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Youth Choir Revamped 2nd Time in 2 Years

October 19, 1989

LONG BEACH — International Children's Choir, a Long Beach institution for 32 years, is being reorganized for the second time since 1987.

Members say they are planning to change the name, possibly to the International Children's Choir of Long Beach, following the withdrawal of president Ann Livingston for personal reasons.

Livingston's mother, Easter Beekly, founded the choir in 1957. Under her leadership, the musical group--which features children ages 4 to 17 dressed in a variety of national folk costumes--became an internationally acclaimed performance organization making appearances throughout the world.

But in 1987, Livingston--who succeeded her mother as the choir's leader--fired musical director Irene Bayless, claiming that Bayless had undermined the choir's original purpose by concentrating on polished high-profile performances rather than community-based public-interest appearances.

Bayless responded by forming her own choir, the International Peace Choir, which ended up wooing away most of the original group's singers, thus causing it to recruit new ones.

Today, Bayless' 60-member group is reported to be doing well. And organizers of the soon-to-be-named International Children's Choir of Long Beach say they expect to retain most of Livingston's 40 members, despite the former president's withdrawal.

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