“Professionally I gained just about everything I had hoped for: a deeper and fully invigorated understanding of the art for which I support and promote.”
When Don Steffy became the director of the Indianapolis Children’s Choir (ICC), it was like entering a “whole new world” compared to his ballet background. Therefore, his creative renewal project was to learn more about the art of choral singing: “My journey placed me on the other side of the baton as choral student and a student of the educational component of the art,” Steffy said. That journey included being taken under the wing of experts to learn pedagogy, kodaly (the language of vocal music), and vocal technique. One of his instructors was former Creative Renewal Arts Fellow Steven Rickards (class of 2015-16). Other experiences were group lessons and a performance with the beginners’ vocal class at the University of Indianapolis. “The collective process of participating in everyone's maturation,” Steffy said, “along with witnessing first hand the expert care of our instructor, Steven Rickards, fully nurturing some of the beginning students in confidence, execution, and understanding of vocal technique was remarkable.” Steffy stretched his vocal skills even further by performing on stage (for the first time) with the ICC’s teenaged youth ensemble, the Indianapolis Youth Chorale.
Even though his fellowship term has come to an end, Steffy is still taking vocal lessons. He believes the fellowship made him a “more fulfilled and rounded-out lover of the performing arts.” He looks forward to the benefits his renewal will have on the children of the ICC and its future partners.