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The mission of the Indianapolis Children’s Choir is to provide quality music education with the goal of attaining the highest level of artistic excellence in choral music performance.
As a performing and educational arts institution, ICC values:
- Personal and Social Growth - fostering a sense of self-worth, self-esteem, leadership, accomplishment, pride, and teamwork among our singers, parents/guardians, and audience members.
- Diversity and Accessibility - enriching the lives of children from all religious, racial, cultural, and economic backgrounds.
- Creativity and Excellence - striving to lead locally, nationally, and internationally.
Every week, thousands of young people in Central Indiana join together as members of the Indianapolis Children’s Choir. The 2010-2011 season is ICC’s 25th anniversary season, marking a quarter century of great work with remarkable kids and families. The staff, singers and families of the ICC share a commitment to the highest quality of music making and true artistic excellence. The whole organization enjoys musical experiences that reinforce mission driven goals of fostering a sense of self-esteem, discipline, respect, accomplishment and pride. The program proudly includes First Steps in Music, an early childhood division for 3 to 5 year olds, as well as a preparatory program for grades 1 through 4. The majority of the choirs meet at the ICC headquarters on the campus of Butler University. The eight performing choirs have children as young as 4th grade, and include theIndianapolis Youth Chorale, a choir for high school age teens. In addition, ICC sponsors several regional choirsrepresenting Hamilton County, Johnson County, Boone County Hendricks County, and a neighborhood choir, Indianapolis Eastside. The first ICC regional choir, now called the Columbus Indiana Children’s Choir, is celebrating its 15th anniversary.
Founded in 1986 by Artistic Director, Henry Leck, the ICC provides an opportunity for young people ages toddler through high school to learn, grow, and excel through quality instruction and experiences that emphasize the development of musical skills and understanding. The ICC has, for most of its history, been in residence on the campus of Butler University in Indianapolis where Mr. Leck is Director of Choral Activities. The large number of participants in the program represent the diversity of Central Indiana with over 2,500 children from 19 counties, including all of the Indianapolis area suburbs and nearby rural communities. These children represent over 352 schools, including 48 parochial schools, 14 private schools, 5 charter schools, and more than 73 home schools.
The Indianapolis Children’s Choir has performed in a wide variety of professional settings, helping set a standard of excellence in the children’s choral music world. The choirs of the ICC have performed often by audition for national professional music associations including the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA), Music Educators’ National Conference (MENC), the Organization of American Kodaly Educators (OAKE), the American Orff-Schulwerk Association (AOSA), the Collegiate Music Society (CMS), and the National Music Librarians. In March, 2007, the ICC performed at the ACDA National Convention in Miami which marks the fourth time that the organization has been selected for this prestigious honor. In the ICC’s home state of Indiana, they appear regularly at the statewide gatherings of music educators, choral conductors, and community and civic leaders.
The ICC’s ambitious yearly activities always include a season of concerts. In addition, the organization regularly appears with orchestras, professional artists and ensembles of the highest caliber, including numerous concerts with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, notably under the direction of one of the ICC’s best friends, Raymond Leppard. The choir has also shared the stage with the Canadian Brass, The Chieftains, Moscow Chamber Orchestra, Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, Carmel Symphony, Dance Kaleidoscope, Indianapolis Opera, Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra, Columbus Indiana Philharmonic, Judy Collins, Denyse Graves, Celine Dion, Sylvia McNair, and Sandi Patty. The ICC has recorded extensively including celebrated projects with the Canadian Brass, and with the Moscow Chamber Orchestra. A new video,"In Endless Song, was produced in conjunction with WFYI Teleplex to commemorate ICC’s 20th anniversary. In Endless Song has received critical acclaim and was seen in nearly fifty markets across the country. In the 2009-2010 season, ICC performed with Angela Brown, Indianapolis native and world renowned opera singer, and released a new CD, Angels Sing.
The ICC plays a central role in the cultural life of Central Indiana, participating in important civic events, celebrations, and remembrances. ICC singers have sung for Indiana gubernatorial inaugurations, the Governor’s Arts Awards, the Indiana Living Legends Award Gala, the Indiana Leadership Summit, the Tenth Pan Am Games, Presidential visits, Congressional Medal of Honor Memorial Dedication, the inaugural Indianapolis Prize, the closing ceremonies of the International Violin Competition of Indianapolis and more. In 2003, the choir presented Indianapolis’ first professional children’s opera, The Trio of Minuet, at Clowes Memorial Hall, and continued their collaboration with Indianapolis Opera in the 2008 production of Hansel and Gretel and the 2009 production of La Boheme. The ICC’s landmark performances at the 2004 FINA World Swimming Championships, with live performances of national anthems for all award ceremonies, have led to nationally televised performances at the NCCA Women’s Final Four Championship Game, US Grand Prix/Formula One, and the international Solheim Cup tournament. In 2010, ICC performed at the grand opening of "The Indiana Experience" at the Indiana History Center, and sang the national anthem in celebration of Kids Day for the Indiana Pacers.
Touring has become a consistent part of the Indianapolis Children’s Choir yearly plans. Both national and international tours have provided exceptional experiences for ICC singers and families with memorable concert trips to Argentina, Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, China, Czech Republic, England, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, New Zealand, Norway, Russia, Scotland, South Africa and Switzerland. 2009 was another busy touring year. The choirs participated in music festivals in Mexico, Guatemala and Portland, Oregon. In addition, the Indianapolis Youth Chorale toured New York City and even made an appearance on CBS Sunday Morning. In the summer of 2010, the choir toured to Hawaii to participate in the 10th annual Pacific Rim Children’s Choral Festival, festival for which Henry Leck is the Artistic Director.
- Stephen McCoy
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