2015 marked the Diamond Anniversary of One Voice Children’s Choir, which originated from a group of children who sang at the 2002 Winter Olympics. Their beloved Director, Masa Fukuda, made such an impact on them that they asked to continue to sing together. Through the efforts of supportive parents the choir continued and in the summer of 2005 the group was named One Voice Children’s Choir.
The choir is comprised of 140 children ages 4 to 18 who reside in northern Utah along the Wasatch Front. Since its inception over 500 Utah children have had the opportunity to participate in the choir. One Voice Children’s Choir has received numerous awards including the John Lennon International Music Award and the Best of State Award for Best Children’s Performing Group as well as the BOSS statue for the most outstanding in the Arts and Entertainment division.
In early 2014 One Voice Children’s Choir was featured with Alex Boyé in a music video cover of “Let It Go” from the Disney movie Frozen. The video went viral with over 60 million YouTube views and was named YouTube’s Top Cover of 2014. Later that year the choir competed on America’s Got Talent and was selected as one of the Top 48 acts in the country. In August 2014 over 100 choir children traveled to New York City and performed in the live quarter-final round of AGT at Radio City Music Hall. One Voice Children’s Choir continues to produce frequent music videos and performs more than 40 times a year with an aim of sharing their talents joyfully with people around the world.
One Voice Children’s Choir is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation. Its Vision Statement reads: Through music, we inspire, enrich, uplift, and serve our global community, while building youth as One Voice.
What’s so special and unique about the One Voice Children’s Choir?
- They are a big “musical family,” and children and parents treat each other as such. Children build and support one another instead of being competitive.
- Everything they sing is original material, or original arrangements of traditional material.
- Their songs are “value oriented,” through which children share positive, uplifting, and inspirational messages.
- They do not separate into different groups – They have a 5-year-old and a 18-year-old in the same room. That’s the beauty of this choir; children of all ages coming together as one and creating a unique sound.
- They are non-profit with the Board members who give of their time and effort, as well as many wonderful choir parents, each doing a little (instead of one individual doing everything) in order to sustain the choir.
- They are closely connected to various local and national recording artists with whom they collaborate on stage.
- Children are trained in recording studios. Many of these children are hired to do professional work in the music industry.
- While learning to work as a team, children also have opportunities to shine as soloists. The majority of their current students can just step forward, grab the mic, and entertain their audience.
ABOUT THE DIRECTOR:
Masa Fukuda is an international award-winning composer, arranger, and producer. Born and raised in Japan, his early education with Yamaha’s top music program “Junior Original Concert” (JOC) gave him college-level training in music theory, dictation, keyboard harmony, improvisation, and orchestration. He achieved a Level-6 certification at age of 10 and ended in 3rd Place in the national songwriting competition sponsored by Asahi Newspaper. He came to the United States at the age 16 to study abroad, to explore diverse music, and to pursue his musical career. He attended Brigham Young University with a scholarship and graduated in 2002 with BA in Media Music Composition with Golden Key International Honor Society Certification. His music was used during the 2002 Winter Olympics Games and was featured on the gold-faced commemorative CD for the Olympics “Light Up the Land.” By giving over 1,600 elementary school chorus children an opportunity to record in professional studios and educating them about the recording industry, Fukuda won his reputation as a “champion of children.” In 2003, he was awarded with the rare John Lennon “Dream Power” Music Award presented by Yoko Ono and George Martin for his original music “Innocence of Youth” (lyrics by Jeannine Lasky.) As an arranger and producer, Fukuda has worked for David Archuleta of the American Idol (Season 7), Justin Williams (Season 8), Jarrett Burns of the group ANSER (X-Factor, 2011), and Alejandro Melecio (Latino Idol, 2012.) His most recent achievements are seen on YouTube for Alex Boye: the viral video “Let It Go” (a FROZEN cover) with over 40 million views, “Happy,” (Pharrell Williams cover) and “Wayfaring Stranger,” featuring a Grammy nominee Jenny Oaks Baker. Despite all his success as an arranger and producer, Fukuda thrives on cultivating talents. He gives countless hours of his time teaching and helping choir children achieve their goals and dreams. It is his ultimate passion, and it shows.
“I perform because it is the singular thing that gives you more exhilaration than a roller coaster, or flying an airplane, or facing your biggest fears. I perform to affect change. I perform for the little girl in the audience who will recognize her dreams from watching me. I perform to put that little spark of inspiration into people’s hearts. I perform to heal the world, to inspire the world, to bless the world… I perform to change the world.”
“One Voice Children’s Choir is an amazing opportunity for my 8-year-old daughter, and has been a huge blessing in her life and to our family. While participating in the choir she has made new friendships, developed her talent and increased her self-confidence. She is learning the values of practice, teamwork, flexibility, respect and professionalism through choir. We love the many and varied performance opportunities! Having the freedom to choose which performances to attend works well with our busy family schedule. However, we quickly discovered how much fun the performances are, and we choose to attend as many events as possible! Supporting the choir as they perform at different cultural, religious, community, and special group events is something we enjoy doing as a family. Choir has given her opportunities and experiences she wouldn’t have had otherwise. We never cease to be in awe of the quality and the caliber of our choir!”
“My son has been with the One Voice Children’s Choir now for three years. Before becoming involved with One Voice, he had been a part of another children’s choir for one year. Our experience with the first choir was that the children practiced every week for months, only to perform 2-3 times total. It was an extreme disappointment to my son as he was expecting to perform so much more. With the One Voice Children’s Choir, he has performed about 100 times over the three years he’s been a member. He has loved every minute of it and looks forward to every performance opportunity. Our involvement with the One Voice Children’s Choir has been a great blessing in his life as well as our family’s.”
“I love to perform. I love making people smile and laugh. If I can turn someone’s bad day into a good one or put a smile on someone who doesn’t smile often, it give me a sense of accomplishment that climbing a mountain couldn’t give me. But why music? Music is the one language that never needs to be translated because everyone understands music. You do not need to know the words for it to have an impact on you. I have one voice and so do all my fellow choir members and together we create one big voice that is speaking (or rather singing) messages of hope, love and peace in a crazy, dark, confusing world.”
“Our family had the privilege of participating in the One Voice Children’s Choir for almost two years. We grew to love our choir “family,” as well as the uplifting messages and music of the choir’s songs. When a new job required us to move to another state, leaving the choir was one of the most difficult parts of the move. In our large new city, I searched for another children’s choir for our family, but only found “traditional” choirs which charged much more than I was used to paying for tuition. I soon realized how unique One Voice Children’s Choir was.”
“2-3 years?? IT IS DEFINITELY WORTH THE WAIT!!! We have wanted our children to be involved with a quality music program since they were tiny and that is why we were so excited to hear about the One Voice Children’s Choir. We heard it wasn’t easy to get in. We were put on the waiting list for a year, and during that time our three kids worked weekly with a voice teacher. They were so excited and couldn’t wait until it was time to sing with the choir. When that time finally came, they were more prepared and ready to go. We had no idea just how great and what wonderful experiences and opportunities it would bring, and how rewarding it would be to our own family. When they sing for charities and for people who are going through very hard times, the children see just how much they touch others’ lives through their songs. It not only touches those who are listening, but the ones who are singing and the singers’ families. Every time we think they have just had their greatest concert and neatest experience, we come away from the next one thinking the same thing. What an incredible opportunity these children and their families are blessed with and WELL WORTH the work they put into it, and the time they had to wait before they became members. We are forever grateful.”
-Diana & Bill, Parents
“THANK YOU for everything you do for the choir kids. My daughter has had a huge amount of personal growth since starting choir. The little victories she has had in choir have carried over to her whole attitude. She had developed a habit of ducking her head and chewing on her fingers or hair when she is feeling shy or nervous and since she has overcome that while at choir, she has found a whole new confidence and belief in herself and has just been a much more pleasant and happy person overall. And since she feels good about herself, she is kinder and more loving to her siblings too. I really can’t believe how she has blossomed in her daily life as a result of choir. I am amazed at everything you do and how hard you work and I just wanted you to know that you have really made a big difference for my daughter, not only in her singing abilities, but in her whole outlook on life.”