Founded in 1983, the Children’s Chorus of San Antonio is dedicated to enriching and expanding the experiences of young people through choral singing and musical performance. CCSA’s commitment to artistic excellence, social inclusion and individual responsibility empowers young singers to embrace and explore a broader, more positive view of self and the world. As a resident company of the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts, CCSA’s seven citywide community choruses in conjunction with its early childhood music program provide inspirational and transformative musical experiences for hundreds of young people from birth through young adulthood.
Currently comprised of more than 250 students, our training and performance ensembles are the cornerstone of our organization. As our core division, these choirs have engaged thousands of young people with diverse choral repertoire at the highest levels of musical excellence. Our ensembles consist of boys and girls ages 5-22 and provide a comprehensive and challenging curriculum of performance-based instruction that ranges from the basics of vocal technique to music literacy and history, all accomplished using a wide and balanced repertoire.
The junior choruses are our entry level training choirs for ages 8 and up. The singers in these ensembles are accepted with no musical experience necessary; the instruction in these choirs provide the basics of choral education, such as sight-reading and proper vocal technique. As singers learn and hone in on their craft, they learn the joy of singing and develop a life-long passion for music.
The performance ensembles are our advanced choirs for ages 12 and up. As our signature choirs, the advanced ensembles represent CCSA at the highest level of choral artistry in performances around the city and across the globe. These singers have a strong legacy of recognition and acclaim through their reputation for high quality music and meticulous preparation.
In addition to touring the state, nation, and globe, our performance ensembles entertain the city’s diverse and vibrant community through year-round programming, various concerts, and regular collaborations with the San Antonio Symphony, YOSA, and Mastersingers. We perform for local community events and even at professional sports games, such as the Spurs. By singing at events and in concerts around our city, we engage a wide variety of audiences with culturally diverse repertoire.
Since we have been named an affiliate resident of the Tobin Center, all singers in our core ensembles will perform in this acoustically excellent world-class venue, starting in Fall 2014. The numerous performance opportunities in the Tobin Center will reignite and reinspire the passion for music we foster in every child’s heart. Members of our training ensembles will build their self-confidence as they perform in this energetic, exciting new atmosphere, and singers in our advanced choirs will grow as musicians, performing challenging, yet rewarding, repertoire. The debut of the Tobin Center opens a new gateway of opportunities for us to shape our future – one voice at a time.
Please click here to read more about our ensembles.
We have traveled around the state and across the nation, including feature performances at major music education and choral conferences. We are known globally as well, having collaborated with children’s choirs from Victoria, Texas, to the Czech Republic and Germany. Summer concert tours have taken our advanced choirs to East and West coast North American destinations and to Europe, discovering places such as Scotland, Italy, Ireland, England, Canada, and France.
These travels presented once-in-a-lifetime opportunities for oursingers; they performed in prestigious locations such as Carnegie Hall and the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine in New York, NY, and the Cathédral of Notre Dame in Paris, France. Other acclaimed milestones include numerous recordings, a fully staged baroque opera of Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, and on-air features with NBC-TV’s Today Show and NPR’s Performance Today.
Additionally, we have championed new music for children’s choirs around the world by commissioning numerous works, beginning with Scarecrow Pieces by Joan Whittemore in May 1999. Then, Now, Forever, commissioned in memory of CCSA Tour Director Robert E. “Bob” McCormick, premiered in May 2005, sung by CCSA and directed by composer David L. Brunner. In Fall 2014, we will showcase the world premiere of The Homesteaders, commissioned in honor of founder and former Artistic Director Marguerite McCormick, at its inaugural performance in the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts.
We recognize that many families do not have the ability to reach us through our traditional programs and locations, nor do they have regular access to music; thus, we bring our choral music education to them!
The Neighborhood Choirs are our community outreach program on the South and West sides of San Antonio, provides the opportunity for San Antonio, South San Antonio, Edgewood, and Harlandale ISD elementary and middle school students to experience inspiring musical moments in their own neighborhoods. These students participate in free after-school choir classes that engage the students in the same curriculum and instruction as the comparable levels of our core ensembles.
Our Neighborhood Choirs South division partners with Harlandale ISD for two semesters of music at Harlandale Middle School. Our Neighborhood Choirs West division currently provides singers with a 5-7 course at Our Lady of the Lake University.
Please click here to read more about our Neighborhood Choirs.
Our Music Together early childhood program encourages natural enthusiasm for music and movement in infants, toddlers, and young children birth to age 7. Parents, grandparents, and caregivers are present at each class, contributing to the enrichment of their child’s development regardless of their own musical abilities. Through this program, children and the adults that love them joyfully share songs, rhymes, movement, and instrument play in a fun, non-performance-oriented environment.
Music Together offers three types of classes to target developmentally different age groups: Babies Class for infants ages birth to 9 months, Family Class for children and siblings ages birth to 5, and Big Kids Class for children ages 5 to 7. Classes are held year-round and meet in three locations in the morning, afternoon, and on weekends.
We know that (a) engaging in music at an early age promotes a greater degree of achievement artistically, academically, and socially and that (b) studies show that music participation between family members creates positive effects in the home.
However, children of families most critically in need of support and a positive home environment often do not have access to this important component of early development. CCSA now holds free, weekly Music Together early childhood classes specifically for the children of families at Haven for Hope – an organization dedicated to helping the city’s homeless population reclaim their lives. Our curriculum provides developmentally appropriate music and movement activities that strongly emphasize and facilitate parent/caregiver involvement, and our class adds value of life to the clients and programs at H4H not addressed by current and/or traditional agency services.
We are blessed to watch and celebrate each week as music begins to touch their lives. We bear witness to the transformative experiences as parents discover a reinvigorated relationship with their children and find peace and joy in sharing this new bond together through music.
Please click here to read more about Music Together at Haven for Hope.