Bringing kids to music, and music to kids

Young singers will have the opportunity to interact with two area music groups in the coming months, thanks to separate programs launched by The Minnesota Opera and Minnesota Chorale.

In September, The Minnesota Opera inaugurated Project Opera, a new music education program that features two choruses: Ragazzi (grades 4-8) and Giovani (grades 9-12). The program incorporates girls' choir programs from the recently dissolved Bel Canto Voices, and it will add boys to its choruses in January 2006.

Project Opera participants will perform in the Ordway Center lobby before Sunday opera matinees and will be invited to student matinees and opera training programs. The program's fall semester will focus on vocal training and preparing and staging an opera.

Also this fall, Minnesota Chorale launched new affiliate relationships with Patrick Henry High School in Minneapolis and Como Park High School in St. Paul, kicking off its 2005-2006 season with performances at those schools. The organization's Full Voice program, which supplements and jump-starts vocal music programs in schools with limited resources, has been around for more than a decade, but its efforts are growing. Activities at Como and Patrick Henry will include regular visits by Chorale musicians and individual voice lessons.

&#8220Nothing shows the depth of our commitment to the schools as unmistakably as being there in the flesh, in force,” says Chorale executive director Camille Kolles.