RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – For the first time in its 55-year history, the Raleigh Boychoir is now the Raleigh Youth Choir.

Earlier this year, the group expanded its programming to include female singers.

“It’s definitely made me a better singer in every way I think. I’m surrounded by voices that are all older and better than I am and people that are younger and have a lot more energy too and it’s just such a fun community,” Claire Skinner said, a Raleigh Youth Choir member.

This holiday season will be the first time the group gets to sing together.

“I think there’s just this magical moment when you sing with the choir when all of the voices just kind of come together and create something really beautiful,” Priyanka Rathnao, another choir member, said.

The Raleigh Youth Choir said the reason for the change is to continue providing more options for students to receive voice education and also be more inclusive.

“Personally, I love it because it really just makes the whole choir more inclusive, and it really makes sure that everybody knows that they’re welcome here and that they have a place in this choir,” Gemma Gilbert, a Raleigh Youth Choir member, said.

The organization is also expanding its programs to allow kids of different ages to perform together.

Mia Didiano is also a member of the choir. She said she feels the new additions have changed the sound for the better.

“Our sound now is just so much fuller and we can do so many more beautiful pieces with the boys and all of the younger voices to just lift us up in sound,” Didiano said.

Kevin Sturdivant, who is also a choir member, agrees.

“It makes me feel great. It’s like when we all sing together it’s like melodies’ from heaven because we all sound good separately and then we sing together it’s even better,” Sturdivant said.

The Raleigh Youth Choir continues to accept kids interested in the choir.

You can view the programs and upcoming performances here.