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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“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

“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

“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

“Through music and your leadership, these children learn to perform in different languages while experiencing the diversity of an array of world cultures. The understanding they gain will serve them well as they enter adulthood.”

R. Randall Onstead, former President/CEO of Winn-Dixie

“Music is such a valuable part of life. The way it enriches one’s life and encourages creativity, I do not believe anything else can do as much. We in Jacksonville are certainly blessed to have the Jacksonville Children’s Chorus.”

Scott C. Snyder, President, Compass Consulting Group