My name is Mia Rojas and I entered the Choir at age 9 and was there all through High School until I graduated in 2007. The choir helped me learn about singing and performing but also about reaching out to people in need. When I was in the choir, we participated in many events including traveling to different countries, as well as some places in the United States, to sing for orphanages and nursing homes and to expand the knowledge of love and peace throughout the world. I am currently a Student at George Mason University pursuing a career in singing; Opera to be exact. Over the years of being with the choir, I saw that many people do need music and singing to help they recover, relax, etc. I wanted to further pursue the art that had brought so much help to many and help many myself with singing. Singing kept me out of trouble when I was little and I know that it is a great activity for children to do as i had experienced it myself. I loved, and still do love, the choir and what it stands for. The choir itself promotes peace and love for all, regardless of culture, age, gender, class, etc. We all believe, somewhere in our hearts, that there should be no war, hate or violence; there should be love, peace, caring, and singing! No matter what people say, singing brings joy to everyone no matter who you are and The World Children's choir bring love, peace, caring and singing to the hearts and souls of many all over the world.
The World Children's Choir is a defining feature of my childhood. In my experience, it provided me with some of the best vocal training in the country. But, what sets WCC apart are the contributions beyond the musical training. Students develop confidence, ambition, and pride in their abilities while gaining exposure to multicultural music and traditions. WCC accomplishes this because of the tireless work of the directors: Sondra Harnes and Jim Selway. Sondra and Jim are not just musical director but serve as mentors to the hundreds of students that join the WCC.
I have the great pleasure of being one of the founding members of the World Children's Choir. What Sandy and Jim began in 1990 is one of the most incredible opportunities for youth in the DC area. More than simply fostering a knowledge and love of music, the choir promotes diversity and an understanding of world culture. Kids from all socio-economic and cultural backgrounds come together to produce music in an atmosphere that is truly warm and welcoming. The high level of musical excellence really sets WCC apart from other choirs in the area. Not only do choir members develop their voices, but they learn pronunciation (in numerous languages!), diction, and phrasing of many different styles of music. Through voice lessons, masterclasses, summer workshops, and a rigorous rehearsal schedule, choir members present performances that are top quality and a sheer joy to be part of. During my time with WCC, we sang at the White House, the Kennedy Center, and at numerous high-profile festivals and events. One of the things I liked best about WCC is Sandy and Jim's inclusion of very young children. While they are often too young to get everything "right", their exposure to music and the discipline of performance is invaluable to fostering their future appreciation of music. My time with the WCC cultivated my love of classical music, which then developed into a career. Even though I've been gone from the WCC for more than 15 years, I still hold my time there dear to my heart and believe very strongly that it deserves all the support it can get.
Being part of the WCC had been one of the greatest experiences of my life, both personally and musically. The beautiful music and the professionalism of the WCC is beyond doubt. Not only was I able to develop my singing skills and the discipline of a musician, I had the opportunity to perform at the White House and the Kennedy Centre of performing Arts, among others. Even today, 5 years since I last sang with the choir, I still find myself constantly singing the songs I used to sing with the choir. The commitment of the WCC, however, transcends mere musical excellence. Being with the WCC was more than being with a great choir. It was about being in a culture where people from different backgounds come together as one to work towards a common vision. In addition, the choir's enourmous efforts in promoting peace must not go unmentioned. My experiences with WCC has taught me to reach out to others, contribute to the society, and play a role in making the world a better place. These are lessons that I know I will carry with me for the rest of my lives.
My daughter asked me if she could join the World Children's Choir when she was just in first grade after she saw the choir perform. Twelve years later, she was still singing with the WCC as a senior in High School. Sandy, Jim, and the World Children's Choir ended up being one of the most positive influences in our lives. During my daughter's time in the choir, she had the opportunity to sing in so many places; the White House, the Kennedy Center, Carneige Hall, Scotland, and Ireland just to name a few. She learned many different styles of music and how to sing in different languages, from folk music to opera. Very important as well, the Bel Canto technique taught by Sandy not only enables the beautiful sound of the children's choir, but promotes the healthy development of each child's unique singing voice as well. Through the choir, my daughter developed not only a passion for singing, but the technique to sing well both in a choir and as a solist. My daughter especially loved the opportunity to sing in the opera ensemble offered by the choir, and, in fact, her love of opera became so great that she has gone on to pursue it as a career. I must say also that our time with the choir proved that music truly is the universal language. We were able to meet so many wonderful people of different backgrounds and nationalities, and no matter what language people spoke, they were always so moved by the World Children's Choir music and the beautiful sound of the choir.
As an ordinary music listener, children choral music has its special place to me, not only its vocal uniqueness, also the harmony once a choir performs. Titled as angels’ voice is commonly given to a children choir. I was searching for a choir after had my daughter and hoped she would like. I fortunately found we had one of highly recognized choirs in DC area - World Children’s Choir. Now, my daughter, 4 years old, has joined World Children’s Choir less than a year; she enjoys every moment there from rehearsal to perform. After joining the choir, my daughter shows interest in music; learning songs and/or other music forms become much easier for her age. While accompanying my daughter, I feel she gives me an opportunity to experience the beauty a choir could offer.
My daughter was a member of the World Children's Choir for two extraordinary years. She loved being among young people who shared her passion for singing and her desire to make a positive difference in the world. The WCC raised her awareness of other cultures and points of view. She embraced the many opportunities to sing in unity with young people from all parts of the world and took pride in being an ambassador for peace. During her membership, the WCC performed at Wolf Trap, the White House, Washington National Cathedral, the Department of Justice, the Department of State, Embassies, and at many local events. She will carry these amazing experiences with her for the rest of her life. Membership in the World Children's Choir is an enormous commitment for the singers and their families. The practice and performance schedules can be very demanding and singers and parents are expected to adapt extra-curricular and family plans to ensure they are present and on time. The Choir's concerts reflect the enormous amount of energy and effort put in by the Director and the children. Down time is often filled with warm nurturing interaction between the youngest and oldest choir members -- a very positive aspect of membership for everyone involved.
My name is Wanda Warren, and I have been a Board member longer than anyone else, since 1994. I am a musician--sing and teach piano. My husband and I have an ongoing project for providing income for the WCC. We have traveled with the choir to Scotland, Montreal (Quebec, Canada), Ireland, and Romania. Where else can you see different parts of the world and enjoy a children's concert each day. The sound Ms. Harnes leads the choir to produce is breathtakingly beautiful. In Dublin, one tourist heard them singing on the street outside the cathedral and said "They can't be children, They are too good!" More money would enhance the choir's ability to fulfill its mission -- "to serve as a voice for children world-wide, to celebrate cultural diversity through music, to build positive international relationships, and to enroll people in working together to create a healthy world!" Wanda Warren
My daughter has sung with the World Children's Choir for 11 years! It has been nothing short of amazing. My daughter's choir experience has been positive in so many ways that it is difficult to know where to begin: First, this choir is one of the few children's choirs in the world that sings with a Bel Canto (vibrato) style of singing. The results are amazing and each child develops a solo-like quality voice. Second, my daughter has forged some of her closest friendships in the choir. Third, the choir has allowed her to look beyond her local world to the world. The choir's quite laudable mission is to promote world peace through song, and the children are aware of that -- in the songs that they sing and the places that they take their message. They have sung at various high-powered White House spots, as well as all over the world, and their goal is often to help those less fortunate in the world than themselves. But the truly amazing thing about this choir is the sound. I am awestruck every time I hear my daughter sing. Honestly. I just never thought a child could sing with bravado – until I heard the members of the World Children’s Choir sing. And, it is not just my daughter who can sing like this. I’ll never forget when the choir was on tour in Ireland. I was standing outside the chapel at Trinity College. Our concert was about to start and a professor was asking me what was going on. I explained to her that the World Children’s Choir from America was about to sing. The choir started to sing – that beautiful sound that comes from the World Children's Choir, in this case augmented by the wonderful acoustics of the Trinity Chapel. The professor gasped and exclaimed, “But that cannot possibly be the sound of children’s voices, can it?” It can. It is. It is the World Children’s Choir.
As a board member, I have personally experienced the World Children's Choir dedication to improving the lives of children from all backgrounds through music and drumming, promotion of positive international relations and its contribution to making the world a better place. One project of particular acclaim is the innovative International Voices for Children Institute that the WCC spearheaded in the Middle East that aims to use visual and performing arts as an interactive means of self-expression and communication to promote healthy educational development of children living in underserved communities affected by violence and conflict through visual and performing arts, foster international understanding and friendship through music and self-expression, and engage the resources and goodwill of the global community to improve the lives of children in need.
I sang with the World Children’s Choir for ten years – from elementary through high school. My family and I made wonderful friends who we are still close to today. First and foremost, in my opinion, I learned how to sing, how to love and appreciate vocal performance and beautiful music, and the importance of music in the development and well-roundedness of children. As a child I had the opportunity to sing at the Kennedy Center, White House, Carnegie Hall, Constitution Hall and more. We sang with and for Denyce Graves, John Denver, Whitney Houston, US Presidents and First Ladies. The choir provided these experiences that I would not have otherwise had. The WCC established a musical foundation - I studied music and voice in college and sing professionally today.
I''m happy to report that the World Children's Choir has a scholarship program for children from families that are financially disadvantaged. Information is available on the choir's website: http://www.worldchildrenschoir.org/FAQ.htm#29
As the Fairfax County After School Network Coordinator for the Fairfax Partnership for Youth, I initiated a very rewarding partnership with the World Children's Choir. Our first project was a performance at our annual youth awards breakfast in 2007 which was repeated with much acclaim in 2008. We worked toegether to establish the "Performing Arts at the Heart of Literacy Program", as an outreach effort to engage disadvataged youth in the Falls Church area. This unique extracurricular enrichment program culminated in a joint appearance with the World Children's Choir at the arts festival at George Mason University.
We have been involved with the choir for over six years. I have gone from proud parent to production manager to board member. I remain a proud parent, the production manager and secretary on the board. This organization is simply amazing. The talent, the training, the comraderie, the organization, are all stellar. The children support and nurture one another - from the oldest to the youngest. The choir is absolutely a team effort and the talent is top-notch. They receive rave reviews wherever they go!
I was a member of this choir for 8 years and I would not be the person or singer I am today with out WCC. The choir sings in many different languages and has a very diverse group of singers. As a member I felt honored to be in such a rich musical and cultural learning environment. Every time I sung in a concert with WCC I felt like we were making absolutely beautiful music, as well as passing on a message of hope and love for the community. Sandy and Jim are both extremely dedicated and talented people who have succeeded in creating an enjoyable, enriching experience for the choir and its many audiences.
Being a member of the choir was one the defining things in my life. It set me up for a life long passion for music. It helped me as a child to better understand my privilege and provided me with a a passion to reach out and help people through music.
WCC is an amazing choir born from the magic mix of professionalism, love, and vision of her founder and director, Sondra Harnes, and his husband and pianist, Tim. I don't cease to be amazed at how the very little ones learn to love the music and feel a valued part of the ensemble. WCC intiatives to integrate inmigrant children into its ranks, looking for scolarships and other kind of funding, is also to be praised. And of coures, the choice of music, finding a cultural bridge among countries and races, creating a common language out of many, is at the very basis of a learning experience about how to communicate in peace and harmony.
My years with WCC have been one of the most memorable times of my life. They set the foundation for my singing career as I learned to sing as a soloist and to create beautiful harmonic sounds with the other choir members. Having the Dutch nationality, it was fantastic to get to know many kids from all over the world, to learn about their cultures and to make new friends.
I was a founding member of the WCC and it gives me great pleasure to say so. WCC gave me the opportunity to enrich my life through song, dance, cultural exchange and even my first job out of high school! I learned to really focus on music, working together with my fellow choristers to make the most beautiful and emotional sound we could. Our concerts are some of my fondest memories of childhood. I felt so special to be a part of something so great.
The World Children's Choir is a wonderful organization. My daughter has been a member for over a year now and has grown significantly in many areas. Not only has she improved her singing voice and learned songs in many different languages she has developed many wonderful friendships with her fellow choir members. Her confidence has grown through performing in front of audiences, large and small. Sandy and Jim are extremely talented instructors who know how to capture and keep the attention of so many young people.
My daughter has been singing with the World Children's Choir for six years. The artistic training is superb, but more importantly, through song, her attention has been drawn to peace among people, respect for other cultures and protecting our planet. The choir has performed at many high level events, and my daughter has gained confidence, and also learned the ethic of hard work. She loves the Choir and the friendships she has built over the years.
World Children's Choir's superb voices always inspires me. World Children's Choir has high standard in its artistic quality and serious attitude toward its production. Children have devoted so many hours to practice to present the legendary beautiful voices. I have supported World Children’s Choir as a parent volunteer. It is a special privilege for my daughter to be a part of World Children’s Choir.
My daughter has been a member for a little over a year now, and has grown spiritually and mentally over that time as a direct result of her participation with the World Children Choir (WCC). From her first rehearsal it was clearly evident of the elation that she experienced singing with a mosaic of voices that united as one. Her interaction with other culture and the celebration that the WCC has crafted for these differences has granted her insight and empathy for a world seldom seen beyond our borders. Even though the challenges of supporting the WCC can be taxing, our participation in this program that unites humanity peacefully together through our common love of music has greatly enriched all of us. "Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and cannot remain silent" Victor Hugo (French romantic Poet, Novelist, and Dramatist, 1802-1885)
Wonderful choir with talented directors and dedicated students. The concerts are very impressive and they all work very hard to make everything professional and perfect. My daughter has enjoyed the lessons, discipline and time with the other girls.
World Children's Choir offers full scholarships for families with financial need. Tuition is based on the family's net annual income as reported on the most recent federal tax return. Discounts are given when more than one child is enrolled. Multiple month payment plans are available. Complete information is available on these webpages: http://www.worldchildrenschoir.org/FAQ.htm#27 http://www.worldchildrenschoir.org/FAQ.htm#28 http://www.worldchildrenschoir.org/FAQ.htm#29
When we lived in Australia, my (then) 8 year old daughter sang in the Sydney Children's Choir, which was a marvelous group with high professional standards and music written specifically for the children to sing. When we returned to the US, we were doubtful that we would find another experience for our daughter that would be so robust. Enter the World Children's Choir....which met and exceeded our every hope! The vocal quality of the group is outstanding; the Artistic Director has high expectations for the choir, which the children meet. The Associate Artistic Director writes glorious music for the choir to sing. And the Drumming Instructor expands the children's scope by working with them in a different musical discipline, which is so effective in helping them with timing. It is more than a choir...it is a whole international community that we have joined. The families are lovely, and people hail from all over the globe. Our daughter is in her 3rd year with the choir, and we expect to continue with it for years to come.
My daughter has been with WCC for just over a year now and she has learned a great deal, and she enjoys singing more and more. Mrs. Harnes and Mr. Selway are two extremely talented musicians and their teaching is professional and of very high quality. I don't think we can find another choir at similar level in the DC area. Another thing we really enjoy is that WCC promotes world peace and cultural diversity. This is apparent when you look at the members' ethnic backgrounds and music chosen for both practice and concerts. In the last concert, my daughter Anna was honored to be given a chance to sing the solo part of a beautiful Chinese folk song Jasmine Flower. We started to come to WCC because we got recommendation from our friend. Now we often recommend WCC to other friends. We wish WCC to continue to be successful.
My daughter joined the World Children's Choir in 2009 when she was only 4 years old. I was amazed at how quickly she learned the songs and how much she enjoyed performing with the group. At a very young age, she was exposed to different cultures and languages through song. Already, her singing range has almost doubled from what she could sing when she joined the choir. But the most amazing thing about the choir is not just the angelic singing that brought me to tears the first time I heard the choir sing, but rather the message the choir is spreading. It is a message of peace and human compassion. No matter what religion, no matter what color your skin, no matter what culture, we are all human beings with the same basic needs. Music brings us all together.
My three daughters have been in the World Children's Choir since they were all 4 years old. My oldest daughter is 13 years old, and has been in the choir for 8 years. Her younger twin sisters are 10 years old and have been in the choir for 6 years. Their participation in the choir has been invaluable. They have learned to sing classical choral music and opera in many different languages, and have developed beautiful singing talents that will stay with them for the rest of their lives. They have learned discipline and responsibility. As part of a choir comprised of children from so many different cultures, religions and backgrounds, they have become worldly and open-minded. The choir's message of peace and undertanding of differences around the world has become a mantra that will always be a part of them. Beng a member of the choir requires hard work, dedication, responsibility and maturity. In turn, my daughters have had the opporutnity of a lifetime to sing beautifully, to sing in incredible venues such as the Kennedy Center, White House, and Wolftrap Center for the Performing Arts, and give back to their community by singing in hospitals, retirement homes, in benefit concerts for Tsunami Relief, among many others. Participation in the World Children's Choir has been and continues to be one of the most rewarding and unique opportunities I can offer my daughters.
My daughter loves singing in the World Children's Choir. She has grown to be a beautiful singer and she made a lot of new friends. WCC communicates a wonderful message thru song and the all the children in the choir gain an unforgetable experience. The Choir Director is very professional and is kind and works very well with the children.
Our daughter (then 11) joined WCC a year ago. She was apprehensive about auditioning but the other girls made her feel so welcome, and praised her voice so enthusiastically, that she decided to become a WCC member. Our continuing experience has been that all the Choir members support each other and form a peer group that is hard to match. The rigorous rehearsal schedule, voice lessons, Masters' Classes, and concerts have been challenging but our daughter has risen to it all and has made it a part of her identity.
My daughter has been a member of WCC since 2003. This has been a wonderful experience for her in many different aspects. We were honored to host two events in our Bolivarian Hall. The first one in December 2006 to celebrate the release of WCCÂ´s CD “LET US BE UNITED”, which included songs from 10 different countries and one of them “Alma Llanera” of Venezuela. The second opportunity in June 2007 to host International Voices for Children Concert featuring Carpe Diem Instrumental ensemble from Serbia and the World Children’s Choir. The WCC has an immediate effect every time it performs in front of an audience. This is due to their professional singing quality and most importantly their spirit and passion for singing.
I am a colleague of Sondra Harness and James Selway, directors of the World Children's Choir. I have worked with them in World Children's Choir activities as well as other settings. They are extremely talented musicians and directors so provide high quality experiences for the members of the choir. For two summers I was a staff member for the workshop sponsored by the choir. In the short span of two weeks, the participants in the workshop prepared and performed a full choral program, a Shakespearean play, a dance performance, and a complete Gilbert and Sullivan operetta. All were of the highest quality. Through the experiences provided by the choir, its members develop self-confidence and poise while reaching their highest musical potential. Although many opportunities for performance and musical growth are available to young people, few meet the standards of excellence maintained by the World Children's Choir.
The voices of the World Children's Choir are remarkably good. The children's joy of singing is clear as they sing songs of peace and friendship. They are happiest when they sing and especially when they can lift the spirits of people in need of comfort and hope for a better future.
I have been inspired by the World Children's Choir for over 15 years. The music teaches concepts of hope, acceptance and peace; and the children learn to find their voices regardless of their level of ability. Sondra Harnes and James Selway tirelessly share their world-class talents and heart-centered compassion to create an experience that enriches both the singers and the audience. I am a proud supporter of this incredible organization!
We are new members to the World Children's Choir and are so happy we found Sandy Harnes, Jim Selway and their enchanting choir members. Sandy is an engaging and passionate leader of this group, who appears to never tire in her pursuit of beautiful voices uniting children (and adults) across the world. She and Jim are so talented and produce results un-imagined to me before I heard their choir sing an incredibly diverse repertoire of international songs. If you love children, beautiful music, inspired singing and cultural diversity, the World Children's Choir is for you.
My daughter sang in the choir for two years, and it was one of the most rewarding experiences of her life. The singers are taught an incredible range of music, as well as skills such as singing in other languages, African drumming, appropriate concert behavior, etc. The directors clearly love children and love to help them make beautiful music. They also teach by example an inspiring openness to other cultures and religions. The singers learn to think beyond their own needs and begin to contemplate their place in our complex and diverse world, and how they can make it better. They will carry the lessons of the World Children's Choir with them for the rest of their lives.
In a world where complex politics push people apart, the World Children's Choir opens important spaces where real people to people contact take place, exposing children and adults to the human side of diverse cultures. The high musical level of the ensemble, makes their concerts a wonderful experience as a whole for the audience and a wonderful educatinoal opportunity for the kids who join the ensemble.
The World Children Choir is a wonderful organization for children. I provides children with a very structured enviroment to improve their musical education. The core values espoused by World Children Choir are positive ones for the participants as well as for their public. The World Children Choir is able to educate children accross a wide age spectrum from the very young junior choir to the budding adults in the opera ensemble. To make this work a certain amount of discipline and is certainly enforced. Being a member of the WCC or a parent of a singer requires a great deal of commitment in terms of time and resources (some children do have scholarships). This is made clear to both the parents and the singers who enroll in the choir.
The World Children's Choir is a wonderful organization that provides a positive outlet for young children and teenagers. They teach the children how to get along with others of various ages, ethnicities, etc while helping them develop their natural talent for singing and dancing. It's always amazing to hear them sing and through that the impact they have on the community both local, national, and international.
Our daugther joined World Children's Choir last October. She is having a wonderful time and getting a great musical education at he same time. I have nothing but positive things to say about about the World Children's Choir. Overall our experience has been excellent.
I began my work with the World Children's Choir as pianist 20 years ago at the Choir's founding. I never imagined then that the incredibly beautiful, heartfelt singing of the Choir would inspire me to write for it over the next 20 years a large number of songs. As a classically trained musician I have relished the chance to write long, soaring, and sometimes challenging vocal lines for the Choir, music that is easily accomplished by these impeccably trained young singers. The mission of the Choir as it sings to bring people together in unity has also prompted me to write songs of hope and inspiration that have resonated deeply within me. My association with the Choir has been a very satisfying part of my personal and professional life. The freshness and strength of the children's voices is a spontaneous testament to the hope and the possibility that our global community can continue to come together with the highest and noblest humanitarian values.
The World Children's Choir provides children with outstanding musical education combined with providing them with an awareness of the world and their obligation to create peace and understanding among people of all races and nationalities in order to improve conditions for children all over the world. The quality of the music that the Choir creates is amazing. It is truly inspirational to hear children from ages 4 to 18 sing in different languages and sing sophisticated classical pieces. Their "music with a message" is beautiful!
Some choirs focus on their singing alone. The World Children's Choir produces what I believe is the finest sound of any choir in the metro DC area and, perhaps, in the U.S., but it also focuses on bringing together children of all national, religious, and racial backgrounds together in peace, so that they may become the adults who choose not to create war. The World Children's Choir is tremendously diverse, yet its singers develop a bond as close as family. This bond spills over to the parents of singers, and it even affects those attending the Choir's performances. It happens not only because of the diversity of the Choir's membership but also because of the diversity of the music performed by the Choir; singing the songs of a multitude of different countries, and singing them beautifully in those countries' native languages, expresses a deep respect for and appreciation of our global family. But the World Children's Choir offers more than musical performances in carrying out its mission to promote world peace. By inviting singers and musicians from other nations to join them here in the DC metro area to share time together toward a culminating musical performance, friendships have been forged between World Children's Choir singers and musicians from places as distant and varied as an isolated mountaintop settlement in Nicaragua, a village in Northern Ireland, or a city in Serbia. The Choir is currently working on a program of outreach to the Middle East in which members of the World Children's Choir family will travel to Jordan and Palestine to share cultural experiences and music with impoverished children in those countries. I am proud to have volunteered with the World Children's Choir over the past nine years, and being a singer in the Choir over those nine years has benefitted my daughter beyond measure, not just in developing her singing voice, but in helping her become an adult who will disregard differences and change the world for the better. Like all nonprofits in the current economy, the World Children's Choir struggles to obtain funding for its programs. I hope that potential donors can become familiar with the Choir and what it does, so that it can carry out more of the many meaningful programs it envisions. The World Children's Choir is an arts organization, but it is so much more than that. It is a vehicle for change that, with support, can do much good in the world -- to the tune of the angelic voices of children.
I first encountered the World Children's Choir during the new millenium celebrations during the holiday season going into the year 2000. My first words after hearing them were these: "They are angels, the sound like angels". They sang at a multitude of venues outside at night in the cold for large and small audiences working with all those involved in the new millenium production on the national mall. They maintained their focus and professionalism even the very youngest students. Sondra Harness, the director of the choir is inspiring, very talented and totally committed to the choir and to each child in the choir. She would like to be able to reach as many children as possible in all corners of the earth. Music is a universal language that builds unity and understanding. I will continue to support and do everything I can to ensure that this wonderful organization grows and prospers to reach its ultimate potential.
My daughter joined the World Children's Choir in November 2009. It has been an absolutely incredible experience for her. She has learned so much and has had such fun! It's a top notch musical organization with excellent leadership and parental involvement. Highly recommend.