Maggie Daley Park Dedication – BE THERE!

Maggie Daley is synonymous when speaking of supporting the creative arts. As a key supporter of the After School Matters program and avid supporter of Chicago Children’s Choir, it’s only appropriate that we come together to celebrate in the Dedication of Maggie Daley Park. Hundreds of voices will be joined together along with amazing percussion instruments to literally ring out in honor of a woman who’s passion for the arts is still felt in Chicago. Join us Saturday, June 13, 2015 at 11:00 am for a free & open to the public program in Maggie Daley Park, 337 E Randolph Street. Hope to see you there!

2014-15 Season -Thank You!

It has been yet another whirlwind year here at Chicago Children’s Choir! I want to simply say thank you to everyone for their continued support of all of our events thus far – most recently our Paint the Town Red events held at Jay Pritzker Pavilion in the beautiful Millennium Park. A parent recently blogged about it  and her words echoed what we typically hear about our singers – angels heard on the wind.

We’re not quite done and I invite you to attend the events we still have on the books for the year. This weekend, our Beverly & Englewood Neighborhood Choirs will join together for a free concert held at St. Philip Church located at 6232 S. Eberhart Ave at 2:30 pm on Saturday, May 30. Thanks to our Community Concert Series Sponsor, Target, our Hyde Park Neighborhood Choir will host their concert at Kenwood Academy, 5015 S. Blackstone at 7:00 pm on Thursday, June 4. We’ll celebrate Maggie Daley Park at it’s dedication ceremony events on Saturday, June 13 with almost 200 members of our after -school programs. For more performance updates, check out for all upcoming Chicago Children’s Choir performances.  Once again, thank you to all for your continued support and we look forward to seeing you in the seats soon!

Paint the Town Red & Singers for Singers 2014!

Since 1956, the mission of the Choir has been to unite children through song to effect change in their city.  As we’re now almost halfway through 2014, the organization serves almost 3800 young people through its 65 In-School Programs, 9 Neighborhood Choirs, DiMension (all young male ensemble) and our top-level Voice of Chicago.  Through their love of music, they learn to celebrate their differences while learning about what they all have in common.  Lifelong friendships are made here and it’s all through music!

As you may or may not know, arts education programs are not required in our schools despite the known value that they provide to students.  Chicago Children’s Choir provides a vehicle to close that gap but through budget cuts, many of our partnerships are ending.  They’re not ending because the schools don’t want them – they simply can’t afford them.  Through our “Singers for Singers” campaign, the current members of our After School Programs raise funds to “give back” and support their In-School counterparts.  Many of them were once members of an In-School Choir and therefore know the value of having that as part of their education. So, as an alum of the Choir, I’m asking you to consider helping me help the singers give back.  In the time it takes you to order a cup of coffee at your local coffee shop, you could make a donation to help us raise $40,000 to keep 8 In-School Choir programs in their schools.  Visit today to make your tax-deductible contribution.  Every dollar counts and will help make a difference.  So, drop a dollar (or a few) in my donation “bucket” today.

This year’s Paint the Town Red theme is “Free to be Me!”  We’d all like to think that our kids are living  in a place where they are free to express themselves without consequence.  However, as we see the ways kids are teased, ridiculed, and just outright bullied through traditional means and via social media sites, cell phone texts/calls, and email, it’s painfully clear that we don’t live in that place yet.  Chicago Children’s Choir helps kids find their voices through music in a way that celebrates diversity and unity.  They find a place where the “Musical Nerd/Weirdo/Freak” is celebrated.  They learn that even though they may dress differently, speak differently, or act differently, they all are special in their own ways as well as through their common appreciation for all things music. I have the awesome pleasure of seeing how your dollars help make a difference to our Chicago kids every day through my work.  I invite you to come see them in action on Thursday, May 22, 2014 at 11 am in Millennium Park’s Pritzker Pavilion.   You won’t be able to miss us – we’ll be the thousands of voices you hear and see all in red!


Chocolate is Love 2014

Chocolate is Love 2014

Can’t make it to the Chicago Children’s Choir’s Annual Chocolate is Love event but still want to support? Purchase raffle tickets! The more you purchase, the better the rate & your chances of winning a Macbook Air! For more details & to purchase tix, click the link above!

To Boston with Love…

You’ve read about my travels with the CCC and how many of my lifelong friendships were formed on these trips.  When I tell you I still speak to people from around the world, I’m not kidding.  The International and “Bridging America” tours do so much more than just give the opportunities of traveling to singers who might not otherwise do so.

With the recent events in Boston, some of our singers wanted to send a little love to their friends at the Boston City Singers.  To Boston with Love was sent by Mollie Stone and a small group of the Hyde Park Neighborhood Choir.  “We’ve been thinking of you this past week, and want you to know that Chicago Children’s Choir stands with you in this time of tragedy and loss. We are inspired by Boston’s strength. We are sending our love, and wishes for healing to all of you.”

I think the message speaks to the character of the children who come through our programs.  This is what I know we can foster in the Englewood community.  There are plenty of children who are thinking of how they can change the world and all they need is a place to explore how to do that.  For those who are choosing to do it through music, we are giving them a place to do so.  Our 9th Neighborhood Choir will be launching next year and you can help make sure it’s doors are open for the entire first year by making a contribution to our Singers for Singers campaign.  For more information, please visit Ms Jackie’s Page.

Give a little bit…

Give a little bit; give a little bit of your love to me
I’ll give a little bit; I’ll give a little bit of my love to you
There’s so much that we need to share so send a smile and show you care

You get the gist of what the song is saying.  We tend to wonder what we can do to make a difference when we see something that needs change.  I think the song says it best – give a little bit.  So that’s what I’m asking you to do today in a movement to bring change into one of Chicago’s communities – Englewood.

Every child has a right to arts education. Chicago Children’s Choir makes this possible for nearly 3,500 children all over the city. Our singers have been blessed with the gift of music, but not all children are so lucky. We can change that.

Chicago Children’s Choir is starting a new Neighborhood Choir Program in Englewood this fall. Englewood has been home to many musical artists, including Jennifer Hudson and Ernest Dawkins. Bringing the Choir to Englewood will help train the next generation of musicians and leaders, giving them a safe place for expression and creativity.

To help launch our new program in Englewood, we have created our first individual giving campaign that will allow our singers, families, staff, and alumni to contribute—sending our children a message about the value of giving back to society. Chicago Children’s Choir is committed to making programs affordable for all families, especially in the most underserved communities in the city. The Choir’s goal is to raise $100,000 to launch and operate the Englewood Neighborhood Choir Program for one year.

Please consider going to my fundraising page and making a contribution. Remember that every gift – large or small – makes a difference!

To learn more and contribute:


Help “Make Our Garden Grow”

Englewood bannerHelp “Make Our Garden Grow” by supporting our 9th Neighborhood Choir Program in Englewood. Donate today!

Paint the Town Red 2013

Official 2013 Paint the Town Red Logo from Chicago Children's Choir

Picture it:  Downtown Chicago; Pritzker Pavillion in Millennium Park; 3,500 children united in song inspiring peace.  Can you see it?  Can you hear it?

May 15th will be filled with those exact images and sounds as Chicago Children’s Choir presents its annual Paint the Town Red.  Though every year has a theme, this year’s is in tune with what is going on with our city.  Arts programs have been taken out of schools and the violence in the city has increased immensely.  The question of “What can we do?” is constantly being asked with no viable answers being given.  Chicago Children’s Choir is answering that question by showing what is being done and has been done for 56 years.

“This year’s Paint the Town Red will empower our nearly 3,500 singers to create a more peaceful Chicago.  In connection with this mission, the event will raise awareness and support for the opening our ninth Neighborhood Choir Program in Englewood. Through music, our singers will connect with one another and gain an appreciation for the rich diversity our city has to offer.”

In a time where it seems like all you hear about is negativity in our city, isn’t it time to highlight what’s good?  Chicago Children’s Choir is affecting the lives of 3,500 children through music.  The Choir is opening a 9th Neighborhood Choir program in an area where crime and violence is all many know about it and hoping to create some positive changes in the view of that area – Englewood.  There are kids who come together from all parts of the city because they all love to do the same thing – sing.  Isn’t that reason enough for you to take some time on May 15th to come downtown and support these children?

May 15, 2013, Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park, 11:00 am.

Be there!

Why I do what I do

DiMension preparing for their performance at 33rd Annual Gold Company Vocal Jazz Invitational

I recently traveled with our DiMension group to Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan and was  reminded of why I chose (or was chosen) to work for the Chicago Children’s Choir.   DiMension is the young male choir solely dedicated to those whose voices are going through “the change”.  The uniqueness of this group is simply that there is none like it anywhere else.  Judy Hanson, Director of Choral Programs, conducts this group and teaches them various techniques to ensure that they can sing without causing damage as they work through this time in their lives.

I was reminded of how a group of children can come together from all walks of life and do the one thing they all enjoy:  sing.  I was proud to be with them as they each took a risk by stepping out of their comfort zones and doing something different whether it be trying a new dish at dinner or singing in front of a top-level college jazz ensemble.  I was amazed to watch the amount of growth gained by all in a 3 day weekend, after working with them for months.  I was in awe of these young men; inspired and re-energized in my work with the Choir.  That inspiration and energy couldn’t have come at a better time.

In a time where our youth are being lost to violence daily, hope and inspiration is needed by all who work with our youth.  The Choir recently announced that it will be opening a 9th Neighborhood Choir in the Englewood community. Those of you who are familiar with the area know that it is riddled with negative energy (violence, gangs, etc.) and I’m excited to say that CCC is actively working to change that vibe.  It’s not going to be easy but, when you really think about it, change never is.  The Choir will need your help in starting this change in Englewood.

Mark your calendars now:  Paint the Town Red will be on May 15, 2013 and there is a serious goal in mind.  In a recent CCC press release, the focus is on how violence in Chicago has reached epidemic proportions and how the Arts and Arts Education can peacefully counter it’s growth.  Paint the Town Red is the Choir’s annual event in which 3,000 singers come together in Millennium Park‘s Priztker Pavillion at 11:00 am to join in song as one in support of Arts Education and in 2013, rally against Chicago violence through peace and song.  The Choir asks that when you attend, you wear red and consider making a donation towards the $100,000 needed to launch the Englewood Neighborhood Choir and run it for a year.  Don’t want to wait until May 15th to contribute?  Visit  to make your donation today.

This is just one of the reasons why I do what I do.  I enjoy being a part of something great in the city I call home.  I’m humbled by the many people I come in contact with and know that, in some way no matter how big or small, I’ve made a difference.  That’s just the CCC way.  Until next time, keep singing!

Performances on deck…

Lincoln Trio, along with Arianna Zukerman and clarinetist Bharat Chandra featured artists to perform “Annelies”


Our Concert Choir singers have returned from India and have gone straight into preparing for tomorrow’s Ravinia Festival performance of Annelies.  Annelies is the choral setting of The Diary of Anne Frank.  I’ve got to tell you, if you’re one of the lucky people to have tickets to this sold out performance, be prepared for haunting passages that will send chills up your spine.   There will be another opportunity to hear this work in June at the Harris Theater so stay tuned!


Next Sunday, 300 members of our Neighborhood Choirs, DiMension, and Concert Choir will be at the Copernicus Center for World Music Festival!  The singers will spend the day learning music from around the world and end with a concert.  It’s free and open to the public so come on by!  For more info, visit

The Target Community Concert Series is still going on throughout the year with the next performance to feature the Lincoln Park/DePaul Neighborhood Choir.  Thanks to the generosity of Target, these concerts are free and open to the public.  Please feel free to come hear our singers as they perform repertoire from around the world and various genres like gospel and pop favorites.  Need more info, check out