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2010 Top-Rated Nonprofit

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

4 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters


Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

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.


Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

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.


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.


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.