Registration for Uniting Voices Lexington’s long-awaited music education program is officially open with rehearsals starting at Transylvania in October. After taking the city by storm in January at Lexington’s 50th Anniversary celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, as well as a series of remarkably successful workshops in June, anticipation for the nonprofit organization’s accessible youth development offering has been steadily growing. The tuition-based program is offered on a sliding scale based on family income, and runs Oct. 3, 2023 through May 14, 2024.
“We are creating an experience that reflects Lexington’s diverse community and provides opportunities for young people to come together,” Uniting Voices Lexington Artistic Director Michael Preacely said. “With registration now open and Transylvania University’s partnership, we are on our way to building pathways of understanding across the divides of racial and economic disparities.”
In addition to a culturally empowering learning experience, Uniting Voices Lexington’s programs will include rehearsals twice a week, connections with other singers around the region and country, and performances throughout the year that allow young people in 6th through 12th grade to serve as compelling ambassadors for the Bluegrass region.
Through a geographically and culturally diverse repertoire of songs, as well as a deep emphasis on the historical context of various musical traditions, the structure of Uniting Voices’ programs allow students to discover meaningful connections between their heritage and that of their peers. With this foundation at the core of the organization’s approach, singers forge stronger bonds with each other, creating a sense of collective belonging and personal confidence. This element of the nonprofit’s impact and mission has resonated with audiences in Lexington all year long, and was a defining factor of its new partnership with Transylvania, which will provide a home for the program in the coming year.
“We’re excited to bring Uniting Voices Lexington to campus. Their mission and vision flow right into what we strive to do on our campus, which is to build community and develop lifelong learners,” said Michael Covert, vice president for student life and dean of students. “Hopefully, this partnership can expand beyond the campus center and into the heart of our student body, community and Kentucky.”
Mayor Linda Gorton, along with Transylvania trustee Chris Young and other community leaders officially launched the program Thursday. “Programs like Uniting Voices Lexington are exactly what our city needs.Volunteers are lifting up our young people, and giving them new opportunities. Thank you to everyone involved in Uniting Voices Lexington,” Gorton said.
The new after-school program will be open to young people in 6th through 12th grade across the Bluegrass region. The organization is committed to making participation affordable for all families, regardless of financial means. This accessibility is made possible by support from the William T. Young Foundation and a Better Together Grant from the Bluegrass Community Foundation, Lexington Black Prosperity Initiative and The Walton Family Fund, who have played an instrumental role in bringing the new program to life.
Registration for Uniting Voices Lexington’s after-school programs is now open, and rehearsals will begin in October at the William T. Young Campus Center.
About the author: Uniting Voices Lexington is a nonprofit organization that empowers and unites youth from diverse backgrounds to find their voice and celebrate their common humanity through the power of music. Helmed by Michael Preacely, a renowned opera singer and alumnus of the former Chicago Children’s Choir on which the program is based, Uniting Voices Lexington serves diverse youth in 6th through 12th grade, helping them to inspire and change lives through music. Learn more at unitingvoiceslexington.org.