Our Mission Statement:
To provide an opportunity for young performers between the ages 10 and 16 to participate in a fine performing arts organization of the highest quality, to provide training for the participants regardless of gender, race or creed and to encourage a deeper appreciation of the arts while sharing the experience of creating music in a variety of forms.
Now celebrating its 26th season, the Gloucester County Children’s Choir, under the Direction of Sylvia Richardson is an award-winning children’s choir that performs throughout the region.
Founded by Mrs. Richardson and Mr. Donald Cary in 1993, the choir has performed a wide variety of musical styles in a broad range of venues over the last nearly two decades. Highlights include traveling to Austria in June 2009 to participate in the Haydn Children’s Musical Festival to performing with superstar Clay Aiken and the Barenaked Ladies at holiday concerts in Washington Township, NJ.
The Choir is a regular participant in the Music in the Parks choral competition that is held in amusement parks throughout Mid-Atlantic Region where it has taken top honors and garnered honorable mentions numerous times.
Each year, the choir hosts a winter and a spring concert and invites special musical guests, often former choristers, to perform with them. This exposes the children to additional forms of musical expression and delights the local audiences who attend the Choir’s free concerts.
The choir exposes the children to demanding classical, traditional and spiritual musical selections as well as to Broadway, popular music and fun, specialty tunes.
The choir usually has between 20 and 25 members and is supported by a Board of Directors and a strong Parents Guild. Many generous donors support the Choir and the Choir’s scholarship fund which awards a scholarship to members who are graduating from high school.
Funding for the Gloucester County Children’s Choir is made possible in part by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts from a grant to the Gloucester County Cultural & Heritage Commission at Gloucester County Community College.
The Gloucester County Children’s Choir, formed in 1993 by Mr. Donald Cary and Mrs. Sylvia Richardson, is an outgrowth of the Youth Revolution for Christ Choir.
Since its debut on December 12, 1993, at First Baptist Church, Jericho, the Choir has been in demand. These performances have included Black History Month Concerts (Mt. Zion Baptist Church, Glassboro and Gloucester County College, and the Swedesboro United Methodist Church), and Holiday and Unity Day performances for Gloucester County Heritage Commission.
In March 1995, the Choir was invited to participate in the Children’s Choir Festival held at the N.J. Art Museum, Trenton. The Festival was a Birthday Celebration for the 100th Birthday of the museum. The Greater South Jersey Chorus invited the choir to sing in Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana held at the Haddonfield United Methodist Church in the spring of 1995. In 1996, the South Jersey Chorus and the Gloucester County Children’s Choir debuted in Dean Rishel’s Requiem for the Children in memory of the Oklahoma City bombing. We hosted our first Choir festival in 1998 and have performed in the Music in the Parks’ program yearly since 2000.
In the summer of 2002, the choir performed at a special event, “Listening to the Earth” with the Lauda! Chamber Singers at James Atkinson Park, Washington Twp., sponsored by the Gloucester County Freeholders, which was televised on local television stations. In 2003, the Choir was invited to perform at Adelphia’s Restaurant for the foster children of Gloucester County. For the past three years, the Choir has received invitations to perform at the Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration sponsored by the Township of Deptford and has been invited to participate in a tree-lighting celebration at the West Deptford Township library. In 2005, the choir performed with American Idol musical artist Clay Aiken and the following year with the Barenaked Ladies as a holiday festival at the Washington Township Performing Arts Center.
Also in 2006, the choir performed in Wilmington, Delaware for Bibles, Books and Shovels, Inc. in a benefit concert with several professional musicians. Proceeds from this concert were used to support children in a school in Mombassa, Kenya. In May of 2006, they traveled to Hershey Park and competed in Music in the Parks where they received a superior rating. In May of 2007, they attended Music in the Parks at Great Adventure, where they once again received Superior Ratings.
In February of 2008, the Choir performed in Vineland at the Disabled Veterans Home. Once again, in June, they attended Music in the Parks at Hershey and received a Superior rating.
In June of 2009, 18 members of the Gloucester County Children’s Choir traveled to Austria to perform at the Haydn International Youth Choral Festival, which commemorated the 200th anniversary of the death of composer Franz Joseph Haydn. Accompanied by director Sylvia Richardson, assistant director Robin Wilson, accompanist David Anderson and numerous friends and family members, the choir performed at the magnificent Karlskirche in Vienna. The choir also performed recitals at Haydnshaal in the Esterhazy Palace, at Haydn’s church in Eisenstadt, at the monastery in Melk and at the Dom (Cathedral) in Salzburg. They also gave an impromptu performance at the Mayor’s reception at Mirabell Palace in Salzburg, where they presented the City of Salzburg with a hand-blown glass seashell made by Wheaton Village artisans as a memento of the State of New Jersey. The choir also had the opportunity to tour many sites in Austria, including Schoenbrunn Palace, St. Stephen’s Cathedral, Central Cemetery, where many famous composers are buried, Haydn’s house, Mozart’s birthplace and the Schloss Helbrunn Palace.
In May 2010, the Choir earned an “Excellent” rating at Music in the Parks in Dorney Park.
In June 2011, the Choir participated in the Festival of the States in Washington, D.C., and performed in a joint concert with the Maryland State Boychoir.
Current former members of the choir have performed in musicals, done solo work in the area and have been selected to sing in the South Jersey Elementary, South Jersey Junior High and South Jersey Senior High School Choruses.
In addition to their many performances, the GCCC presents its own Winter and Spring Concerts. The Choir performs established works by classical composers, contemporary and spiritual arrangements as well as selections from musicals and movie sound tracks. The Gloucester County Children’s Choir includes sign language interpretations and foreign languages in its repertoire.