Leslie Hendricks holds a BS in Music Education from Grand Canyon College as well as an MM from ASU. In addition to 30 years teaching elementary music in the Alhambra Elementary School District she also has had a long career in church music and professional musical theatre stage productions. Ms. Hendricks believes that vocal music is the purest expression of musical art and cannot be surpassed as a genuine investment on the part of the performer. Helping young women find not only their singing voices, but also discovering a voice with which to navigate their world, is one of the joys of working with the young women of The Phoenix Girls Chorus.
Why I Serve PGC
I first became aware of the Phoenix Girls Chorus in 2006. My daughter was attending a small charter school which did not have a music program so I was interested in finding some sort of program to supplement that loss. When I attended her first concert and the older girls opened the program and began to sing, I wept at the beauty and knew I had found the type of quality musical experience I was seeking for my child. I remember literally thinking “that’s what I want for her”.
As my daughter grew I attended many concerts, enjoying the beautiful sounds and quality productions. I’ve watched my little girl and her friends grow from gangly girls into poised young women. I have seen them sing with the Phoenix Symphony and even on stage at Carnegie Hall.
But over time my focus has shifted from the girls on stage. It seems strange to say but, now when I attend a concert I think about the girls I don’t see on stage, the many girls who would benefit from participation in PGC. As a parent, as an educator and as a musician I have seen the value of PGC firsthand and know that every girl can benefit from the program. For some it is a window into a world they might otherwise never see. But quality comes at a price and opportunity is not affordable for all.
I worked as a music teacher at an inner city elementary district. Over a period of about 5 years I recruited over a dozen girls to PGC. These girls all had the ability and dedication to be successful at PGC. But fast-forward ten years and only 2 of those girls I recruited have been able to complete the program to 12th grade. It was not of talent that keep girls from being successful, it was lack of resources and support. To end, I have dedicated myself to making the PGC opportunity available to more girls.
I have personally financed tuition, uniforms and tours for girls with financial need, but I have finite resources. I continue to reach out to my pool of family and friends. The return on investment is huge when you see the way this program opens up the future possibilities for these girls and their families.