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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

77 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

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

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.

2

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.

2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Such a wonderful experience interacting with this organization. There work is dedicated to using music as the means to create positive change in the lives of young people and the community at large.

I was thrilled to have an opportunity to work closely with the staff of the Jacksonville Children's Chorus on a new collaborative work to celebrate the centennial of Sara Teasdale being the first woman to win the Pulitzer Prize in poetry. For this the organization created a project that would commentate this important event with a concert of music dedicated to women artists, poets, and composers.

Moreover, as a professional in the field who works with over 100 choirs in a year, this group displays a passion, dedication, and level of excellence that is admirable and sets a high standard of excellence.

Many thanks to Darren Dailey, the staff and the choir for their dedication to making the world a better place through music.

5 Victoria Lee S.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have been in love with music since I was 3 years old . When my mom was able to get a scholarship for me to attend the Jacksonville children’s chorus I was ecstatic . I first trained with Mrs . Virginia Dickert and she was amazing . She was always so sweet and made learning music so much fun with all of her cool instruments and spunky personality. Then I had the pleasure of working with Mr . Dailey and got to learn so many different types of genres of music and music in different languages, even got to sing with some amazing artists like the Trans Siberian Orchestra , David Holt , Return to zero , The African childrens chorus , and many more . Mr Dailey always made it comfortable to go to him if I didn’t know how to pronounce a word or I couldn’t get something quite right and always knew what to say and how to fix it . I thank God everyday for the opportunity I had to be in the Jacksonville Children’s choir alongside some of the most beautiful voices I’ve ever heard including mrs dickert and mr Dailey themselves . I am now 22 years old and have auditioned for shows like The Voice and America’s Got Talent and I wouldn’t know anything I know about music if it wasn’t for The Jacksonville Children’s chorus . Thank you for everything and I hope one day my children will join and love it just as much as I did .

2 Reahna Faith R.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Hi, my name is Reahna. I have been a singer in the Jacksonville Childrens Chorus for going on my second year. My Experience has been simply amazing. While singing in the chorus, I have learned the proper techniques to use when singing. Furthermore, I have learned the importance of time management, responsibility, and keeping up with a commitment. I have also received many opportunities such as performing in many venues around Jacksonville and even traveling to Oregon for the Pacific International Choral Festival. I am grateful for the staff at JCC for a variety of reasons. They are willing to accommodate for my needs as a person who is blind. I have been able to learn how to read music alongside my peers because they've provided me with a book for sight reading that is in braille. They teach me the choreography for concerts as well. I've done a lot of great things through this organization and I'm excited to continue learning.

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

Thank You J.C.C

When we moved to Jacksonville in 2014, we wanted to ensure that our daughters were going to be able to continue to be supported in their love of music. In looking on the internet,we discovered the Jacksonville Children’s Chorus. We were truly impressed with the J.C.C. As our oldest daughter's great musical love is voice, we only hoped that she would be lucky enough to succeed with an audition.

Our wishes came true, and JCC has been a wonderful gift to our daughter and to us. The musical opportunities that she has been given have been extraordinary, the instruction, the commitment and the discipline she has learned are priceless. And, to top it all off she has had the opportunity to perform on stage with Kristin Chenoweth, The American Boychoir, the Hampton University Choir and will travel to Rome this winter to sing at a Papal Mass.

The outcomes from the JCC for our daughter are much more than the performances. Character development is really the greatest outcome. Through the sense of professionalism that pervades all aspects of the chorus, she has become a stronger leader, a better friend, and of course a better musician. As she begins the college search process, we know that these strengths will serve her well in college and in life.

We can’t thank Darren Dailey, and the entire Jacksonville Children’s Chorus organization, enough for the gifts they have given to our daughter, our family, and to Jacksonville.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have been apart of the JCC for 7 years and I have loved it. I really feel it is like my second family. I have grown so much in the choir both in music and in character.

Review from Guidestar

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Josue will start his 4th year next year with JCC. The Jacksonville Children's Choir have teach him not only how to sing but also has helped him develop his confidence and believe in himself. The whole staff are well prepare professionals who dedicate their lives to teach music to the kids and develop them in all facets of live. We are proud and grateful of being part of the JCC family.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My experience in the JCC has been nothing short of amazing. From my growth as a musician, the relationships I have made, and the experiences I have had throughout this journey, I can honestly say that the Jacksonville Children Chorus is the best organization I have been a part of. When I started out in the JCC, I was not very good, but I knew I loved to sing. During our first concert, I saw the Touring choir for the first time and knew that I was gonna get into that choir. Now, five years later, I am going into my second year in touring choir and I have grown exponentially as a musician. I have also made many friendships that will last even when I graduate. Everyone in the choir has become my extended family. I have had so many experiences in this choir I will never forget. Whether it be the many places I have gotten to travel, the funny moments during rehearsal, or the times we spend discussing the meanings of songs, I have many lasting memories throughout my years in the choir. Overall, I am so lucky to be apart of this group, and am look forward to many more years in the JCC.

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

My daughter is going into her fifth year as a member of the JCC. It all started one summer when she noticed one of their billboards asking "Do you know a child who likes to sing?"
She has enjoyed a journey that goes beyond anything I could have dreamed up for my daughter. The JCC has provided her with the opportunity to develop her vocal talent while teaching her professional life skills that she will carry with her. She has had the opportunity to sing at numerous events throughout the city of Jacksonville.
As her vocal abilities have grown she has been promoted through the ranks to the elite touring choir. This has given her the opportunity to represent our city in many nation's abroad.
As a single mom with many children, including two with special needs, I have been unable to afford the entire cost of tuition which would allow her to continue participating with this amazing group. It is only because of the generous donation of others that my daughter is able to continue along this journey.
The JCC is now a large part of who my daughter is. She has developed friendships through the mutual love of music that will last for a lifetime. I have seen my daughter willingly sacrifices other "more fun" high school opportunities because she has a commitment to her part as a member of the JCC.
The JCC is one of the most professional children's organization that I have had the privilege to be involved with. My daughter's life has been changed for the better the moment she began her journey with Mr. Dailey and his amazing staff.
I am so grateful that my daughter continued to remind me that summer five years ago that "I knew a child who liked to sing".

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

I sang for this choir for about 4 years while growing up. It gave me so much love and joy. The Director, Darren, became like family. He cares so much and teaches each and every child patience. I would get discouraged but he would be there to show me that with the proper techniques, I too had a voice. I started the same year he did with the choir and I remember how small and unique the bond was between all of us singers. I have many life lasting bonds with the people I got to sing with and so many beautiful memories of us traveling. We got to sing at Carnigie Hall, Lincoln Center, and so many wonderful places. I remember we were doing a holocuast concert and Darren wanted to make sure we knew and felt what we were singing. He took us to a holocaust museum in tampa and we talked to a survivor... That trip truly touched us and in that concert, I felt we had the most heart. If you know of a child who loves to sing, this is a wonderful group to have them join. I loved every moment and experience and I am personallyh, forever gratefull for Darren never giving up on me!

3 sincere.sonata

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

It has been such a joy to work for the Jacksonville Children's Chorus for the past 6 years. The level of musicianship and standard of excellence the students are held to is unparalleled and refreshing. The artistic product is polished and professional. I love how the chorus is always looking for ways to expand their audience by offering concerts of all genres and styles. The chorus is a model for other choral organizations that also hope to bring music and culture to the city. So many students are served from all walks of life and all parts of the city. I can't wait to see what's ahead!

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

My daughter is finishing her third year in JCC. The musical directors she has worked with are at the top of their field. The amount of growth I have in seen my daughter not only musically but personally has been tremendous. As she matures and her voice develops she has learned breath support, pitch control, sight singing, pitch recognition, as well as singing in multiple languages. Personally she has learned how to be part of a team as well as the dedication, sacrifice and hard work that is required to be successful.