October 13, 2017 – The Bakersfield City School District (BCSD) hosted the 10th Annual Junior High/Middle School Choir Sharing Festival on Thursday, October 12 at Sierra Middle School’s Auditorium.
The event brought together approximately 530 students from schools throughout the District to one location where they performed and received instruction from a selected choral clinician and guest conductor. This year’s guest is Dr. Jennifer Garrett, Director of Choral Activities at Bakersfield College, a Brigham Young graduate, who brings more than 15 years of experience to be shared with our students.
“My love for music began at a young age. My father’s love for music instilled in me a passion for music that has carried through the best and most challenging times of life. Much like my father, I began teaching piano at the young age of 14 and as a high school senior I had the fortune of filling in for our choir director. At that moment I found my calling,” said Garrett.
Michael Stone, Coordinator of Visual and Performing Arts at BCSD, said, “We call it ‘sharing festival’ because each choir from the District comes together and sings for the others. The power of this is that the clinician works on the stage with the choirs in front of the audience, making them a part of the learning experience. This is not a competitive event, we are here to support each other.”
The Choir Sharing Festival has garnered enthusiasm for singing throughout the District. Students at each site have prepared musical selections since the school year back. BCSD was selected as a 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017 Best Community for Music Education by the National Association of Music Merchants. The District’s Music In Our Schools Week instrumental music recruitment program also earned the prestigious California School Boards Association Golden Bell Award in 2013.