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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“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

“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

“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

“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, Chancellor Emeritus and Past President, Jacksonville University

“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