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Chorus America Award 2020

Jacksonville Children’s Chorus Honored with Prestigious National Award

April 14, 2020, Jacksonville, Florida – The Jacksonville Children’s Chorus (JCC) has received the 2020 Chorus America’s Brazeal Wayne Dennard Award. The Brazeal Wayne Dennard Award honors the life and achievements of educator, conductor, and arranger Brazeal Dennard by recognizing individuals or organizations whose work builds upon his commitment to diversity, inclusiveness, and furthering African-American and other diverse choral traditions through performance, research, or the creation of new compositions of significance.

“Congratulations, Darren, staff and singers of the JCC!! What a huge recognition and fantastic award! So proud to have been associated with the JCC and to see Darren Dailey take his vision of diversity and bring it to life. Way to go!” 

– Virginia Dickert, FMEA 2020 Elementary Music Teacher of the Year and Jacksonville Country Day School Music Teacher

The JCC strives to represent diversity within young people in the Jacksonville area. With the help of its scholarship program, President and Artistic Director Darren Dailey has committed to give every child, regardless of ethnic background or financial situation, an opportunity to participate in the JCC. Nearly half of all JCC members are on partial or full, need-based scholarship. Their only requirement is to pass the audition and have a true desire to sing. Very intentional with repertoire choices and guest artists, for eleven years the JCC has featured an annual, often sold-out, "Lift Ev'ry Voice & Sing" in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. in which they welcome guest artists from historically black colleges and universities. This past February, the concert featured the Morehouse College Glee Club, and together the choruses performed five commissioned works from African American composers including Rosephanye Powell and Rollo Dilworth.

Additionally, JCC has presented programs that promote diversity and inclusion, such as “World Beat”, a celebration of music from across the globe and featuring guest artists such as Cuarteto Flamenco del Sur. Another concert titled “Women In Song”, featured songs performed, composed and written by women with guest artist comedic vocalist and impressionist Christina Bianco. The concert also featured the JCC’s world premiere of choral work "I Will Sing to the Stars" based on the writings of Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Sara Teasdale.

While every JCC concert demonstrates an impressive knowledge of musical technique, these concerts take it a step further by performing repertoire in many different languages and in a culturally-responsive display. The JCC is delighted and honored to receive the Brazeal Wayne Dennard Award and will, no doubt, continue to thrive to bring exciting and diverse works to its audiences both locally, regionally and nationally, and to the world.

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“I was in the Jacksonville Children's Chorus in 1999-2002. It helped me to build long lasting friendships and a greater love for music. To this day I still remember the fun times and great concerts we did in the JCC. I think this organization is great for children of all ages, it helps build confidence and friendships.”

Bethany, Former Member

“It is gratifying the Jacksonville Children’s Chorus program covers so much of what is not available to children in the Duval Public Schools. The children who have an opportunity to participate in your Chorus are very fortunate to have this outstanding musical training available to them. The entire community benefits from your talent and that of the children.”

Dr. Frances B. Kinne , Former Chancellor Emeritus and Past President, Jacksonville University

“The Chorus expands your musical horizons and helps you grow as a person. You are surrounded with other young people who have something in common…their love of music. I have learned that music does, indeed, bring people and cultures together. The music we sing brings people hope for a better future of understanding and cooperation.”

Jasmine, 16, Touring and Concert Choirs

“The JCC is more than just a chorus; it is truly a life-changing experience. The Chorus has opened me to new experiences, provided me with once-in-a-lifetime opportunities and helped me discover singing is not just one of my interests but rather a lifelong passion.”

Emma, 17, Touring and Concert Choirs

“JCC truly embodies some of the best qualities of team sports: camaraderie, discipline, patience, persistence, and positive mentoring.”

Wali Gomes, JCC Parent