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July 8, 2020

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Music trains the brain and satisfies the soul

A chat with Vicki Mills, conducting a Summer Sounds Choral Camp, July 15-19, and directing Noteworthy Community Choir during the patriotic pops concert

By Barb Lockard
Let your voice be heard! Owner of Miss Vicki’s Music Studio, Vicki Mills, has also devoted herself to a non-profit venture, the Noteworthy Community Choir. 

This summer, Mills is conducting Noteworthy’s first-ever Summer Sounds Choral Camp, July 15-19 at Ohio Northern University. 

“I want kids to come to camp and sing their hearts out,” Mills said.  “I want them to be able to move, create, and experience making music.”  

“Music trains the brain,” added Mills.  “Kids love music, but there are so many things vying for their time, it becomes a matter of priorities.”  She makes a good argument, however, for devoting some time to learning and performing music.  In her opinion, the choral music approach is a healthy approach to voice development. 

“There are more things involved in being in a choir than just showing up and singing: following the director, singing in tune and in time with each other, developing a blended and unified sound, singing in parts, contributing to the overall energy of the group, allowing that energy to pull you up if down… and so much more!  Plus, it’s incredibly inexpensive when compared to private voice lessons.” 

Modeled on children’s choirs in Cincinnati, Indianapolis, and nationwide – Noteworthy offers choral training in its children’s group, Voices, through weekly rehearsals, performance opportunities, summer camp and workshops. 

Moving to Ada as a sophomore in high school, Mills went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in piano and voice from Ohio Northern University.  After teaching for the Baltimore, Maryland Public Schools, she decided to expand her musical development and obtained a Master of Music in Voice Performance from the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University. 

Noteworthy Community Choir currently has adult and youth members in the intergenerational group, Expressions. They perform at local and regional events and are scheduled to make their second guest appearance at the Ohio Northern University, Lima Symphony Orchestra (LSO) Patriotic Pops Concert on Saturday, July 6 at 7 p.m. at ONU. 

“I attended the first LSO performance with members from a choir I was working with at the time, and immediately thought how fabulous it would be for a choir to also sing at this venue,” said Mills excitedly. 

In 2017, she contacted Chris Burns DiBiasio, director of community relations at ONU and wife of university President Daniel DiBiasio.  Burns DiBiasio was instrumental in bringing LSO to Ada and was intrigued with the idea of a community choir singing at the event.  Noteworthy then put out the call for singers, and the choir made its debut in a guest appearance at the Fourth Annual Patriotic Pops Concert in 2018.

Vicki Mills will continue to train the “voices” of Ada and enumerated all the possibilities of bringing music education to its adults and children. Teaching music is her passion.  “My soul is satisfied when helping people to attain their own sound.”  

Anyone interested in the Children’s Choral Camp, Noteworthy Community Choir, or programs offered through Miss Vicki’s Music Studio can contact Mills at 419-679-8259 or info@noteworthycc.org