It’s a historic time for the Children’s Chorus of San Antonio as they debut their first new artistic director in the group’s 34-year history.

Ryan Garrison is making his debut as the artistic director of the Children’s Chorus of San Antonio in the 2017-2018 season

He is only the second artistic director in the group’s history and takes over from founder, Marguerite McCormick.

The chorus has more than 250 students and provides vocal training and performance opportunities to children ages 5 and up and all skill levels.

“I am a believer that everyone can sing, and the Children’s Chorus of San Antonio is a wonderful place to start,” Garrison said. “It’s not an audition process, it’s a placement process.”

Garrison says studies show children who music are more likely to do well at reading and math.

“Those that have exposure to music are using a side of their brain that has helped them be more successful in academics,” Garrison said.

The group is also debuting a new uniform this year that features a unique San Antonio flair.

The students perform twice a year at the Tobin Center, as well as other, smaller performances. Some of the students say performing in the Children’s Chorus has been a chance of a lifetime.

“It has given me so many opportunities that I would not have had otherwise and it has given me some of my best friends. I’ve known kids here for almost a decade now, they are some of my closest friends that I will have throughout college and for the rest of my life,” Evelyn Morrey said.

Morrey, a junior in high school, says the experience has come with some challenges.

“When you are trying to balance a high school schedule and you have to be at rehearsal at 8:30 and you don’t get home until 9:30, it’s a struggle sometimes, but worth it. I have loved every minute of it,” Morrey said.

Click here for more information about the Children’s Chorus and how to get your children involved.