Children’s Choir offers musical message of hope
The Chicago Children's Choir brings diverse kids together through music. | Photo by Kenny Kim
Chicago Children’s Choir, Bethel United Church of Christ, 315 E. St. Charles Road, Elmhurst
3:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. Dec. 1
musicatbethel.com or (630) 279-4040
Updated: November 28, 2012 1:34PM
Olivia Boen can’t believe how much she’s learned in less than two years with the Chicago Children’s Choir.
The 17-year-old River Forest resident says being in this choir has been transformative.
“I think it’s safe to say that I’ve always been an open-minded person and I’ve been very welcoming to people of different backgrounds and different types, but choir has really brought in my view of the world and has made me completely accepting of everyone,” she said.
The Chicago Children’s Choir calls itself a “multiracial, multicultural, choral music education organization,” on its website, www.ccchoir.org. In fact, it was founded by the late Christopher Moore during the Civil Rights Movement in 1956..
“He wanted to bring children of diverse backgrounds together during that very difficult time of the race riots,” explained Judy Hanson, director of choral programs at the choir, “and he believed that if children of diverse backgrounds sang together, they would understand themselves better, understand each other and understand the world because all people feel music.”
Today there are 3,000 Chicago-area members in the Emmy Award-winning choir, and it’s top tier group of singers will perform a holiday concert on Dec. 1 at Bethel United Church of Christ at 315 East St. Charles Road in Elmhurst. The concert will consist of classical and gospel music, holiday favorites and world music.
What makes this choir different than your average choir is “they understand through music they’re really shaping the world and changing the world for the better,” Hanson said.
Boen, a senior at Oak Park and River Forest High School, said the choir’s a message of hope is “something that everyone, especially in this country really needs.”
She added that her passion for music and her friend base have been enhanced by her experience in the choir.
“I didn’t know kids from all over the city before,” she said, “and I didn’t know people from all over with different backgrounds and different interests. It’s made me connect with people that I wouldn’t necessarily have, and it’s just amazing because we all come together and make amazing music.”