Meet our New ED!
WCC’s new Executive Director, Lianna Magerr, sat down to answer some of your questions about WCC!
You’re new to your position, but you’ve been with WCC for a long time. What is your WCC story?
I joined the WCC musical family as a chorister! I auditioned in 2007 as an eighth-grader and it was a life-changing experience. I grew up in the suburbs of Pennsylvania, so being exposed to the City of Wilmington and a new, diverse group of friends shaped my world view. That’s the magic of WCC – bringing young people from all walks of life together and uniting them through music!
It’s been quite a journey since then! I love this organization so much, I never left. I worked as an intern all through high school and college. Later, I became the Manager of Operations and one of our Neighborhood Choir teachers. All of those experiences helped me get to know the organization deeply and prepared me for my new role.
What is your favorite WCC moment throughout the years?
There are so many to choose from! From my very first performance with WCC (singing at the Barack Obama Rally in 2008!) to our 10th-anniversary concert, our international exchanges, and our transition to our own, separate 501(c)(3). But I think the moments that are really sticking out for me lately are the ordinary moments we all took for granted before the pandemic. Some of my favorite moments with WCC have been simple – like hugging our Neighborhood Choir students when I walk into the classroom, laughing with our choristers, goofing off backstage, and chasing after kids at rehearsals. I miss those moments, and can’t wait to get back to them!
What has it been like taking a new role in the middle of a pandemic?
Wow! It’s been more challenging and rewarding than I ever could have imagined. I’m so proud and humbled to work on behalf of these amazing kids every day. I’ve also been really inspired by our community and the ways we’ve come together. I won’t lie – it’s been an emotional time, but I believe in this organization and I’ve seen what we can accomplish when we stand together!
What is your dream for the future of WCC?
I am so excited about the future of WCC! I believe that music can transform children’s lives and that access to music should be considered a fundamental right as part of their holistic education. My dream for WCC is to help bring music to every child in our city and across our region. Working together with our partners, we can empower all children to change their world through music.
Watch: This Land is Made for You and Me
During a time when the future of many singing-based groups is uncertain, the Wilmington Children’s Chorus (WCC) is paving the way forward for Delaware’s arts organizations. In late July, WCC gathered members of our Performing Choirs outdoors to sing together for the first time since March.\
These outdoor rehearsals looked vastly different from rehearsals pre-COVID. WCC gathered choristers in groups of 30 or less. Children were required to complete symptom screenings and had their temperature taken upon arrival. All choristers were kept 8 feet apart and the singers and staff wore masks at all times. The successful gatherings will serve as a model for our fall season.
Not only was this an opportunity to see each other in-person for the first time in four months, it was also an opportunity to honor the music of our spring season. While this isn’t how we planned to present “This Land is Made for You and Me,” we are still strong believers in its message.
One in 11 Delaware residents is an immigrant. We’re proud to present highlights from “This Land is Made for You and Me,” a musical celebration of Delaware’s five largest immigrant populations from Mexico, China, India, Guatemala, and the Philippines. WCC is proud to stand together with our friends and neighbors who call Delaware “home”!
Please enjoy highlights from what would have been our spring concert, titled “This Land is Made for You and Me.”
For the past 18 years, WCC has been a project of Cityfest, Inc. It is with great pride that we announce our transition to an independent, tax-exempt organization!
The Wilmington Children’s Chorus was founded in 2002 during former Mayor James Baker’s administration. Under the leadership of Cityfest Director, Tina Betz, and our founding Artistic Director, David Christopher, the dream of a community children’s chorus for the City of Wilmington, offered at no cost to participants, was born.
This transition marks nearly two decades of growth and service, made possible through generous support from Cityfest, the City of Wilmington, and three mayoral administrations.
“We are grateful for eighteen years of support from the City of Wilmington, without which our choir would not exist,” said WCC’s newly appointed Executive Director, Lianna Magerr. “We are proud to continue serving the children of Wilmington through our extensive, year-round, tuition-free programming.”
The staff and board of WCC would like to extend our most heartfelt thanks to every chorister, family member, supporter, donor, and friend who has joined us along the way. We’re grateful for nearly two decades of joy, love, and music, and we look forward to many decades to come!
It has been a busy two weeks for the choristers and staff of the Wilmington Children’s Chorus! We’ve welcomed 44 new singers into our musical family, rehearsals have begun, and our Concert Choir has already showcased their talents in their first performance!
All 70 members of our Youth Choir are working hard to prepare for their concerts this season. They took some time out of their very first rehearsal to impress their parents with a performance of “Kwaheri”, a Kenyan folk song, at the conclusion of their parent meeting.
Select Choir and Young Men’s Ensemble are preparing repertoire for our annual Candlelight Concerts in December, that will feature music from the British Isles. Select Choir is preparing Benjamin Britten’s A Ceremony of Carols, a stunning, eleven movement masterpiece for treble choir and harp.
Our Concert Choir spent their first rehearsal getting ready for their performance at “302 Guns Down”, on the 3rd annual Day of Peace in Wilmington. “WCC stands with the City of Wilmington today, and with all families affected by gun violence in our city. It’s an honor to lend our voices in support of today’s message,” said Assistant Director, Philip Doucette.
There are many more exciting events happening this season! Be sure to follow us on Facebook for more pictures, videos, and updates!
WCC Summer Camp is the highlight of our summers, and we know it’s yours too! Don’t miss out this year – our camp will be held from June 26-30.
Our camp has something for everyone – the beginning treble singer, the advanced middle school singer, and the young man experiencing a voice change. All are welcome to join us for a fun week of music, swimming, bowling, and movies!
For more information on registration, as well as partial and full financial aid, please visit the Summer Camp page of our website.
We can’t wait to see you there!
WCC can’t wait to welcome our good friends from Fulda, Germany this summer! Before the Orchestra arrives, we thought we should take some time to review our history with the Fulda Youth Orchestra. The seeds of this special collaboration were planted in August of 2011 when the WCC conducted its first cultural exchange to Wilmington’s Sister Cities of Fulda, Germany and Nemours, France, with the support of then Mayor James M. Baker and then President of Cityfest, Inc., Tina Betz. The success of that exchange marked the beginning of a long-term effort to regularly expose the youth of Wilmington to the global community while serving as representatives of the best that the city has to offer. “Many choirs tour, but this kind of cultural exchange goes a step further,” explains WCC’s Artistic Director Kimberly Doucette. “By connecting with like-minded ensembles from Wilmington’s sister cities, sharing their homes, and making music together, we are not just making art; we’re fostering lasting friendships and creating experiences that will make our choristers more confident in today’s world.”
We built on those friendships and experiences in 2013, when we hosted members of the orchestra here at home. During this incredible Festival Week, we worked hard to learn challenging music by Schubert, Mendelssohn, Brahms, Bernstein, Rodgers & Hammerstein and others. The week culminated in a sold out concert at St. Helena’s Catholic Church.
Two years later, WCC traveled back to Fulda! 47 of our high school aged members stayed with host families and members of the orchestra, for a true immersion experience. Over a week of activities, rehearsals, and bonding with our German friends culminated in a standing room only concert at the Klosterkirche am Frauenberg, a Baroque church located on a site dating back to the Middle Ages. The concert selections featured works by Mozart, Vivaldi, Fauré, and other classical composers.
This special tradition will only continue to grow. We are thrilled to reunite with old friends, and make new ones this summer!