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2016 Civil Rights Tour

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In June 2016, the Denver Children’s Choir (formerly the Rocky Mountain Children’s Choir) embarked on a 6-city tour of the Deep South, focusing on civil rights. Note by Note – Building a Better World was the culminating event for a year in which singers learned about the history and importance of the American Civil Rights Movement through the music they performed, special guest speakers, and educational workshops.

Highlights included presentations by Dr. Arthur Jones of Denver’s Spirituals Project and Ms. Carlotta LaNier, a member of the Little Rock Nine. The tour included visits to significant music venues and Civil Rights landmarks in Memphis, Little Rock, Helena, Birmingham, Selma and New Orleans, and collaborative concerts with local community groups. Immersing ourselves in the music and stories of the Civil Rights Movement has given our singers, families, and staff a better understanding of this part of our country’s history–and a clearer vision of what we can do today to make our world a better place.

The DCC’s bi-annual tour program offers important opportunities for meaningful cultural exchange and collaboration. For many of our singers, these tours are the first opportunities they have had to travel outside of the Denver metro area, and tuition assistance is made available to any child who needs it to participate. Past tours have included visits to New York, Iowa, Washington, D.C., Chicago, Austria, Hungary, Canada, Cambodia, France, Germany, and a combined tour to Austria, Hungary, and Slovakia. In addition to performing independently and with local children’s choirs on these tours, our singers can sightsee, stay with local host families, and experience for themselves the truly universal language of music.

The Note by Note tour included our Fourteeners (advanced female choir) and Mountain Aires (advanced male choir). Together, these two groups are known as Thin Air, our advanced ensemble performing a diverse repertoire for mixed voices. The singers are 12-18 years old, have strong backgrounds in choral singing, excellent vocal technique, and advanced sight-singing and musicianship skills.

The Denver Children’s Choir celebrated its 20th anniversary season in 2015-16, and our mission is as important today as it was when we began in 1995. Each year, we deliver choral programs in select schools and community-based settings throughout Denver to children ages 7-18 of diverse cultural and socio-economic backgrounds. Children learn to sing and read music while they develop self-confidence, build relationships, strive for excellence, and gain appreciation and respect for one another.

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