Joyful Noise Kids’ Choir welcomes new children

Joyful Noise Kids’ Choir welcomes new childrenBy LAURA QUEZADA

News Review Staff Writer

Immanual Baptist Church’s Joyful Noise Kids’ Choir is in rehearsal for their spring show: “The Lions, The Switch and the Warm Robes.” Children from kindergarten through fifth grade are welcome to join the choir that meets weekly on Sundays at 5pm. It is not necessary to attend Immanual Baptist Church. The show will be on stage on Friday, May 13 at 5pm and it lasts about an hour. It will be presented in the original Immanuel Christian Church building at 201 West Graff in Ridgecrest. The show is free to all.

Three dedicated adults have been leading the youngsters for several years. Alison Elwell is the Choir Director, Leisha Wetzel is Drama Director, and Brenda Wakley is their Executive Assistant. Alison also serves as the Church’s Worship Leader and Leisha teaches Sunday School for Elementary School children. Brenda stepped in to help with the choir three years ago when her children became involved.

Alison had fond memories of being in choir as a child and decided to start Joyful Noise. “I loved it,” she says. “I thought to myself, ‘I think I want to do that.’ So my husband and I decided, ‘Let’s be crazy and start a choir.’ So we did.”

Eleven year old, Madison Bloudek, has been in the choir since she was in first grade. She says, “I really enjoy it because you get to show how much you love God in a way you really enjoy. I really love choir and I just really love acting.” Seven year old Riley Wakley tells us, “I love doing choir because it’s about Jesus. And I’m a Christian and I love singing and dancing, and I also get to make a lot of friends.”

The choir usually performs two shows per year. “It’s all faith-based,” says Alison. “ At Christmas time we do a Christmas musical. We start in August and then we perform in December and they have different themes every year.” They were set to stage “The Lions, The Switch and the Warm Robes” for their 2020 spring show and then the pandemic hit. The children set to have lead roles are now too old for the choir and now the show goes on with a new cast.

This spring’s show demonstrates awareness of kids’ interests. “It’s three different Bible stories kind of put together in a video game, and they’re trying to figure out what the riddle is with all these different Bible stories and how they work together,” says Alison. Two children are in contemporary clothing, playing the game. The children within the game are in Biblical clothing because the virtual reality is in Bible times. They keep the sets simple but have props and great lighting. The children provide their own costumes, “But if money is an issue, we will cover it,” Alison emphasizes.

The Joyful Noise Kids’ Choir gets all of their scripts from the Little Big Stuff Company that specializes in faith-based musicals for children.

The choir is funded by Immanuel Christian Church which is very committed to children. Leisha says, “The Church has always been very supportive of having things available for the youth and the kids and even preschoolers … monthly or every other month children’s night out where parents can just drop off their elementary aged kids to have fun … camp out, mess night, a movie night. We have fun activities available for kids all the time. We’re really blessed to be a part of a church that really pours resources into Children’s Ministry.”

Laura Austin Photo: Joyful Noise Kids’ Choir in rehearsal for their spring show. Left to right Aaron Wakley, Alison Ewell, Macie Elwell, Riley Wakley, Solomon Fennell, Leisha Wetzel and Brenda Wakley.

Story First Published: 2022-02-18