Busy dad juggles Chandler Children’s Choir activities, work, four children SanTan Sun News

Busy dad juggles Chandler Children’s Choir activities, work, four children

May 1st, 2017 | by SanTan Sun News
Busy dad juggles Chandler Children’s Choir activities, work, four children
Youth
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By Colleen Sparks

 

Behind the scenes of the Chandler Children’s Choir is a father of four thrilled to use his financial expertise to help shine the spotlight on his wife and their children, along with other youths.

Adam Stewart, 43, of the Twelve Oaks neighborhood, is co-founder of the choir with his wife, Aimee Stewart, and he also serves as chairman of the choir’s board of directors. The Stewarts’ children – Oliver, 7, Ivy, 11, and Eli, 14 – sing in the choir, and their daughter Lizzie, 17, used to sing in the choir.

The busy father of four, who works at Clear Channel Outdoor as senior vice-president of financial planning and analysis, keeps the monetary operations of the choir on track, making sure staff members get paid and the nonprofit organization keeps up-to-date filing tax information. He also helps the organization apply for grants and assists with other board activities.

His wife, Aimee, a longtime singer from a musically talented performing family, serves as the choir’s artistic director.

“I know I’m not a musician myself but I really enjoy being a facilitator or an enabler, someone who kind of allows performing arts to happen,” Adam said. “I’ve really enjoyed allowing my wife to really just take all her talents and really blow that up. Helping her be successful is really satisfying to me. It’s great for my kids to be going through a program like this because they learn so much and they enjoy it.

“It’s valuable for my kids to see my wife really running that program. I have the skills on the business side to help,” he said.

The Stewarts started the Chandler Children’s Choir in 2008 with 27 singers and it’s grown to about 140 singers ages 7 to 18. The youths sing in about 15 performances a year, including their “Fields of Gold” concert held May 13 at Chandler Center for the Arts.

“Our goal as an organization is to educate kids on singing, not to exclude that many people,” Adam said. “If they can match pitch, there’s a place for them.”

About 30 singers from the Chandler Children’s Choir, in the Cantus Choir, the group for the most advanced singers, are going to New York City from June 1-5. Adam and Aimee’s son Eli is performing in the choir there. Lizzie is coming on the trip but she’s not in the choir any longer as she now sings in a choir at Corona del Sol High School.

Andrew Campbell, a member of the choir’s board of directors and volunteer pianist for the organization’s Encore choir, said Stewart plays an important role in Chandler Children’s Choir.

“Adam has impacted the lives of hundreds of young people over the past decade by serving as the founding executive director of the choir, and currently serving as the chairman of the board of directors and finance specialist for the choir, a crucial position for a nonprofit organization,” Campbell wrote in an email.

His daughter sings in the choir and another daughter used to sing in the choir.

Campbell is also director of the Collaborative Piano Program and associate professor of Collaborative Piano and Chamber Music at Arizona State University’s Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts – School of Music. He appreciates the music choir members sing.

“CCC plays a very important role in the community by providing children and young people the opportunity to sing the widest variety of choral music under the expert leadership of the CCC musical staff,” Campbell said. “Choristers learn how to read music, sing in a variety of languages, produce beautiful singing tones as individuals and, most crucially, blend as a group.”

Adam will join Cantus Choir in New York with Aimee, Eli and Lizzie for the performances and sightseeing, but then stay a few extra days in the city to do work as part of a Clear Channel Outdoor business trip. The father of four is used to squeezing the most he can out of his days.

“One of the difficult challenges as a father is balance,” he said. “How do you balance when you’ve got work, which takes up a big chunk of time, homework, which takes up a chunk of time. I’ve got kids that are ten years apart in age.”

Adam Stewart said he tries to balance helping Lizzie, who is preparing for the ACT college admissions test and experiences drama with friends with the different needs of Oliver, a first-grader at Kyrene de la Paloma Elementary School.

He tries to find time to do fun activities with his children including hiking at South Mountain and taking family trips. The family is planning a trip to Sedona for Memorial Day weekend.

Adam said the advice he would give to other fathers as far as balancing family time, work and other responsibilities is to plan.

“It’s probably communicating; it’s coordinating, planning,” he said. “I have to think when I go home, we’ve got these different activities. If I have work, I need to stop work and go home and do the family thing and do work later. That’s the time I’ll get with them.”

His children enjoy snow skiing and doing other activities with him.

Lizzie said in an email her father is “fun, funny, personable, doesn’t use dad jokes all the time, hard-working” and “loving.”

“He taught me how to be a good friend, shows what unconditional love looks like,” Lizzie wrote. “Once when we were jogging together and it was hot outside, he jogged so that his shadow would shade me.”

Ivy and Oliver wrote that Adam is “a really good cook – especially jam and bread!”

Eli said his father “teaches me how to be caring and put other people before yourself.”

As far as their plans for Father’s Day, on June 18, Aimee said the family will be getting ready for Chandler Children’s Choir’s “Sing It!” Summer Camp, which starts the next day, and runs through June 23 at Compass Christian Church, 1825 S. Alma School Road in Chandler. To learn more about the Chandler Children’s Choir, visit chandlerchildrenschoir.org/.

 

Caption:

(Photo by Marcia Kuyper)

(from left) Ivy, Aimee, Eli, Oliver, Adam and Lizzie Stewart spend time together making and listening to music.

 

(Photo by Adam Stewart)

Adam Stewart, chairman of the board of directors for the Chandler Children’s Choir, and his son, Oliver, ride a bus with members of the choir during a trip to San Francisco.

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