On a Tuesday night a few weeks ago, the Rexburg Tabernacle was filled with just a little more than 80 children. In the following weeks, more than 100 children were in attendance - all because Benjamin Watson, coordinator for Student Life Communications at BYU-Idaho had an idea.
"When we moved here from Montana I was looking for an opportunity for my kids to have a children's choir experience," Watson said. "I didn't really find what I was looking for so I thought ‘well gosh, I'll just start a choir.' "
Watson, who just recently moved into Rexburg with his wife and four children, saw a niche that he could fill and found a surprising amount of community support and interest in the concept. For the first rehearsal on February 6, there were 86 children in attendance, ages five to 18.
In an interview with BYU-Idaho Radio, Watson explained that in-spite of his professional pursuits in communications, he has a love and passion for music and some experience teaching music as well.
"Music has always been a big part of my life," Watson said. "My mother was a music teacher in Montana. Prior to me coming to BYU-Idaho I was a music teacher in Montana for a couple of years. For a short period while I was in the National Guard I was an instrumentalist for the 23rd Army Band."
As a communications coordinator, Watson knows how to get the word out and find support, which he explained he hopes to continue to do by contacting local corporations. The choir has a website, rexburgchildrenschoir.com, where supporters can donate and find updates. Concerning what Watson hopes to achieve moving forward with the choir, he emphasized the experience for the children.
"I'm not out to impress the world with this choir," Watson said. "My primary motive is for it to bless the lives of the kids. Anything else that happens after that is just bonus."
Rehearsals are Tuesday nights at 5:30 p.m. at the Rexburg Tabernacle. If you'd like to learn more, you can visit the website, rexburgchildrenschoir.com.
You can listen to the full interview with Benjamin Watson below.