Children’s Choirs (Pre-K to 6th)

Children’s Choirs return this year! Plymouth continues to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic. All choirs plan to resume rehearsal and worship performances, requiring masks for all participants. Below is our contingency plan.

Contingency Plan

In order to offer programming to those interested and plan for maximum safety during the COVID pandemic, we are making a few modifications to our registration process for the 2021-2022 Program Year.

Safety Strategies
We will rehearse and perform masked and distanced, sanitizing hands before and after rehearsal. Rehearsal and performances KN95-equivalent masks will be provided and kept in Ziplock bags onsite. These mitigation strategies are among those used by other children’s choir programs.

Scheduling Subdivisions
We are subdividing the year into three sessions to allow for greater flexibility in planning participating and responding to COVID interruptions.

  • Session 1 | September 8 to October 24
  • Session 2 | November 3 to December 19
  • Session 3 | January 5 to April 10

 

When registering, we will have a couple of questions to help us gain better data for planning Children’s Music programming. For each of the three sessions above, you will be asked to specify the following:

  • Confirmed | We are committed to participation in this session.
  • Tentative | If everything looks good, we plan to participate in this session.
  • Negative | We are committed to NOT participating in this session.

Fall Schedule for Children’s Choirs

Choirs are anticipated to sing once per month at Sunday Worship. Warm-ups will be from 8:30-9 a.m. OR 10:40-11 a.m. each performing Sunday. Below you will find the schedule for each of the 3 sessions.

Session 1 | September 8 to October 24

  • September 8 at 5:15 p.m. | First rehearsals for the following choirs:
    • 5:15-5:50 p.m. | Music Makers (Pre-K) in room 303
    • 5:15-5:50 p.m. | KinderChoir (K) in room 302
    • 5:15-5:50 p.m. | Cherub Choir (1) in room 301
    • 5:15-6 p.m. | Hallelujah! Choir (2) in room 304
    • 5:15-6 p.m. | Treble Choir (3-4) in Rehearsal Hall
    • 5:15-6 p.m. | Chorister Choir (5-6) in Recital Hall
  • September 8 at 6 p.m. | Kick off picnic for all Pre-K thru 8th grade choirs. Picnic cost is $10/adult and $6/child with a family max of $30. When submitting your Music Registration form, please so submit number of adults/children you plan to bring. Picnic will be socially distanced on the Upper Parking Deck and catered by Uncle Wendell Garreston.
  • September 15 at 5:15 p.m. | Rehearsals for all children’s choirs.
  • September 15 from 6-6:45 p.m. | First rehearsal for Handchime Choir (4-6) in room 305
  • Session 1 Rehearsals continue:
    • September 22, 29
    • October 6, 13, 20

Session 2 | November 3 to December 19

  • November 3 at 5:15 p.m. | Rehearsals for the following children’s choirs:
    • 5:15-5:50 p.m. | Music Makers (Pre-K) in room 303
    • 5:15-5:50 p.m. | KinderChoir (K) in room 302
    • 5:15-5:50 p.m. | Cherub Choir (1) in room 301
    • 5:15-6 p.m. | Hallelujah! Choir (2) in room 304
    • 5:15-6 p.m. | Treble Choir (3-4) in Rehearsal Hall
    • 5:15-6 p.m. | Chorister Choir (5-6) in Recital Hall
  • November 3 from 6-6:45 p.m. | Rehearsal for Handchime Choir (4-6) in room 305
  • Session 2 Rehearsals Continue:
    • November 10, 17
    • December 1, 8, 15
  • December 12 | Soup Supper in Waveland Hall/Carol Sing in the Sanctuary
  • December 15 | Children’s Advent Celebration
  • December 17 | Plymouth Church Goes Caroling
  • December 19 | Lessons & Carols

Session 3 | January 5 to April 10

  • January 5 at 5:15 p.m. | Rehearsals for the following children’s choirs:
    • 5:15-5:50 p.m. | Music Makers (Pre-K) in room 303
    • 5:15-5:50 p.m. | KinderChoir (K) in room 302
    • 5:15-5:50 p.m. | Cherub Choir (1) in room 301
    • 5:15-6 p.m. | Hallelujah! Choir (2) in room 304
    • 5:15-6 p.m. | Treble Choir (3-4) in Rehearsal Hall
    • 5:15-6 p.m. | Chorister Choir (5-6) in Recital Hall
  • January 5 from 6-6:45 p.m. | Rehearsal for Handchime Choir (4-6) in room 305
  • Session 3 Rehearsals Continue:
    • January 12, 19, 26
    • February 2, 9, 16, 23
    • March 2, 9, 23, 30
  • April 6 | Choir Graduation
  • April 10 | Palm Sunday (Singing Choir Sunday)

All students in Pre-K thru Grade 6 are $25 each, with a $50 max per family. See below ways you can pay for registration. Scholarships are available.

Pay by mail: Payments can be mailed directly to Plymouth Church by addressing the envelope with “ATTN: Diane Hayes.”

Pay by Drop-Off: Ring the door bell on the 42nd Street entrance, and a volunteer or staff member will be available Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. to receive your payment drop-off.

Pay online here: plymouthchurch.com/give. Under Donation Type, select “Registration” and indicate “Choirs” below, then click the yellow “Donate” button. This will direct you to pay via PayPal.

Scholarship: If you are in need of scholarship you can reach out to Diane Hayes (dhayes@plymouthchurch.com).

Get to Know Our Music & Fine Arts Team!

Christopher Goodson
Serving since September 2017, Christopher Goodson is Director of Music & Fine Arts at Plymouth Church. A clarinet player, Chris holds a Bachelor of Music in Music Education and Master of Music in Choral Conducting, both from University of Tennessee, Knoxville. In addition to his duties at Plymouth, he is finishing work on a Doctorate of Worship Studies at the Robert E. Webber Institute for Worship Studies in Jacksonville, Florida.

Chris loves what he does, especially when he gets to stand in front of a choir, band, or orchestra, in rehearsal, concert, or in worship. When not at Plymouth, Chris enjoys cooking, tennis, reading, and exploring Des Moines and the Midwest. He lives downtown with his three cats: Louis, Sam, and Miss Kitty.

Contact Chris about all facets of the Music and Fine Arts at Plymouth Church.

Diane is someone you might never see. She has a Bachelor of Music Education from Simpson College, and a Master of Music in Vocal Performance from Northwestern University. Diane has been singing in church choirs since she was three, and currently sings in the Chancel Choir and Howells Scholars at the Cathedral Church of St. Paul.

An Iowa native, she has taught in Dallas, performed at Renaissance Faires in Texas and Chicago, sung in the Chicago Symphony Chorus for 14 years (and is heard in the chorus in the Disney movie “Fantasia 2000”), taught early childhood music in Indianapolis for 10 years, performed administrative work at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Indianapolis where she was also a staff singer, and been involved in several Indianapolis-area community theatres as actor, director, producer, music director, costumer. “Spare time” finds her knitting, sewing, cooking, and baking.

Taught by: Lydia Schettler.
Lydia is an Urbandale resident who grew up in Carroll, Iowa. She attended Simpson College for her Bachelor of Music Education and teaches K-5th grade music in Johnston CSD. She has additional training in Kodaly, Orff, and Dalcroze approaches to music teaching. In her free time, Lydia plays ukulele, practices yoga, and plays with her niece. She loves working with musicians of all ages and is excited to help cultivate young musicians here at Plymouth.

Directed by: Francine Griffith
Francine is a musician/educator in the Des Moines area. Some of her collaborations include: staff accompanist at Drake University, private piano instructor, KinderChoir Director at Plymouth, musical director, and pianist/repetiteur for area theater productions. Francine earned her Bachelor of Music Education from Drake, studying piano with Chiu-Ling Lin, and has taught Elementary Music at Waukee school system. She also performed as a soloist in recent years on several recitals here at Plymouth.

Directed by: Linda Ashby-McFarlane
Linda has been the Cherub Director for over 25 years. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Music Education and Master of Science in Music Education from Northwest Missouri State University. For 16 years she was an instrumental and vocal music teacher in the Saydel Community Schools. She transitioned to a career in Real Estate which allows her the time and flexibility to sing in the Plymouth Chancel Choir, direct the Cherub Choir, and play flute in an ensemble or choir anthem. Linda is looking forward to welcoming your first grader to Cherub Choir in September. “Through our singing we tell stories from the Bible and celebrate special times during the Church Year. Life experiences, even the sad times, are more bearable in our singing.”

Directed by: Jade Fox
Jade will be starting her 15th year teaching as a K-5 General Music Teacher at Webster Elementary in Urbandale. She graduated with her Bachelor of Music degree from Simpson College in 2008 and finished her Masters in Music Education in 2017 from the University of Northern Iowa. She has been a member at Plymouth for ten years, but has been attending church at Plymouth for much longer. Jade loves to run, be outside, and anything musical! This will be Jade’s third year directing the Hallelujah! Choir.

Directed by: Kelli Stoa
Kelli has a BA in Music Education from Concordia College, Moorhead, MN, and has received further certification in Orff (levels I & II) and Kodaly (level I) methods of music teaching from Drake. She is starting her 17th year teaching elementary music, having taught in Marshalltown, Marion, and now in Johnston. Kelli currently serves as the membership chair for the Iowa Music Educator’s Association. She has attended Plymouth for 10 years, and is starting her ninth year as the director of the Treble Choir (grades 3 AND 4). Miss Kelli loves spending time with her husband and three daughters, reading, and baking. She also plays saxophone, piano, and sings with the all-educator funk band, “Faculty Lounge.”

Directed by: Brianne Magel
Brianne received her B.A. in Music Education from Luther College. She directed the Glory Choir for 10 years, and is looking forward to a new year directing Chorister Choir. Bri loves to spend time with her amazing kiddos (Eleanor, 7 and Asa, 4), directing musicals, acting, being creative, and cheering on the Hawkeyes!

Directed by: Dr. Barb Rush
Dr. Barb Rush is a 1980 graduate of Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine. She was raised in North Dakota and has lived in the Des Moines area for more than 40 years. Upon graduation, she began practice in Des Moines and started Rush Animal Care Clinic in March of 1992. Dr. Rush is an Elite Fear Free Certified veterinarian and has four dogs: Murphy, Brody, Colin (left to right) and Zorro. What else would they be but Shelties!! Only the best breed! She has 2 grown daughters, as well.

In her free time, Dr. Rush is a pianist. She has played for the West Des Moines United Methodist Church, Urbandale Community Theater, and helped with other small groups. Dr. Barb is the director of the Christ Chimers group at West Des Moines United Methodist, a position she has held for over 15 years. Currently she is on the keyboard for the praise band at Union Park United Methodist Church in Des Moines and is an accompanist for the Edgewater Singers (Wesley Life community in West Des Moines). Dr. Barb is excited to be a part of the Plymouth Church Arts family and is very much looking forward to meeting folks and helping build enthusiasm for the handchime program.

How to Register

The form links below are for all children/youth (age 3 to grade 12) participating in the 2021-2022 program year. We have created two different forms. One form is for non-music programming, and one is for music programming. To help make things easy for you and our staff, please try to make only one submission for your family.