SPRINGFIELD, Mo – A new tune is being sung in the northside of Springfield thanks to a new choir that consists of former and current homeless people.
The choir is called the Springfield Street Choir.
The choir came about after Founding Director Katie Kring and a couple of other community members discovered the Dallas Street Choir. Kring decided Springfield needed something like that to reach out to the community.
“We started October first,” says Kring before their fourth week of practice.
“On October first we had 16 people, last week we had 28, so we’ve almost doubled in size,” says Kring.
After their fourth practice, they counted 51 people in attendance.
Some of the songs they sang Tuesday night were True Colors by Cindy Lauper, Travellin’ Through by Dolly Parton, and A Brand New Day from “The Wiz.”
Meet Paul Sartin
Paul Sartin does not want to be considered homeless because he calls Springfield his home, he would rather be considered houseless.
Paul has been singing in the choir since day one.
“I just decided to be part of it. So I mean street choir, living it, loving it, seeing it, hating it, even the blood, sweat and tears out there are real so why not sing about it and have fun,” he says.
Paul says the choir give him a sanctuary of peace from the storm he calls living on the streets.
“When that storm out there gets too rough, sometimes you ain’t got many safe havens you can go to.”
The Goal of the Springfield Street Choir
Kring says they are not just doing this for fun, they have a goal to perform in front of the community. The choir actually has two performances coming up in the coming months.
She says they are open to being hired to sing anywhere, but they have three needs to do so:
To find more about hiring the choir, click here.
Their two upcoming performances will be at the Connecting Grounds Church and at the Springfield Art Museum, to find out more about these two performances, click here.
Kring says they want to be ambassadors for the homeless community in Springfield.
“These are people, and don’t look away, don’t fail to make eye contact and scuttle on away and lock your doors. We want you to look and see and really appreciate these lovely people as people.”