New Youth Connection hits stride with students

Youth Connection performed for students at Allegheny Valley Elementary School in Clarendon on Tuesday, including a seven-and-half-minute medley of no less than 27 songs.

High school students from Sheffield, Youngsville and Warren performed “Encore Music through the Decades” at Sheffield Middle School, St. Joseph School and at the Holiday Inn for the Warren General Hospital Auxiliary lunch on Tuesday.

Youth Connection is a service-based performing group open to all Warren County high school students that started in 1990 with about 15 students, and ran for years before taking a hiatus. At its height, the group had nearly 60 students participate.

“We had to have auditions we had so many kids who wanted to be in it; we’d have over 100 kids show up for auditions,” Youth Connection Manager Charmaine Check said.

This year, the group has 34 students who perform at all nursing homes and senior centers in the county, Check said.

“Our main objective is to get out in the schools and show the kids that you can do all kinds of things in music and in the arts,” she said. “We have football players, we have track people…we do four, five sometimes six shows a day.”

Students can jump from performing in a space of a couple of feet to a large stage and learn the confidence it takes to perform in front of a group of people of any size, Check said.

Students in grades two through four can participate in ARTE Jr., fifth through eighth in ARTE, and ninth through 12th in Youth Connection.