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The St. Louis Children’s Choirs family was saddened to learn of the unexpected passing of alum Holly Fricks Yoakum (’94) on February 13, 2017. We were pleased to feature her as our alumni spotlight in our 2016 Holiday Concert program, and share her story with you now as we remember her life.
“I have so many great memories of choir, but by far the fondest are travelling and making music with my friends. We visited a school in Russia where we sang and got to interact with other children, trading pins and buttons with them. I still have these pins. And because of SLCC, I got to sing in Carnegie Hall twice! Even on the trips that don’t seem as glamorous, I got to go new places, meet new people, and learn new and interesting music.”
“I tell people that joining and remaining in choir is the second-best decision I’ve ever made. (Choosing to marry my husband gets top billing.) It formed me in ways that I never could have imagined. Of course the tour opportunities exposed me to different people and places and cultures, and created a love for travel and an openness to things outside of my own day-to-day world. There were also amazing lessons Mrs. Sparfeld taught us about discipline and fun and priorities and love and music and commitment. She valued each of us as individuals who had so much to contribute to choir but also to contribute to the world. She wanted us to be present and prepared, but she understood that choir wasn’t our whole life. She spent time knowing and talking to each of us. She cared not just about our musical development but our personal development. I loved her, and I am better because I knew her.”
“I am now working at Legal Services of Eastern Missouri as the managing attorney of the Lasting Solutions unit, which assists low-income victims of domestic violence in legal and social work matters. About six years ago I also began singing in a choir again. Bel Canto is a women’s ensemble that started with nine members in 2006. We’ve grown to about 25 members, and three of us are SLCC alumni! We’re doing Benjamin Britten’s Ceremony of Carols for our holiday program this year. I first learned this in Chorale or Concert Choir more than 20 years ago, but I can still sing it — much from memory — as though that was yesterday. The music stays with you.”
Our alums go on to change the world in ways great and small, and we remember Holly and her contributions to our community!
Alumni Spring Sing 2017
Join us on March 17 & 18 for a St. Patrick’s Day inspired Spring Sing! Gather at the Choir Office on Friday evening from 6:30 – 8 p.m. for a rehearsal with SLCC Alum Diana Strutman Grosch. Saturday we’ll meet at Garden Villas in Town and Country at 2:40 p.m. for a 3 p.m. concert! Email Abbi to RSVP – we can’t wait to sing together!
Thanks for your continued support of The St. Louis Children’s Choirs!
Want to get more involved? Consider ushering at our Family and Friends Concerts on February 25-26, joining us for Trivia Night on March 4, and/or helping us plan our 40th Anniversary Season alumni gathering (tentatively planned for May 2018)! Email Abbi for more details!