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FAQs

What are the Chicago Children’s Choir program options?

Chicago Children’s Choir offers programs through nearly 100 Chicago schools (In-School Program), in 12 communities (Neighborhood Choir programs), an ensemble for changing voices (Dimension), and a high school age advanced youth ensemble (Voice of Chicago).

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In-School Choirs

Through the In-School Choir program, over 4,000 children in nearly 100 Chicago schools receive classroom training in basic music theory and choral performance from professional music educators. Singers in this program have the opportunity to explore the expressive qualities of music while developing a sense of self-discipline, pride and intercultural understanding.

Learn more about In-school

After School Choirs

Chicago Children’s Choir’s After School Programs begin allowing singers to participate in any of 12 community-based Neighborhood Choirs and potentially advance into Dimension (an ensemble for changing voices) and Voice of Chicago (a high school age advanced youth ensemble). These programs are open to 8-18 year old singers and offer levels of programming to suit varying levels of musical ability.

Neighborhood Choirs are tuition based programs that provide beginning and intermediate choral training with a deeper, performance-based education and increased opportunities to connect with singers through after-school programs in 12 Chicago communities across the city and beyond.

Albany Park, Austin, Beverly, Bucktown, Englewood, Gage Park, Garfield Park (Off the Street Club),Humboldt Park, Hyde Park, Lincoln Park/DePaul, Pilsen/Little Village and Rogers Park

Dimension is a unique ensemble for singers age 12 and up who are beginning the vocal transition into emerging tenor and baritone voices. This ensemble offers many performance opportunities independently and with other CCC programs.

Voice of Chicago is our premier mixed-voice ensemble, maintaining an extensive performance schedule that includes touring and collaborations with Chicago’s finest cultural institutions.

Learn more about our after school choir programs

What is the difference between In-School and Neighborhood Choir Program?

Chicago Children’s Choir’s In-School programs are a more exploratory choral experience designed to serve students in a specific school. School administrators determine which grade levels (3rd through 8th grades) that may participate. These choirs perform within their school and at two city-wide field trips throughout the year.

Chicago Children’s Choir’s Neighborhood Choir programs provide a deeper musical experience. Children ages 8-18 from throughout the community participate and may advance within the program between ensembles (Allegro, Vivace, Presto). Singers frequently have the opportunity to participate in workshops, connections with singers across the city, and performances for the community.

Because the programs provide different experiences, often singers participate in both the In-School and the Neighborhood Choir programs.

What is the difference between the ensembles of the Neighborhood Choir Program (Allegro, Vivace, Presto)?

Allegro

The beginning level of the Neighborhood Choir that builds the foundation for further growth within CCC.

Vivace

The intermediate level of the Neighborhood Choir that focuses on more advanced vocal technique, movement, music theory and repertoire.

Presto

This ensemble is available at some Neighborhood Choir sites, and allows advanced treble (vocal range in higher register) singers to continue their musical advancement with more challenging repertoire and a continued focus on music theory.

How do I audition for the Neighborhood Choir program?

About the Neighborhood Choir Audition Process

We accept new members into the Neighborhood Choir Program during New Singer Days, held several times throughout the year. No prior experience is necessary to join the Neighborhood Choir Program. The audition process is quick and simple, open to students in grades 3 and up. Singers do not need to prepare anything for the audition. We are looking for students who can match pitch and have an enthusiasm for singing.

How do I audition for Dimension or Voice of Chicago?

Younger singers who are experiencing voice change should contact Jackie Johnson at jjohnson@ccchoir.org by June 1, 2021 to set up an audition for the 2021/22 season. Auditions will involve meeting with the Senior Associate Artistic Director, Judy Hanson, and singers will be led through vocal warm-ups.

Experienced singers who will be in high school for the 2021-2022 school year (age 14 and up) may audition for Voice of Chicago, CCC’s most advanced level of programming. Singers will be asked to fill out a survey, submit an audition video, and select singers will be asked to complete an audition with the Artistic staff to showcase vocal range, musicianship, and performance expression. Auditions will take place in May/June of 2021.

What about health and safety?

CCC’s top priority is creating a safe space for young people to come together on common ground. In doing so, we are committed to following guidelines of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the Illinois Department of Public Health. In the event that safety measures become too restrictive for a high quality, in-person experience, CCC will shift to virtual programming. Similarly, as restrictions relax, CCC will communicate new safety measures to singers and families.

Currently, safety measures include the following:

  • Required health self-screening form to be completed prior to each rehearsal, including mandatory waiver
  • Option available to attend rehearsal via Zoom for singers who do not meet health requirements or are uncomfortable with in-person rehearsals
  • Temperature checks upon arrival (must be below 100.4 to participate)
  • Hand sanitizer upon arrival
  • Regardless of vaccination status, well-fitted masks that cover the nose and mouth must be used at all times. Surgical masks will be provided, as needed.
  • Minimum 6 foot distancing between participants while singing or engaging in activities with heavy exhalation
  • Ensemble rehearsals divided into cohorts/pods, currently a maximum of 20 singers, as space allows.
  • Non-recurring group gatherings may have up to 50 people, as space allows.


About vaccination

Currently, Illinois residents 12 years and older are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. The COVID-19 vaccine is a safe and effective way to protect yourself and your community. The vaccines teach our immune system how to recognize and fight the virus that causes COVID-19, and they have been proven to be effective at preventing severe illness and death from COVID-19.

Why/How do I register for Chicago Children’s Choir after school program?

Registration confirms the singer’s participation in CCC after school programs. Families should complete online via our Active Website or paper registration forms prior to the first rehearsal. Singers may not be eligible to participate in CCC activities until registration is received. A $15 fee will be collected at the time of registration.

How much does Neighborhood Choir Programming cost?

CCC has a long-standing commitment to serving children and families regardless of their financial situation. All programs are heavily discounted through the generosity of individuals, corporations, and foundations, allowing us to remove a financial barrier to participation.

Tuition is determined by a sliding scale based on individual family annual income. Tuition includes participation in all Choir rehearsal and events, transportation as available between rehearsal location and performance/event venues, snacks and water as needed, music binder, a CCC t-shirt, and rental performance uniform (excluding shoes). Tuition does not include participation in tour experiences.

Neighborhood Choir and Dimension tuition sliding scale

Voice of Chicago tuition sliding scale

How do I get tuition assistance?

CCC has a long-standing commitment to serving children and families regardless of their financial situation. All programs are heavily discounted through the generosity of individuals, corporations, and foundations, allowing us to remove a financial barrier to participation. Families can elect to pay tuition in full, in quarterly installments or in monthly installments with the final tuition payment due May 2021.

CCC is committed to working with all families regardless of circumstance to make tuition accessible. Families who are not able to meet tuition requirements or deadlines should contact CCC’s Program Manager, Jackie Johnson, at jjohnson@ccchoir.org.

Why do singers fundraise?

Over the years, CCC has incorporated a tour experience into programming for advanced Neighborhood Choir singers, Dimension, and Voice of Chicago. Since tuition does not cover the cost of tour, singers have the opportunity to raise funds throughout their time in CCC and save them in a singer account to be used toward the expense of these tours. Additionally, funds raised can be used toward singer tuition or donations to Chicago Children’s Choir.

What are Assessments?

Chicago Children’s Choir incorporates assessment into the program year to allow conductors to better understand individual singer progress and to give singers feedback on specific areas of strength and opportunities for growth. CCC’s assessment system connects the mission to the skills and concepts that singers work toward mastering throughout the year. Singers complete voice placements at the start of each year. Assessments combined with voice placements are used to place singers in the appropriate ensemble and voice part. Conductors informally assess singers throughout the year. A singer may be asked to demonstrate mastery of performance skills or musical knowledge.

How can I donate?

Through the support of dedicated and generous parents, Chicago Children’s Choir has grown from one choir of 23 singers in the basement of the First Unitarian Church of Chicago in Hyde Park in 1956, to a city-wide network of in-school and after-school choirs. We are committed to the belief that bringing diverse youth together in song provides a unique way to break down the barriers of race and class and allows youth to discover themselves and the world around them.

We appreciate the many families who consider making a gift to Chicago Children’s Choir or who have connected CCC to funding opportunities offered by individuals, businesses, and corporations. The voices of Chicago’s youth are stronger thanks to these connections and the support of our families. This advocacy and support allows us to continue our mission of inspiring and changing lives through music.

Who do I contact for attendance conflicts?

Families who have attendance conflicts should contact the after school neighborhood program assistant.


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Albany Park

Karley Mayomi
albanypark@ccchoir.org

Austin

Regina Robinson
austin@ccchoir.org

Beverly

Ameera Craigs
beverly@ccchoir.org

Bucktown

Justin Cavazos
bucktown@ccchoir.org

Dimension

Jackie Johnson
jjohnson@ccchoir.org

Englewood

Veronica Morales
englewood@ccchoir.org

Humboldt Park

Amaranta Flores-Gualtieri
humboldtpark@ccchoir.org

Hyde Park

Charlotte Ostrow
hydepark@ccchoir.org

Lincoln Park/DePaul

Justin Cavazos
lincolnpark@ccchoir.org

Pilsen/Little Village

Roxana Espoz
pilsenlv@ccchoir.org

Rogers Park

Charlotte Ostrow
vocattendance@ccchoir.org

Voice of Chicago

Cece Hill, Jackie Johnson, Karley Mayomi
vocattendance@ccchoir.org