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World Children's Choir, Inc.

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Arts Education, International, International Cultural Exchange, International Exchange, Singing & Choral Groups

Mission: The World Children’s Choir, founded in 1990, serves as a voice for children worldwide… a voice that celebrates cultural diversity through music, builds positive international relations, and asks people to work together to create a healthy, peaceful world for all children.

Results: The Choir has been appointed to the Artists Roster of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Performances have been given for former U.S. Presidents Bush and Clinton, Queen Noor of Jordan, Queen Sofia of Spain, the United States Supreme Court and on numerous other occasions at the White House, the Kennedy Center, on Capitol Hill and for national and international television broadcasts. We fulfill our mission in three ways: First, to local children of all cultures, nationalities, and economic circumstances, we offer professional instruction and unique opportunities to sing with beauty, artistry, and joy. Second, we direct our music to inspire our audiences – reinforcing and sustaining our belief that by working together we can truly create a peaceful, healthy world. Third – through our projects and activities of our Voices for Children Campaign (benefit concerts, CD sales, and community outreach) we raise money and coordinate activities to directly support children in need – both locally and throughout the world. The Choir has helped raise money for national and international children’s causes and organizations such as the Children’s Defense Fund, UNICEF, and the CARE Foundation. The Choir raised funds to purchase an entire year’s worth of school supplies for children in Morolica, Honduras, whose village was destroyed by Hurricane Mitch. WCC partnered with St. Peter’s Episcopal Church to raise $12,000 to build a blood-testing wing in the Kgabo District Mission Clinic in South Africa. Most recently WCC singers appeared in a benefit concert for Missions Schools International that raised enough funds to build three boarding schools in Kenya. The Choir performed for former Soviet President, Mikhail Gorbachev and guests at the Embassy of the Russian Federation, as part of a very special dinner to raise funds for Childhood Leukemia Research. The Choir’s Voices for Children Festival and concerts were given in Ireland in honor of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees first World Refugee Day. Concert proceeds were contributed to programs for child refugees living in Ireland and the UNHCR Educational Trust .Additional workshops and performances were given in Dublin, Cork, Carlow, Waterford, Galway City, and Connemara. Performances in Dublin and Cork were shown on national television throughout Ireland. Through our music, we reach out to audiences far and wide to reinforce our message of hope and unity. The World Children’s Choir gives a voice to local children to earn support and attention for the needs of all children worldwide, and calls upon adults throughout the world to do the same.

Target demographics: Culturally, socially, economically diverse children and teens (and parents) in the Washington, DC area ages birth - 18 years old. International program focuses on children and teens living in underserved communities affected by violence and conflict.

Direct beneficiaries per year: Child/Teen Performers: 50 ~ Int. Institute Children/Teens: 300

Geographic areas served: Washington, DC area

Programs: • Professional Children's Choir • African Drumming and Dancing Ensemble • Community Chorus: International Friends Chorus • Prenatal and Early Childhood Music and Movement Classes • Outreach: scholarships and concert tickets for children from families that are financially disadvantaged; performances for hospitals, retirement, and nursing home residents; special event charity galas and benefit concerts • International Concert Tours • International Cultural Exchange • International Voices for Children Institute

Community Stories

44 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

11

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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)

8

Volunteer

Rating: 4

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.

Comments ( 1 )

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wchildsing 02/25/2010

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

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

10

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

7

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

6

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

10

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

12

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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 WCC´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.

6

Former staff

Rating: 5

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.

6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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!

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

10

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

6

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

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.

7

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

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.

7

Former staff

Rating: 5

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.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

12

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

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.