by JENNIFER FRAKES

Children who participate in the San Diego Children’s Choir (SDCC) can expect to not only receive an education in music, but also experience rehearsing, performing and being part of a culturally diverse team. “The SDCC provides the youth of San Diego with the highest quality choral music education and performance experience, [while also] fostering an awareness of cultural diversity and inspiring a lifelong love of music,” said Danielle Balestra, Community Relations Coordinator.

According to Danielle, the SDCC is open to boys and girls ages 4 to 18, from all racial, ethnic, religious and economic backgrounds. The SDCC was founded in 1990 by Polly Campbell, an avid lover of music and musical education. “We began with only a single branch and two choir levels. The choir now has five branches with four choir levels and over 250 participants,” explained Danielle.

Currently, there are five locations for the core choral program – Mira Mesa, Rancho Bernardo, Del Mar, Hillcrest and Allied Gardens. “We also have an SDCC Neighborhood Choir outreach program that spans City Heights, Imperial Beach and National City,” said Danielle.

In addition to weekly rehearsals at a site that is convenient for each child, participants in the SDCC will perform in multiple concerts, performances and enrichment programs throughout the year. The children perform one large concert per semester with the most recent being a children’s opera, Noye’s Fludde, at Copley Symphony Hall. For the older children there is typically an international tour each year. “The choir has performed in Great Britain, Germany, France and Italy,” Danielle mentioned.

The SDCC is divided into four main levels: Preparatory (grades 1-2), Intermediate (grades 3-5), Concert (grades 6-9) and Youth (grades 10-12). There is also the Early Year program for children ages 4-5. Membership in the SDCC is by audition, with the exception of the Preparatory level. “The purpose of the audition is to insure the potential chorister has a healthy voice and can sing on pitch,” explained Danielle.

The fees for membership are graduated based on choir level, and sibling discounts as well as scholarships are available. “The policy for the SDCC is to keep tuition affordable for all members of the San Diego community,” stressed Danielle. ¢

 

For more information about the SDCC, including the upcoming Making Music Summer Camp, please visit www.sdcchoir.org.