As we move into a new era of music-making in the Tobin Center, we have reshaped our vision for the future of our program to emphasize the values of diversity, inclusion, and social responsibility:
Our country has a richly colorful heritage, creating the ability to weave a mosaic of the American musical experience through song. To symbolize the many histories of our city, state, and nation, we will perform multi-cultural repertoire that represents an abundant variety of language and styles. As we collaborate with numerous local arts organizations, the quality of audience in the Tobin Center will expand not only in breadth, but also in depth; we will attract patrons across the city representing a diversified profile of geographies, demographics, religions, and cultures.
Our commitment to inclusion expands across many facets. As we continue to reach out to all corners of our city, our choir membership and faculty unite a variety of backgrounds. Inclusion also refers to the increased spectrum of ages of our singers. We extended our age limit from 18 to 22 years old, affording quality choral music education to any young person in our community. The value of inclusion is also found in our dedication to reach children in under-served communities, which spearheads the expansion of our Neighborhood Choirs West in Fall 2014.
As our singers cultivate their choral singing skills, they also develop musical citizenship, embracing the social responsibility of service and care to others. This powerful concept gives young people a sense of meaning, connection, and personal engagement with one another and the world around them. It helps them understand the power of singing to make a difference in the world, and it builds an attitude of compassion and service that they will value the rest of their lives.
This season is our bridge between a vibrant and full heritage and a promising and inspiring future. We have refocused, renewed, and reimagined the possibilities that lay before us. Join us as we help our singers discover their musical artistry, develop discipline and leadership skills, build lasting relationships, and grow as individuals. We are not only molding better singers – we are enriching, transforming, and empowering the future generations of creative, engaged, and well-rounded citizens.
The Children’s Chorus of San Antonio was founded in 1983 with the mission to bring the highest quality of choral music education and performance opportunities to the young people of greater San Antonio. Since then, we have blossomed into three different divisions that serve more than 500 young people: our core ensembles, early childhood music and movement classes, and community outreach programs.
During our first season, we consisted of a single choir of 33 children that rehearsed and performed at UTSA. Capturing the attention of families in San Antonio, we filled a void in the city’s music education system by providing the first children’s community choir. Our quick expansion into multiple choirs ensured singers were learning at their own ability levels. Today, we have two sets of choirs: training and performance ensembles. These ensembles are, to this day, our “core” division, rehearsing weekly and performing in high-quality, public concerts around town.
We realized that our program was not accessible to some of the children who need the benefits of music the most – families in under-served communities. Determined to bring music education to every child in San Antonio, we introduced our second division, Project: Sing, which provides free, weekly after-school choral music classes to elementary and middle school students. In 2001, we introduced the program with Project: Sing West, which partners with Our Lady of the Lake University to serve students in San Antonio ISD. After enjoying considerable success watching our Project: Sing West students learn and grow, we started Project Sing: South in 2008. This program partners with Harlandale ISD to provide the same choral music education, tuition-free, to students in Harlandale and South San Antonio ISDs. Today, we serve around 150 students per year with our two Project: Sing programs.
To support the choral music education provided to young singers through our core ensembles and Project: Sing programs, we launched our third division, Music Together, in 2005. Music Together classes meet weekly to introduce infants, toddlers, young children, and their families to the joy of music and movement through instrument play, sing-a-longs, dancing, and other activities. In 2010, we acquired a local franchise of Music Together, expanding both our faculty and number of classes offered. We began holding classes during the week and on weekends to better fit our busy families’ schedules.
Despite our expansion, one segment of the community still did not have access to Music Together – San Antonio’s homeless population. With studies continually proving the necessity of music in a child’s early development, coupled with the unique ability of Music Together classes to strengthen the bond in families, we piloted Music Together classes in 2011 at Haven for Hope – an organization dedicated to helping homeless people reclaim their lives by providing necessary services. We received an overwhelmingly positive response to our program, and launched the classes in 2012, providing weekly sessions of family music-making in a safe and welcoming environment.
With three divisions of music education, we have a vast and deeply rooted history in our community. We are dedicated to enriching and expanding the experiences of young people through choral singing and musical performance. Our 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.