Built on the principal of reaching every child who has a desire to sing, the Children’s Chorus of San Antonio uses rich programming which supports and nurtures musical potential and encourages individual growth and civic engagement. Your Neighborhood Choir provides exactly that for all young singers. What started small, has now grown, with the goal to reach every neighborhood in San Antonio.
Your Neighborhood Choir started out as Project: Sing West in 2001, as part of an initiative to bring choirs to children who may not be able to travel and participate in the core CCSA ensembles. Bringing choirs to all parts of San Antonio provides every child who has a desire to sing, a path to become a chorister with Children’s Chorus. In addition, these young people are a part of a rich and inspiring environment that can be provided only by participating in a music program.
Project: Sing West started small that first year, with a select group of singers at Our Lady of the Lake University. Each elementary-aged singer was chosen by their general music teacher to participate in a five-week program where they were taught by then music director, and founder of Children’s Chorus, Marguerite McCormick. At the culmination of their five-week course of study, the singers would perform for family, friends, and teachers. As interest in the program grew, and more singers were chosen to participate, Project Sing expanded to the Harlandale Independent School District, and, in 2008, Project Sing: South was created.
Project: Sing South works in partnership with Harlandale ISD, the district provides rehearsal and performance space, while CCSA provides Teaching Artists and programming. Singers learn, practice, and perform the same repertoire as Junior Chorus, one of CCSA’s core training choirs. The model begun at Harlandale is still followed today with neighborhood choirs now expanding into the San Antonio Independent School District, and community centers such as the Good Samaritan Community Services. All singers perform twice yearly in the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts.
Recently, CCSA has collaborated with Wheatley Community School with the aim to bring choirs into more neighborhoods throughout San Antonio. This partnership has helped to expand programming even further, providing opportunities for more youth to participate in a Neighborhood Choir. Now a choir, under the guidance of Teaching Artist Ms. Antoinette Harris, has begun at Wheatley Community School. Teaching Artist Crystal Tamaren works with singers at Good Sam, where the program has seen enormous success since its start in 2014.