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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Singing & Choral Groups

Mission: The San Diego Children’s Choir provides children with choral music education and performance opportunities that foster performance excellence and collaboration at the highest artistic level, nurturing individual development and creating a foundation for lifelong success. The Choir enriches the cultural fabric of San Diego County through the transformative power of music.

Target demographics: At San Diego Children's Choir, we believe all children, regardless of circumstances, can benefit from music education, working in a team environment and learning to be goal-oriented. The choir recognizes the importance of music education as it increases literacy, self-esteem and sparks creativity. Our music education programs nurture new ways of thinking, communicating Evaluation and problem solving, which are all acquired skills that researchers have shown can lead to academic and professional success. As more and more schools experience budget cuts and discontinue chorale and music programs, children have nowhere to turn for this important element of their education. SDCC fills this gap. Through our Ensembles, Neighborhood Choir, and Early Years programs, more than 300 children, age four-18, experience the joys of singing each year, and no child is turned away due to financial limitations. In fact, each year 30% of choristers benefit from low to no cost programming through the public support of individuals, corporations and foundations.

Direct beneficiaries per year: Last year, we directly helped more than 300 children, ages four through 18, at sites located throughout San Diego County through early age programming for four and five-year-olds, after-school programs in underserved communities, and core choir programming with four age-based ensembles.

Geographic areas served: The San Diego Children's Choir is the area's only countywide provider of choral music education. It reaches over 300 children annually because weekly programming is offered at five strategically located sites that reflect San Diego's ethnic and cultural make-up. The choir brings together San Diego County choristers from over 130 schools and 67 zip codes to share in the joy of singing together. To attract children from culturally diverse populations, SDCC prepares and performs a wide crosssection of music for the young voice. Repertoire is selected from many languages, cultures, and periods of history, and represents styles from medieval to modern, classical, folk, and gospel.

Programs: All ensembles perform in two capstone concerts per year at such professional venues as Jacobs Music Center's Copley Symphony Hall and Spreckels Theatre. The choir frequently prepares choristers as vocal soloists for other professional music groups. In recent years our summer touring destinations have included Australia, England/Wales, Germany, Canada/Pacific Northwest, France,and Italy. This performance record is evidence of the quality of the Choir's music education and its artistic excellence.

Community Stories

13 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Client Served

Rating: 5

My daughter started singing with SDCC in 2011 and my son began in 2015. I have loved watching them develop their voices, stage presence and overall confidence as a result of their time with SDCC. They have been everywhere with the choir - performing all over San Diego County and beyond! This has been one of the defining activities of their childhood, and I highly recommend this for all children.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am an alumna of the San Diego Children’s Choir. I joined the choir in third grade and
remained a chorister for 10 years, until I graduated from high school. Many choristers
loved the choir because it offered incredible performance opportunities-- we sang every
year with the San Diego Symphony in concert halls that never stopped feeling
enormous, we opened major San Diego conventions and sports games, we toured
nationally and internationally, and participated in choral festivals with young choristers
from all over the world.
These exceptional experiences are important memories of my childhood. But I realize
now, in retrospect, that which has yielded the greatest lasting benefit and pleasure was
the process by which I was trained as a musician and community member: the weekly
rehearsal. Without realizing it at the time, I was being trained in not only music theory,
but in the art of communal effort, the art of listening, the art of committing sustained
energy to a process in which the payoff was not always immediate.
I learned how to place the needs of the choir and the choral sound above my own, and
how to apply my specific skills in aid of a greater cause. When, in the course of choral
training, we first began singing in multi-part harmonies, I was consigned to the alto
section. I had soprano envy. I was convinced that they had the best melodic lines and
the most important parts. I now realize that this was the best thing that could have
happened to me as a singer-- as SDCC founder Polly Campbell explained to me when I
voiced my disappointment, a naturally good ear for tuning and harmony is underused
unless well-trained. Singing internal parts and counter-melodies creates sensitive
singers, attuned to the whole choral voice. It trains the mind and the ear to work in
concert with others, and the individual to value the sound of many voices above the
sound of his or her own.
Now a Soprano, I find myself thankful for the training that I received as a chorister in
the San Diego Children’s Choir. It continues to serve me well. Through college I sang
with La Jolla Symphony Chorus, and now as a doctoral student in history at the
University of Chicago I perform with multiple semi-professional organizations. Choral
singing has given me tools that I use in all facets of my life, as a student, a teacher, and a
performer.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Our story with the Children's Choir began 4 years ago. We watched the choir perform their Holiday performance at Copley Symphony Hall. My son turned to me and said "I want to do that". I looked them up online and my son began in January!
As the mother of 4 very active children, I can without a doubt say that the choir has exceeded my expectations. The choir has provided my son access to quality music education through an activity he enjoys going to. We had tried fitting a music activity into his busy sports schedule in the past and found scheduling to be impossible. The Children's Choir has multiple rehearsal sites so when sports practices/games prevented us from getting to our normal rehearsal site we would do a make-up rehearsal at another local site on a different day. This is something I could never accomplish in the past. My son is now more well-rounded than ever. Not only does he enjoy being active in sports, but he can also appreciate great music!
My experience has been so wonderful that I now have 3 children in the choir. My only regret is that I didn't learn about the choir early enough for my oldest son to join. However, even without directly joining, my oldest son has also grown from our experience with the choir by attending all his siblings performances!
Thank you San Diego Children's Choir for providing our children with a quality music education that enriches our family life and will enrich our children's lives for years to come!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

The San Diego Children's Choir was a large part of my life for 10 years.

From the ages 8-18, I went to weekly rehearsals, performed concerts all over San Diego...and got to travel the world! Because of the choir, I got to visit Italy at the age of 12, France at 14 (during the World Cup!!), Germany/Austria at 16, and England/Wales at 18.

Polly Campbell was an amazing lady and I'm so happy she founded the choir... which let me have so many great experiences (and friends!)

It is because of SDCC that I went on to join the UC Women's Chorale and subsequently the Alumni Chorus at UC Berkeley. This offered me great opportunities, not only travel, but also leadership positions, which in term influenced my career after undergrad.

Frann S.

Client Served

Rating: 5

This is my son's first year in the choir and he loves it! The opportunity to perform and travel as a group is wonderful. The quality of the children's voices and the adult instruction and leadership is impressive. I am sorry we did not know about the choir earlier.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Our daughter has been singing with SDCC for over 5 years. One of the rewards for us is we get to hear her break into spontaneous singing in the car from time to time. She has also made many friends with other choristers!

Client Served

Rating: 5

My son has enjoyed his experience with the choir immensely. When I say "Let's practice your music," he jumps at the chance. I love the choir leader's approach to learning, using games and fun techniques. The kids learn the pieces quickly and correctly with ease. As a singer in an adult choir myself, I think I'd rather use games to learn my music, because memorization is getting harder and harder as I age. Valerie S.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My son has been in SDCC for five years. He has grown from needing an "end of semester reward" to full engagement and enjoyment. He's got great memories of singing at the Nutcracker from the orchestra pit to performing at the Holiday Pops. He's met nice friends and enjoys the excellent calibre instruction.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I sang in the Choir for many years and it was a fabulous experience! Not only did I learn about music and singing, but I made wonderful friends and great memories.

Client Served

Rating: 5

This choir has been integral to my son's development. He has gained confidence and skills that go well beyond singing. But, yes, the singing has been beautiful and brought me to tears many times. I love the San Diego Children's Choir!