In the News

5 Questions with Jacksonville Children's Chorus Executive Director Darren Dailey

Thursday, February 27, 2014

1. Tell us about how music has shaped your life. When did you realize you wanted to become a music educator?

Music was an area in which I excelled at an early age. I was blessed with a great elementary school music teacher, Rodney Somerville, at Lincoln School in Cranford, N.J. This was about 1974, and he was the first African-American music teacher in the district.

I was 8 years old and music helped me to become more focused because at the time I was easily distracted. Mr. Somerville’s enthusiasm for singing piqued my interest in music and he helped me uncover something I didn’t know I could do. From that point on, the performing arts have always been a part of my life, be it musical theatre, dance or voice.

I realized I wanted to be a music educator in high school. There was a sense of belonging and a commitment to excellence in the choral group. There was never a stranger in chorus and my music classes were always fun places to be. I wanted to cultivate that same kind of atmosphere for others. Because of that school district’s commitment to teaching music, I was able to hone my skills and receive a four-year scholarship to Westminster College in Princeton, N.J.

 

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“Being a part of the JCC has not only allowed Christian to experience the fun, excitement and pleasure of singing with friends, it has also helped him to develop a sense of confidence that comes from life skills of hard work and perseverance.”

Elaine Bourne, JCC Parent

“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

“Music plays a major role in the full development of a child. Not only does it enrich lives, it also serves as a pathway for students to express themselves and explore new ways to communicate with others. For 20 years, kudos to the JCC for molding the lives of young artists, and I look forward to the next 20 years.”

Tim Cost, 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