Shenandoah Valley Children's Choir

Children’s Choir Spring Concert at JMU’s Forbes Center April 9 and 10

The Shenandoah Valley Children’s Choir (SVCC) within the music department at Eastern Mennonite University is excited to partner with the Forbes Center for the Performing Arts at James Madison University for its annual spring concert April 9-10.

The family-friendly concert is a first-time collaboration between the acclaimed SVCC and the award-winning JMU Percussion Ensemble. Performances are scheduled for Saturday, Apr. 9 and Sunday, Apr. 10. The performances begin at 7p.m. each night and take place in the Forbes Center Concert Hall.

SVCC director, Julia White, and JMU Percussion Ensemble director, Michael Overman, have worked collaboratively over the last 18 months in preparation for this marriage of ensembles. According to White, “We’re excited to partner with the Forbes Center for this extraordinary event. And we can’t wait to perform in the beautiful, new venue.”

Chorister Chloe Weaver, 5th grader from Linville, Va., is in the SVCC Treble Choir. She is the daughter of Dean and Andrea Weaver.
Chorister Chloe Weaver, 5th grader from Linville, Va., is in the SVCC Treble Choir. She is the daughter of Dean and Andrea Weaver.

The children’s choir has partnered on numerous occasions at JMU including several opera productions, the Contemporary Music Festival, and most recently at the Gandhi Awards Ceremony for President Jimmy Carter (’09) and Archbishop Desmond Tutu (’07). JMU flutist Beth Chandler was a special guest on SVCC spring concerts in 2011.

Repertoire for the concert will include music from classical selections to folksongs from countries around the world, including Canada, the Torres Straight Islands and Finland. It will also include newly composed works, one of which is a Mi’kmaw Honour Song. Overman is overseeing the arranging of the combined works for the children’s choir and percussion ensemble.

About the Children’s Choir

Founded in 1992 by artistic director Julia J. White, the SVCC has grown to include nearly 150 in two classes, three choirs and a staff of five. The group has performed at the American Choral Directors Association Southern Division conferences (’00, ’02, ’06) and at the Virginia Music Educators Association conferences (’96, ’98, ’04, ‘08); they have collaborated with the American Boychoir and the Washington Symphonic Brass Quintet. The SVCC has sung at the Carnegie Hall Children’s Choir Festival (’98, ’07), the Tuscany International Children’s Choir Festival (’01) in Italy and the Pacific Rim Children’s Chorus Festival (’05, ’09) in Hawaii. They just released their 14th CD, “Songs from the Heart”. For more information on the SVCC, visit

The JMU Percussion Ensemble, directed by William C. Rice and Dr. Michael Overman, consists of nearly 30 students and has performed throughout the East Coast, including concerts at the Virginia Music Educators Association Convention and Virginia Days of Percussion. They were selected to perform a feature concert at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention in Philadelphia. Most recently the ensemble created two podcast videos featured on the website, and toured Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania.

The ensemble was chosen to perform the keynote concert at the 2003 National Conference on Percussion Pedagogy at the University of North Carolina in Greensboro. In 2004, the group won the small ensemble contest at PASIC held in Nashville, Tn. In the spring of 2006, 2007 and 2009, they won the NABBA Adult Class Percussion Ensemble Contest held in Louisville, Ky. The JMU Percussion Ensemble is an “all Zildjian” ensemble and proudly endorses Vic Firth sticks.

Venue and ticket info

The Forbes Center for the Performing Arts is comprised of the Dorothy Thomasson Estes Center for Theatre and Dance and the Shirley Hanson Roberts Center for Music Performance and houses five state-of-the-art performance venues: the Mainstage Theatre (450 seats), the Concert Hall (600 seats), the Recital Hall (196 seats), the Studio Theatre (200 seats) and the Earlynn J. Miller Dance Theatre (200 seats). It also includes classroom, rehearsal and office facilities.

Tickets are $14 for adults, $12 for seniors and JAC cardholders, and $8 for JMU students and youth 18 & under. For tickets, visit or call the Forbes Center Box Office at (540) 568-7000. Tickets go on sale Feb. 15. Contact Jen Kulju, public relations/marketing specialist at the Forbes Center, at (540) 568-4394 or by e-mail at for further information.