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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

22 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

7

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

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.

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

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.

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.