Announcing the Inaugural Season of the New Jersey State Children’s Chorus (NJSCC), an initiative of

Posted: Friday, April 22, 2016

Auditions to take place in May-June for Bergen County’s only community youth chorus
open to boys and girls in grades K-5

Ars Musica Chorale announces the formation of the New Jersey State Children’s Chorus for children in grades Kindergarten through five. Auditions for the NJSCC’s inaugural season will take place in the after school and evening hours on Tuesday, May 17th, Thursday, May 19th, Tuesday, May 24th, Thursday, May 26th, Monday, June 6th and Wednesday, June 8th at First Presbyterian Church, 722 East Ridgewood Avenue in Ridgewood, NJ. Requests for auditions can be submitted via the chorus website at www.njstatechildrenschorus.org. Weekly rehearsals will begin in September.

The only community youth chorus in Bergen County, NJSCC will consist of two ensembles. The Apprentice Choir is open to boys and girls in grades Kindergarten through two, and the Intermediate Choir is open to boys and girls in grades three through five. Both ensembles will feature approximately 40 singers. A third ensemble designed for middle school students is planned for the future.

The chorus will be led by Artistic Director Dusty Francis, accomplished choral singer, conductor, teacher, and current Music Director of Ars Musica Chorale. “Singing in a children's chorus is a transformational experience, and it's an opportunity Ars Musica believes every child should have,” said Francis. “Bergen County is fortunate to have many wonderful activities for children, but there is no community children's chorus in the area. We saw the need and felt we were able to fill it with the formation of the New Jersey State Children’s Chorus.”

While auditions for the chorus are required, any child with an interest in choral singing is welcome to participate in the audition process. “I truly believe every child can sing, so our auditions are primarily designed to give children an opportunity to let their personalities and unique musical gifts shine through,” Francis explained. “We're looking for children with an interest in music and the maturity necessary to participate fully in a weekly choral rehearsal.”

Rehearsals for both the Apprentice and Intermediate choirs will be held at First Presbyterian Church, 722 East Ridgewood Avenue, Ridgewood, NJ on Tuesday afternoons from September through June. The Apprentice Choir rehearses from 4:00–5:00pm. The Intermediate Choir rehearses from 5:30–6:45pm. Two performances are planned for the inaugural season.

Francis appreciates the value that school and religious choirs bring to the community and hopes NJSCC members would continue their involvement in these programs. “There are some truly wonderful existing music programs in Bergen County, and we're working very hard to position ourselves not as a competing choir but a complementary choir,” said Francis. “Singers in NJSCC will learn valuable skills that can be transferred to their church and school music programs and to the rest of their lives.”

According to Francis, parent organization Ars Musica lends to NJSCC a depth of expertise, experience, and leadership with fifty years of successful artistic and financial operations. “We're very fortunate to have Ars Musica as a resource as we launch our inaugural season,” he said.

Tuition for the full season (September through June) is $650 for the Apprentice Choir and $750 for the Intermediate Choir. Tuition includes all vocal instruction, rehearsals, music, staff, and applicable facility rental fees. A $50 non-refundable registration fee is due once a spot in the chorus is offered and accepted. Payment plans and financial assistance are available for those who qualify.

About the New Jersey State Children’s Chorus
The New Jersey State Children’s Chorus, an initiative of Ars Musica and based in Ridgewood, New Jersey, is Bergen County’s only community children’s chorus, fostering camaraderie and leadership through choral singing. Its mission is to achieve choral excellence through musicianship training, community building, and performance, empowering young people from every cultural and economic background to become leaders in their classrooms and their communities. The NJSCC consists of two ensembles. The Apprentice Choir is open to boys and girls in grades Kindergarten through two, and the Intermediate Choir is open to boys and girls in grades three through five. The inaugural 10-month season of the NJSCC will kick off in September, 2016 and auditions are scheduled for May and June. Weekly rehearsals for both the Apprentice and Intermediate Choirs will be held in Ridgewood, NJ on Tuesday afternoons/evenings under the leadership of Artistic Director Dusty Francis.

For more information about the New Jersey State Children’s Chorus, including rehearsal and performance schedules, audition details and/or to request an audition, visit www.njstatechildrenschorus.org.