By: Morgan Kellogg
Students in grades nine through twelve from all over Warren County have been preparing for their first show as Youth Connection for over a month, and are working hard to dance and sing for numerous crowds.
John and Charmaine Check, who wanted to start something that could join kids together and encourage them to have fun, created Youth Connection in 1990. The group ran successfully for 11 years until the founders took a short break. After the passing of her husband, John, Charmaine started the group again in 2012 alongside her daughter, Jennifer Koebley.
There are two semesters students can join Youth Connection. The first, being around Christmas time, and the second being in the spring. For each semester, Koebley tries to choose just the right music and theme. She explains that it is very easy to pick the music that she wants to use. For the Christmas performance, she usually tries to pick fun Christmas music that all ages can enjoy. However, when deciding the spring selection, she tries to stick to a theme and avoid repeating past selections.
The students involved in Youth Connection practice every Sunday afternoon from 1:00 to 3:30. Since there is so much to learn, the students usually have about ten practices to prepare everything. This semester, however, was right at the end of the Warren All County Musical, which made it hard to start the practices at the normal time. Since they started late, they only got about five practices before their first performance on April 24.
Since the group is a non-audition based group, anyone can join as long as they are in grades nine through twelve. Joining Youth Connection helps kids meet new people and explore themselves in a creative atmosphere. Along with making new friends, students learn to sing and dance as well as act to ensure the meaning behind the song is portrayed.
Youth Connection preforms for many groups, including elementary schools across the Warren County School District, nursing homes, senior centers, and community events. They also put on a spring show at Beaty Warren Middle School, which Keobley says, “helps to fundraise for the John Check Memorial Scholarship, which is given to a graduating Warren County School District senior going to college who is majoring in Education, Music, or Preforming Arts.” The students in Youth Connection would be glad to see you supporting them in this year’s spring show. The spring show will be taking place on May 30 at 7:00 pm. We hope to see you there so you can experience the joy of the Youth Connection students as they honor America with this year’s theme, “Made in the USA”.