Children's Chorus of Maryland (Towson, MD)

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Group of children laugh next to a piano

Members of the Children's Chorus of Maryland. Photo by Amy Jones

The Children's Chorus of Maryland (CCM) in Towson is dedicated to excellence in choral music performance and education. The CCM Conservatory Program is open to all children ages 5-16 who qualify by passing an audition. Each level of training is associated with a performing ensemble. In addition to the Conservatory Program, CCM provides an early childhood music program, Crickets, for children ages four to six. In 2000, CCM also founded a training program for music educators, the American Kodály Institute. Music teachers from all over the country participate in this three-year certificate program. Through its concerts, outreach programs, guest appearances, and broadcasts, CCM reaches a wide cross-section of audiences.

In FY 2004, CCM received an NEA Challenge America grant of $7,500 to support its Community Outreach Concerts for rural populations in Maryland. Two concerts were presented in Somerset and Washington Counties for audiences of 400-500 for each performance. In addition, CCM provided pre-concert workshops for students attending the concerts in the counties.

The concerts and workshops took place in Princess Anne (Somerset County) in March 2005 and Hagerstown (Washington County) in April. The concerts received an enthusiastic reception from audiences, which came from three counties. CCM also provided educational opportunities for local children attending the concerts through pre-concert "Side-by-Side Sings" workshops, which allowed children from the audience to sit with a child in the choir during a pre-concert rehearsal. Artistic director Betty Bertaux introduced important musical principles as well as important concepts such as discipline, teamwork, and focus required for performance.

(From the 2004 NEA Annual Report)