Chicago Children's Choir

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Chicago Children's Choir backstage at Jay Pritzker Pavilion.jpg

The Chicago Children's Choir is a multiracial, multicultural choral music education organization, shaping the future by making a difference in the lives of children and youth through musical excellence.


Chicago Children's Choir is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that raises approximately $2 million each year in order to provide reduced tuition on a sliding scale according to family income. The Choir serves nearly 3,500 children annually through choirs in 60 public schools, after-school programs in 9 Chicago neighborhoods (Hyde Park, Lincoln Park/DePaul, Rogers Park, Pilsen/Little Village, Humboldt Park, Garfield Park, Beverly, Albany Park, and Englewood), DiMension- an ensemble for boys with changing voices, and the internationally acclaimed Voice of Chicago. Of the children served, ages 8–18, the majority come from low-income homes and would otherwise have no other access to music education.

The Choir regularly collaborates with Lyric Opera of Chicago, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Ravinia Festival, The Joffrey Ballet, River North Chicago Dance Company Millennium Park, and Grant Park Music Festival to provide once in a lifetime experiences to its singers, both in Chicago and abroad. As a national and international touring ensemble, Chicago Children’s Choir has performed on 5 continents in over 25 countries, including Canada, Great Britain, South Africa, Argentina, Uruguay, India, Korea, Japan, and Russia.

The Choir has performed for such dignitaries as Bill and Hillary Clinton, the Dalai Lama, Nelson Mandela, Chinese President Hu Jintao, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, South Korean President Lee Myung-Bak, and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. The Choir also has performed with or for such celebrities as Andrea Bocelli, Al Green, Luciano Pavarotti, Quincy Jones, Beyoncé Knowles, Yo-Yo Ma, Enrique Iglesias, Celine Dion, Denyce Graves, Samuel Ramey, Kathleen Battle, Bobby McFerrin, and Ladysmith Black Mambazo.


In 1956 during the Civil Rights Movement, the late Rev. Christopher Moore founded the multiracial, multicultural Chicago Children’s Choir at Hyde Park’s First Unitarian Church of Chicago. He believed that youth from diverse backgrounds could better understand each other—and themselves—by learning to make beautiful music together. Today’s Choir is fully independent and serves all of Chicago from its home in the Chicago Cultural Center. Christopher Moore’s vision of a choir combining high artistic standards with a social purpose continues to define the Choir’s mission.


Chicago Children’s Choir has four studio recordings—Open Up Your Heart (2004), Sita Ram (2006),Songs on the Road to Freedom (2008), and Holiday Harmony (2010)—available from, iTunes


Concert Choir tours: 2014 - South Africa 2013 - India 2012 - Italy 2011 - Baltic Tour: Estonia, Finland & Latvia w/ Bobby McFerrin 2010 - Alaska 2009 - South American Tour: Argentina and Uruguay 2008 - South Korea 2007 - "Freedom Tour": Alabama, Tennessee, Mississippi & Louisiana 2006 - Czech Republic 2005 - Japan 2004 - Canada 2003 - Germany 2002 - Japan 2001 - Germany, Austria & Hungary 2000 - Colorado 1999 - England, Scotland & Wales 1998 - Pacific Northwest & British Columbia 1997 - Italy, Sicily & Sardinia 1997 - Ukraine 1996 - South Africa 1995 - Canada 1994 - Russia 1993 - Mexico 1992 - Japan 1991 - New Orleans, Atlanta, Alabama

1956-1981: After Chicago Children's Choir began tours (overnight concert trips) in the mid-1960s, touring continued annually through at least 1981. Trips below that lasted less than a week are marked *. Those below lasting more than 11 days, always in summer, were Montreal I (1967: 3 wks), Boston (1969: 2 wks), and Europe (1970: 6 wks). Tours listed here all involved members of the Choir's top performance unit, designated "Senior Tour Unit" during most of this period.

1974-81: list incomplete 1981: East Coast/Ontario (Toronto) 1978 - East Coast (April) 1978 - ? (March) 1977 - Ohio* (November) 1977 - East Coast/Canada (Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal) (April) and simultaneous trip in northern Illinois* 1977 - Southwest (March) 1976 - Madison*

1973 - East Coast (late April) 1973 - Tennessee (early April) 1973 - New England (March: "the blizzard tour") 1972 - New England (April) 1972 - Texas (March) 1971 - two simultaneous April tours to different parts of the East Coast 1970 - England, Denmark, West Germany (June–July) 1970 - New York III (April) 1970 - Colorado? (March) 1969 - Minnesota* (November) and another* simultaneously 1969 - Boston area 1969 - Washington, D.C. area (April) 1969 - New York II (March) 1968 - Kentucky-Tennessee* (autumn) 1968 - Iowa* (May) 1968 - New York I (April) 1968 - Madison WI* (March) 1967 - Montreal II (October: to Expo '67) 1967 - Montreal I (summer: to Expo '67) 1966 - Indianapolis* (November) 1965?- Madison* 1964?- Southwest (Tulsa OK)

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