Black Bear Conservatory of Music (BBCM) has announced the expansion of its popular community Choral Program, under the direction of Alvera Sylvester, to include more performance venues and a brand new division for women.

BBCM Executive Director Ryan Weber said the Children’s Community Choir, launched in late 2011, has seen consistent growth and will be enhanced by the addition of the new women’s choir, which has already received substantial interest. "We believe in providing the highest quality of education to the entire community we serve, and the new initiative in adult education is an exciting pathway to making this goal a reality," said Weber.

Targeting teens and adult women, the new program encourages those who love to sing to take advantage of the new choir, which will meet on Mondays beginning on March 4 from 7 to 8 p.m.

In addition to the new program, BBCM’s Children’s Community Choir will also see expansion of its performance opportunities in 2013. The Choral Program at the Hawley-based non-profit organization provides an environment in which children can jump-start their learning and have fun while gaining valuable experience in the arts. Students are offered a creative pathway to making music while building confidence through expert instruction and seasonal performances.

Students also learn the value of service through community events. Since its launch, dozens of students have offered performances throughout the region at nursing homes, art studios and community festivals.

Participation in the Children’s Choir is open to anyone in the community. The Choir consists of two age-based groups, which will meet on Tuesdays from March 12 through May 28, between 5-5:45 p.m. And 5:30-7 p.m. Students will present a community concert on June 1 at Ellen Memorial Health Care Center to be followed by an evening concert.

Registration for either choir is $50 for individuals/$75 for families (or $25/$40 for families enrolled in private instruction at BBCM). BBCM offers payment plans for those families for whom payment in full presents a financial hardship.

All programs will take place at the Center for Musical Discovery at BBCM, 520 Church Street, Hawley.

BBCM offers high quality private musical instruction in most instruments and voice to students ranging in age from under 10 to over 70. Classes are also offered in music theory and appreciation, ear training, sight singing, rhythm and performance. BBCM was formed in 2006 and is a member of the National Guild of Community Schools of the Arts.

For more information visit

www.blackbearmusic.orgcall BBCM at (570)226-7606, x3.