According to Mia Rojas of Fairfax, each voice in the World Children's Choir is meant to stand out. Rojas, a high school senior who began singing with the choir in 1999, will be participating in some of her last performances with the World Children's Choir at its holiday show Saturday, Dec. 16 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 17 at 3 p.m. at St. Peter's Episcopal Church, 4250 N. Glebe Road, Arlington. Recently, she answered some questions about the performance.
Introduce yourself: Hi, my name is Mia Rojas, I am 17 years old, and I am a senior at Chantilly High School.
How did you begin singing? When did you join World Children's Choir? I began singing basically everywhere I could — even in the shower. I joined World Children’s Choir in 1999, and I have been singing in it ever since.
Biggest musical influences: Ms. Sondra Harnes, my voice teacher for eight years now, and the beautiful peace songs written by Mr. James Selway.
Other influences: The children’s songs I used to listen to in my childhood, including Raffi; the love of my grandfather for music, the songs at my family birthday parties — I have memories of my aunt singing — and of course my parents.
Where has the choir toured? Canada, Ireland, Scotland, Romania, Carnegie Hall and the United Nations in New York City.
As a choir, what is the WCC's specialty? WCC vocal training develops solo quality voices; the singers do not sing with straight/blended tone like most other choirs do. Singers are taught the importance of working together to promote international friendship and peace and to help children in need. The World Children’s Choir mission is to serve as a voice for children, to celebrate cultural diversity through music, promote peace. Our repertoire includes international folk songs, European classical music, opera, operetta and songs of hope, friendship and peace. I am working as assistant music director for WCC’s new outreach program, Music at the Heart of Literacy, for children from financially disadvantaged families. WCC is offering scholarships for up to 50 children. Activities include singing, choreography, and West African Drumming and Dancing, and performance opportunities.
Anything special about the upcoming concert? All of them are special, because they are the last ones I will sing with WCC. Seriously, we just had a wonderful time singing at the Wolf Trap Annual Holiday Sing-a-long at the Filene Center. We celebrated the release of our new CD, “Let Us Be United,” with a concert at the Embassy of Venezuela on Saturday, Dec. 9. And we give our two Holiday Concerts on Saturday, Dec. 16 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 17 at 3 p.m. The Holiday Concerts have many beautiful international carols, some Hannukah songs, and I will sing the role of the Mother in a scene from "Amahl and the Night Visitors." It's very special to see all WCC singers together — we range in age from 4 to 17. I'm the oldest. People will really love the Holiday Concert. Plus, we have an audience Sing-a-long at the end.
Future plans: Auditions to enter university next year as a voice/opera major. Sing at the International Children’s Festival, at the Washington Mall in June 2007 , organized by WCC Travel the World, and become an opera star.
— Lea Mae Rice