Robertson), Walk in Jerusalem (African-American spiritual) and Seasons of Love (from the musical “Rent” by Jonathan Larson).
Evelyn Ibarra, communications manager at Kairos Music Academy, said that in the midst of the human tragedy and devastation of cities/communities beyond our borders, “Kairos is grateful to be given the opportunity through a grant with the City of Richmond, to connect and raise the spirits of children and families through song.” She added that the event made the group “realize how precious public space is, and how meaningful it is to protect it—for the potential of music and art in bringing people together.”
Kairos Youth Choir’s effort was powered by a Love Your Block Mini-Grant from the City of Richmond City Manager’s Office, Economic Development and Community Services Department. Learn more about the youth choir here and contact the academy at [email protected].