Children As Young As 3 Learn To Take The Stage

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Katie Meredith grew up in Heber. Around the age of 4, her parents enrolled her in the Sunshine Generation performing arts program.

"It was a blast," she said. "And it was just about the only thing to do."

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A new program to train children as young as 3 in the performing arts begins in January.

She continued in the program until she was about 12 and then in high school used the skills she learned in the show choir.

Now, Meredith wants to give the experience she had to other young people.

On Jan. 8, 2007, she will open her own Sunshine Generation program.

Sunshine Generation is an international children's performing group with thousands of boys and girls participating. The program is designed to teach children performance techniques and skills in singing, dancing, showmanship, vocal training and music theory.

Children as young as 3 may participate.

Meredith will have a class for preschool and kindergarten students at 3 p.m. Children in the first through third grades will be offered a class at 4 p.m., and a class for those in the fourth through sixth grades will be held at 5 p.m.

By grouping the children by age for rehearsals and performances, their interests and abilities are complemented, she said.

"The goal is to help children build confidence through performing arts," Meredith said.

Children participating in the program do not need to audition.

According to founder Nancie Nalder, the "no auditions" policy eliminates negative pressures experienced during tryouts.

Once a quarter, the students in Meredith's Sunshine Generation program will present a performance for the public.

The cost of the program is $35 per child per month, not including costumes.

However, the performance costumes are mass-produced, making them cost-effective.

Enrollment is offered on a continuing basis.

To sign up now, call Meredith at (928) 472-4768 or (928) 978-2005.

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