Jammin’ in June!

Life at the Wilmington Children’s Chorus is always busy!
Here’s what we’ve been up to this month…

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Let’s take a trip down memory lane, shall we?

Our year started on January 12, 2020. Choristers began rehearsals for our planned spring concert, titled This Land is Made for You and Me.

Our first performance in the new year! It’s a WCC tradition to honor the life of Martin Luther King, Jr. by singing spirituals at the Delaware Bar Association’s annual breakfast. 

Our first ever open rehearsal! We invited our families, donors, and friends across the community to come get a “behind-the-scenes” look at a WCC rehearsal. 

The last normal day. This rehearsal  was conducted by Maestro Amado from the Delaware Symphony Orchestra. At the time, they were preparing for a performance of Holst’s The Planets with the DSO.

WCC tries something brand new! Virtual rehearsals begin following WCC’s temporary closure on March 13th. We are so grateful for the dedication and flexibility of
our families. 

In a historic move, WCC transitions from a project of Cityfest (a non-profit affiliated with the Mayor’s Office) to a stand alone non-profit organization!
Pictured: our incredible Board of Directors!

WCC’s 15th annual summer camp looked different from years past. One thing remained – our 99 campers had an absolute blast and learned a lot! 

The moment we were together again! Words can’t express how joyful this moment was. Our choristers gathered in-person to record some of our spring season repertoire. 

WCC’s fall rehearsals begin! Our staff spent the summer researching mitigation practices and their hard work paid off. At the time, WCC was one of the only options for choristers to sing in-person in the state!

Our Virtual Neighborhood Choir program, a collaborative partnership with OperaDelaware Studios and community centers across Wilmington, connected students ages 5-12 with virtual music lessons. The lessons were viewed more than 8,000 times!
WCC’s Holiday Series presented music that celebrated every holiday from Halloween to New Year’s Eve! It’s safe to say the series was a hit. Our collective performances were viewed over 28,000 times!
We ended our season with an incredible fundraiser to support WCC! Our choristers and staff members presented their favorite carols and holiday songs. Together, we raised $6,500!
Thank you for being there for us!
You filled our 2020 with hope.
We hope we filled yours with music!

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.

Lianna at WCC’s 10th anniversary concert!

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!

Lianna interning at WCC’s summer camp!

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!

Teaching at our Academia Neighborhood Choir!

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.

WCC in 2008 with Mayor James M. Baker

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.”

Mayor Baker and Cityfest Director, Tina Betz, with WCC choristers at our 10th anniversary concert.

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!

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