About the Children’s Choir

The Shenandoah Valley Children’s Choir is an advanced choral music education program for children who love to sing and seek a high-powered, accelerated learning and performing environment. Our program includes 140 children in three auditioned performing choirs and two non-auditioned early elementary classes. SVCC choristers receive instruction in vocal production, diction, breathing, score study, musicianship, theory and performing skills, informed strongly by the Kodály approach.

Singing a cappella, in unison as well as in 2 to 4 parts, SVCC choristers experience a broad range of choral literature including classical music, the folk music of diverse nationalities and cultures, as well as both sacred and secular works. Our varied repertoire centers on thematically appropriate educational entry-points, with specific emphasis on peace, friendship, nature, community building and love.

Based at Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg, Virginia, the children’s choir draws students from Winchester to Lexington, across the Shenandoah Valley.

Our philosophy and mission

The mission of the Shenandoah Valley Children’s Choir is to foster artistry and excellence through advanced choral music study, sharing and performance.

Children have tremendous capacity for aesthetic experience; music research has long indicated that children are profoundly moved by music. Studying choral music enables students of all ages to develop cultural understandings, allowing them to participate in the sense of community that is integral to their education and their lives. Through the self-discovery that is inevitable during the study of the arts, students learn to express emotions and thus to explore the richness of the human spirit. The expression of emotions through the arts leads students to a feeling of wholeness and a sense of connection to our humanness and to each other.

The emphasis on auditioned and accelerated music study within the SVCC enhances the sense of connection and belonging through learning and performance opportunities that empower students to express the very best they have and are. The community aspect of the SVCC allows the growth that occurs through musical experiences in families, churches and schools to have a wider framework of experience and outreach.

By fostering critical thinking and social intelligence skills, as well as advanced kinesthetic, vocal and choral pedagogy in the performing arts, the SVCC works to build strong pedagogical, cognitive, social and musical underpinnings. From these foundations, SVCC choristers of all ages are then empowered to create choral cultures and performing ensembles of safety, ownership, skill, beauty and community.