Fremd choir’s newly-named ensemble “Bella Voce” starts off on a high note

Samuel Kang and Gabriel Sutanto

For many people, music plays an essential part in life, as it can often help to shape one’s identity and individuality. This is no exception for one of Fremd’s top choir ensembles that recently changed its name from All Women’s Choir to Bella Voce. The choir is made up of soprano and alto voices as the ensemble works on their individual voices and polishes their choral tone to ensure that it all blends together. Furthermore, the group sings in the Illinois Treble Choir Festival every February to further promote students’ confidence and spirit in the choir.

Despite the students’ passion and commitment to the group, some of the All Women’s Choir students may have felt disconnected due to not self-identifying with the ensemble’s branding. To support inclusivity for these students, choir director Mrs. Christina Collins felt the need for a new change to better describe the ensemble.

After getting the idea, Collins wanted the students to have a say in the decision. She then surveyed the group, letting the students decide what they would like to change the name. She received overwhelmingly positive feedback and decided on the name “Bella Voce,” meaning Beautiful Voice in Italian.

Although there was support from the Fremd administration, the official change had to be put on hold during the COVID-19 pandemic. The difficulty in communication in a strictly digital environment slowed these changes.

Now that the name change has been officially made, Collins and her students are proud of the small but impactful rebranding.

“The big thing that we’re trying to promote is that choir is for everyone. Your voice is such a personal instrument, and we wanted all kids to feel confident and comfortable in the class and feel welcome,” Collins said.

Further movements of inclusivity and support for the students have also branched out to other music departments. Fremd’s band, for example, recently changed its concert attire from a concert dress for female-identifying students to a concert-black attire.

“We want students to be wearing what they are most comfortable with onstage so they can feel confident while they are playing,” Collins explained. “It’s a really important and positive change for all ensembles in the music department to support and to help create a more positive community within.”

While discussing these similarities among ideals among the different branches of the Fremd Music Association, Collins noted the importance of making students feel included.

“I think that’s what I want choir to feel more like, that these ensembles are based on our instrumentation — which is voice parts, and not based on anything that is going to have genders,” Collins said.

Mrs. Collins has a message for anyone interested in choir:

“All are welcome in the choir; there is a spot for everyone! It’s a great way to meet people, learn diverse music, and have time to relieve stress in your day.”

Ms. Collins also noted that no experience is necessary to register for C135. You can contact your counselor or Mrs. Collins at [email protected] for more information. #findyourvoice