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Jacksonville Children's Chorus

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Singing & Choral Groups

Mission: The mission of the Jacksonville Children’s Chorus is to provide a high-quality, choral music education for children of diverse backgrounds, fostering teamwork, self-discipline, accomplishment and pride while filling an important cultural need in the community and sharing the beauty of the choral art form through artistically excellent performances.

Target demographics: Children ages 18 months to 18 years

Direct beneficiaries per year: 500 children from five counties, representing 150 schools.

Geographic areas served: Northeast Florida and Southeast Georgia

Programs: Five performance choirs, a summer preschool music program, Primary Choir for K-1 grades, River City Choral Music Festival, and the First Coast Honors Choir Festival.

Community Stories

88 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Adia P. G.

Client Served

Rating: 5

This choir really helped to form me into the person I am today. I truly think of these people as my family.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was a singer with the Jacksonville Children's Chorus through all four years of high school. Being a part of this chorus greatly shaped my teenage years, and left me not only with quality music education, but also lasting friendships and skills to help me in life. Music has been a passion of mine for a long time, and the JCC gave me an environment where I could learn music and perform around Jacksonville and all around the world. It left me with some truly unforgettable memories, and I'm so grateful that my mom convinced me to audition.

1 Katharine C.1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I used to wear a wrist band that said "Inspiring Excellence" on one said, and the other had the logo of the Jacksonville Children's Chorus. Unfortunately, I lost the bracelet at some point, but the message it carried is instilled in me because of my experience with the Jacksonville Children's Chorus.

When I auditioned for JCC, I did not know what to expect. I have always loved music, and wanted to pursue singing at a more professional level. There is no more professional of an experience to have than with the Jacksonville Children's Chorus, especially in the Touring Choir. I was able to participate in weekly, intensive rehearsals which were both fun and engaging. I made some of my closest friends while gaining exposure to amazingly diverse repertoire. The artistic director and my conductor, Mr. Darren Dailey, always ensured that I and my friends understood the potency of what we were singing and that we performed with a sense of pride. The act of singing is present as both a gift and a show whenever the Chorus sings be it at a local church, hospital, or the Vatican. JCC provided me with the opportunity to learn more about the community around me and the world on a global scale all while sharing music.

As a first year at Wellesley College, I participate in two chorale groups. Both are fantastic, and I feel well-prepared as a singer because of my time in JCC. I am a competent sight reader, a steady performer, and still a music lover after my seasons with Mr. Dailey. The opportunities provided to me by the Jacksonville Children's Chorus have changed my life, and I am truly lucky to consider myself an alum of this organization.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

Fantastic organization exposing children to a varying mix of choral music. Their performances are very entertaining across all age groups. You can tell the music directors and staff are committed to delivering an excellent performances and their patience and practice shows

1

Donor

Rating: 5

Our son William started JCC when he was in second grade. It was one of the best experiences ever. Darren and his entire staff are not only incredibly talented but also taught discipline, organization and focus....skills for life. We've since moved and our son is now part of the Children's Chorus of Washington DC. He recently attended the ACDA National honors chorus. We owe so much to the foundation established in his time at JCC and are forever grateful.

1 Brian R.1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have a background 15 year in vocal music education and was absolutely delighted to register my son for the Jacksonville Children's Chorus. Darren Daily has assembled a group of incredibly gifted conductors to work with some of the most talented children in our city. Each concert brought me to tears... such beautiful music performed with accuracy and passion. As a parent, I was very impressed with the superior level of organization and communication. We were never left in the dark about any detail of an upcoming performance or rehearsal. The standards for the Jacksonville Children's Chorus are very high, as is the quality of music that is created. I would HIGHLY recommend the Jacksonville Children's Chorus to any child who loves to sing. [Brian Roes]

2 Ted M.1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Jacksonville Children's Chorus is a first class choral organization. The kids in this group get a high-quality choral music education. I've had the pleasure of working professionally with some young adults who were educated in the JCC and I'm in awe of their talent and professionalism.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I had a great experience with the JCC during my 7 years singing with them. They cultivate an environment that encourages independent learning, develops ear training skills, and creates life long friendships. I had opportunities through the JCC that many adults involved in choir never get to experience like singing in Carnegie Hall and the Lincoln Center in NYC, performing with large symphonies, as well as traveling to other states and countries. JCC is part the reason I went into music as a career and chose to be a music educator.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

My daughter (Assata) was a singer with the Jacksonville Children's Chorus (JCC) for 3 years and she loved every day she got to sing with JCC! Her last year, she was in the Touring Choir and traveled to Europe as part of the choir's Baltic Sea Tour. This was an incredible experience for the both us traveling to places in Germany, Russia, Estonia, and Sweden with other JCC staff, singers and parents. The choir gave several impressive performances throughout their tour and I have no doubt this will forever be one of my daughter's most memorable lifetime experiences. During her time in JCC, I witnessed phenomenal growth in Assata's vocal ability and confidence on stage. I attribute her growth directly to the training she received by the various JCC choir directors and this training was the perfect set-up for Assata to begin her training in musical theatre. I highly recommend JCC for any child that has a passion for singing and is looking for a professional , well organized program to be challenged to grow as a performer!

3 AllethaB

Donor

Rating: 5

The Jacksonville Children's Chorus is an amazing organization and offers invaluable experience for children and young adults to participate with others to produce beautiful music! The benefits of being part of a chorus are too many to name but you can start with the joy, confidence and sense of self a child feels as they use their own voice as an instrument contributing to the whole performance. JCC does a great job of reaching out to children all over northeast Florida. Children come from many different backgrounds and situations, some with physical challenges. The JCC offers such wonderful opportunities to learn, work and grow together. I strongly support the organization and its mission as both donor and volunteer!

Previous Stories
4

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Every time I hear the Jacksonville Children's Chorus perform I am blown away! They are so good! What an marvelous opportunity for kids to learn to work together to produce something so beautiful and inspiring! I am proud that we support such a wonderful program for the children in our community and I am proud to have the Jacksonville Children’s Chorus represent us to the world!

Angelica J.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I was a singer for the Jacksonville Children's Chorus for close to seven years. It is by far the best thing I could recommend for any child to experience, whether they're naturally "talented" or not. Anybody can become a singer so long as they want it and work for it, and the JCC helped me realize that. Rehearsals were strict because we essentially had one goal: to develop our musical ability as much as possible by the next concert. That taught me lessons about punctuality, self control, confidence, hard work, and focus. It wasn't all tough though. Being in chorus offered exciting new opportunities to travel and meet people I wouldn't have normally met, but we bonded so well because music connected us. The Jacksonville Children's Chorus developed me socially, mentally, behaviorally, and gave me skills rarely found anywhere else. The arts deserve support and this chorus is the lifeblood of artistic growth in Jacksonville's children.

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Being a member of the Jacksonville Children’s Chorus has opened many doors of opportunities that have shaped me into the musician I am today. I first joined the JCC as an elementary student. Singing with other kids from all sorts of backgrounds caused me to come out of my shell and not be timid to meet new people. What further built my confidence was that all those peers took their musical growth very seriously. The connections and friendships formed have encouraged me to keep on singing and playing piano. JCC gave me the privilege of singing with choirs from all over the nation on the stages of Carnegie Hall and Avery Fisher Hall in New York. JCC has also broadened my artistic experiences through performances with a full orchestra, collegiate choirs, and professional dancers. In fact, these all happened before I started high school. I’m incredibly grateful to have experienced high-level musical training in this capacity at a young age. Though I was no longer a member after junior high, I carried JCC’s influence into my high school years. I had met several students in JCC who attended Douglas Anderson School of the Arts, and I greatly admired their skills and drive for developing these skills. My experiences with the Jacksonville Children’s Chorus helped me decide to move from the private school I had been attending since kindergarten to the prestigious public arts school that would push me forward and improve my musical skills in a well-rounded fashion as I began to be more serious about piano. Douglas Anderson has in turn opened even more doors of opportunities that have led me towards a full-fledged study of music in college. Now I am a Piano Performance major entering my senior year at Florida State University. Thanks to the Jacksonville Children’s Chorus, I have learned how to efficiently discipline myself in rehearsal time through focus and goal-making, I have made lasting friendships with people my age who love music as much as I do, I have performed in outstanding venues alongside professionals, and I am more aware of the direction my life is taking me in regards to my career in music. I am very excited for the future as I am becoming the musician that I have dreamed of becoming, and I am so thankful to Mr. Darren Dailey and the Jacksonville Children’s Chorus for their huge influence on making that dream a wonderful reality.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Being a member of the Jacksonville Children’s Chorus has opened many doors of opportunities that have shaped me into the musician I am today. I first joined the JCC as an elementary student. Singing with other kids from all sorts of backgrounds caused me to come out of my shell and not be timid to meet new people. What further built my confidence was that all those peers took their musical growth very seriously. The connections and friendships formed have encouraged me to keep on singing and playing piano. JCC gave me the privilege of singing with choirs from all over the nation on the stages of Carnegie Hall and Avery Fisher Hall in New York. JCC has also broadened my artistic experiences through performances with a full orchestra, collegiate choirs, and professional dancers. In fact, these all happened before I started high school. I’m incredibly grateful to have experienced high-level musical training in this capacity at a young age. Though I was no longer a member after junior high, I carried JCC’s influence into my high school years. I had met several students in JCC who attended Douglas Anderson School of the Arts, and I greatly admired their skills and drive for developing these skills. My experiences with the Jacksonville Children’s Chorus helped me decide to move from the private school I had been attending since kindergarten to the prestigious public arts school that would push me forward and improve my musical skills in a well-rounded fashion as I began to be more serious about piano. Douglas Anderson has in turn opened even more doors of opportunities that have led me towards a full-fledged study of music in college. Now I am a Piano Performance major entering my senior year at Florida State University. Thanks to the Jacksonville Children’s Chorus, I have learned how to efficiently discipline myself in rehearsal time through focus and goal-making, I have made lasting friendships with people my age who love music as much as I do, I have performed in outstanding venues alongside professionals, and I am more aware of the direction my life is taking me in regards to my career in music. I am very excited for the future as I am becoming the musician that I have dreamed of becoming, and I am so thankful to Mr. Darren Dailey and the Jacksonville Children’s Chorus for their huge influence on making that dream a wonderful reality.

1 Bella Godiva S.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I absolutely loved every minute of my time with the Jacksonville Children's Chorus. I spent two years with the Treble Choir and one year in Concert Choir and learned so much! The audition process was quick and easy and they were able to place me in the choir level that would challenge me but also not overwhelm me. The JCC taught me how to sing properly, how to look professional while performing, the different parts of the voice, music theory, and most importantly how to sight read music. I recently started piano lessons and was able to skip several books because I already knew so much about music theory from my time with the JCC! Not only did I learn a lot, I made friends with other kids from all walks of life and had amazing experiences that I would never have had the chance to be a part of on my own. I got to sing with Amy Grant, the Voca People, Kristin Chenoweth, travel to Charleston for the Spoleto Music Festival, and sing the National Anthem at Altel Stadium before a Jags game! And that's just to name a few. The professionalism I learned through the JCC also prepared me for singing professionally on my own. I have been privileged to record music for various local singers, I won a national talent competition through Miss American Coed pageants for singing, I passed an audition to sing the National Anthem for the Jumbo Shrimp and recently made it into the finals for Jacksonville's "Oh Say Can You Sing" competition. The JCC gave me the tools and confidence I needed to continue to pursue singing. I am so thankful for the time I was able to spend with the JCC and for the amazing directors and staff who believed in me and inspired a deep love for music within me. If you love to sing, go audition for the JCC! You won't regret it!

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

As a child I was constantly singing. I found a wonderful home with the JCC. The artistry and musical expertise of the staff is impeccable and I would recommend this organization to any child and family who enjoys making and listening to music.

3

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Jacksonville Children’s Chorus is a dynamic organization which nurtures students while providing the highest level of music education. Students who are affiliated with the children’s chorus are able to sight read challenging music, perform with confidence, and contribute musical leadership to any ensemble. Their concerts leave audiences moved, touched and inspired. The Jacksonville Children’s Chorus also has a generous scholarship program to assist students in need. This leadership of this organization will not settle for anything less than excellence and has obtained national recognition for is achievements.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Jacksonville Children's Chorus has helped our daughter to discover the joy of music. Mr. Dailey and the staff at JCC continue to provide the singers of choir with the highest standards while training every young singer to develop discipline, courage, and confidence. Thank you JCC for providing our daughter with an experience that she will treasure for the rest of her life.
Sonia and Will Folsom
(Parents of a JCC singer)

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Great concert last night at the Fine Arts Center at University of Florida by the Jacksonville Children's Chorus (Darren Dailey is President and Artistic Director) celebrating Women in Song. First act saw performances from all different age groups of the JCC; the first act was concluded by the world premier of "I will sing to the stars", music composed by Michael John Trotta around three poems from Sara Teasdale, Joy, Pease and Dusk. I usually don't know what to expect from commissioned pieces like this one as some of them are trying to hard. This one hit it on all levels though- beautiful text embedded in wonderful melodies and arrangements. Kudos to JCC! The second act saw Christina Bianco, You tube sensation and Girl of a thousand voices. That I had no idea about, but beat my expectations by far! The final piece saw Bianco and members of the JCC united on stage performing Aretha Franklin's "Respect". Not only did they perform wonderfully, but the stage choreography was top notch. I loved that second stage set back with another group of JCC members where in the beginning, one could only see their silhouettes until later on when all the lights were on them (think Elvis in that 1968 TV special). Very reminiscent of the 1960s rock and pop TV shows back then! Kudos!

2 Christine Plonski S.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have been following the Jacksonville Children’s Chorus for quite some time. I have known Darren for many years since his days in New Jersey when I encouraged him to conduct the Central Jersey Intermediate New Jersey Honors Choir. Since then I have watched him become one of the most talented accomplished and knowledgeable children’s choir directors in the country which also makes the Jacksonville Children’s Chorus as the artistic director and conductor, one of the top children ‘s choirs in the country.
The children perform a wide variety of repertoire- many styles of music- many composers from a lot of different time periods- many different genres.
When the children sing you hear beautiful blend; pitch accuracy; wonderful breath control and phrasing; rhythm and note accuracy. The best part of their singing is that they sing from their hearts - Darren has taught them how to truly express WHAT they are singing with passion- the passion and love that he has for music! That is what makes this Chorus so special - their musical expression is really exceptional!
The children are given unique opportunities to travel many wonderful places to be able to perform. They will have memories of a lifetime!
I am sure under Darren’s direction the chorus will continue to achieve excellence and offer the children many more wonderful performance opportunities!

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

My son Alex has always loved to be the best and associate with the best, and he is thriving in the Jacksonville Children’s Chorus. At 12 years old, he learned of the JCC and immediately wanted to audition. He is a dedicated musician, and wants to be a professional violinist when he grows up. I was surprised he wanted to audition because he had never thought that singing was “cool”. He even paid for his tuition from his own savings along with receiving a generous scolarship from the chorus. His instinct was right on.

Over the course of just one season, Alex’s musicianship has skyrocketed; specifically with note reading, harmony, and independent learning. Because of how they are taught to sing and read, the kids don’t depend on the instructor to feed them each pitch and rhythm. To my knowledge, this skill isn’t something that is typically acquired until the college level, and so I feel that Alex is miles ahead of most kids his age. Of course this skill spills over into his life in the youth symphony and violin practice.

Socially, Alex is totally comfortable and confident in his love for classical music and choral music because he is surrounded by mentors and friends that are passionate and successful in what he loves. He knows the JCC is full of people that are at the top of their game. There is such a team spirit; a sense of family in the JCC.

The JCC is a doorway to many experiences that will shape Alex’s formative years and we are proud to be a part of this organization. We are impressed with the high expectations, the structure, the efficiency, the fantastic communication, and the perfessionalism of the JCC. It’s worth the time and financial investment; Alex is growing into an amazing young man that we are proud of; much of which is due to the JCC.