“Shaping young lives through musical excellence.”The St. Louis Children’s Choirs gives young singers exceptional musical training and character development through the performance of high quality choral literature and world-class performance opportunities.
The St. Louis Children’s Choirs is a nationally recognized music-education program with 450 talented young singers (ages 6 to 18) from over 200 schools and 85 zip codes. Young singers achieve music excellence and character development through the performance of high quality choral literature and world-class performance opportunities, and the experience is transformational. Advanced ensembles tour nationally and internationally and perform as the official children’s choirs of the St. Louis Symphony.
Now in its 39th season, The St. Louis Children’s Choirs is a proven mentoring place for young singers. Children learn to perform as young professionals bringing classical, folk, sacred, contemporary, and world music to the stage for everyone to enjoy!
Participation in the Choirs develops life skills such as self-discipline, commitment, focused concentration, and respect for diversity. Letters from graduating seniors have expressed gratitude for the “moral and artistic compass” the Choirs has provided for them, and “the profound influence this experience has had on their lives.” Parents say they believe the Choirs’ mentoring helps children learn and develop in a variety of positive ways, academically and socially, and gives them a positive outlook on the future. Educators say they can tell which students participate in the Choirs because of their leadership in school and encouragement of others to become team players and succeed in what they do. Music colleagues and supporters of the arts say the Children’s Choirs is a valuable part of St. Louis’ cultural and artistic environment. Learn more at “Quotes & Remarks.”
St. Louis SymphonyAs the official children’s choirs of the St. Louis Symphony, the Children’s Choirs has the privilege of performing regularly with the orchestra. Previous seasons have included Orff’s Carmina Burana, Shore’s The Lord of the Rings, Berlioz’s The Damnation of Faust, Adam’s El Niño, Britten’s War Requiem, Adam’s On the Transmigration of Souls under Maestro David Robertson at Powell Hall and Carnegie Hall, Salvator Mundi by William Mathias, selections from Musik für Kinder, Homecoming with composer/conductor Leonard Slatkin, Bizet’s Carmen, and The Polar Express and Elijah’s Angels.
Other performing partners include the Ambassadors of Harmony, the Bach Society of Saint Louis, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, and choruses from the University of Missouri-St. Louis and Webster University.
History and GovernanceThe St. Louis Children’s Choirs was established in 1978 by Diane Finley whose vision set the artistic and organizational foundation for the Choirs. In 1982, Ethelyn Sparfeld became Artistic Director and over the next 17 years the Choirs achieved national and international recognition. In 1985, the Choir performed in Japan and in the years following they toured to Canada, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and twice to Russia, as well as eight national choir tours. Barbara Berner was appointed Artistic Director in 1999.
The St. Louis Children’s Choirs are governed by a board of directors comprised of parent and community leaders who are devoted to the mission, success, and community outreach of the organization. In 2013, The St. Louis Children’s Choirs was honored to receive a “What’s Right with the Region” award for Promoting Stronger Communities from FOCUS St. Louis! The St. Louis Children’s Choirs is one of the largest children’s choir programs in the United States and has the privilege of working with the next generation of talented young artists.
Board of Directors
Deborah Grossman, Community Volunteer
Tony Aiazzi, The Moneta Group
Barbara Berner, The St. Louis Children’s Choirs
Charlotte Bohlmann, Community Volunteer
Michael Case, MasterCard International
Eugene Cunningham, Boeing
Charles T. Gooden, Retired/Harris Stowe University
Catherine Hentges, Brown Smith Wallace, LLC
Chris Koo, Edward Jones
Fred Kostecki, RubinBrown
Amy Kramer, Community Volunteer
Bruce Lane, BJC Healthcare
Libby McCandless, Community Volunteer
Dana Redwing, Eastern Region of the Missouri Attorney General’s Office
Katie Schwaneke, Community Volunteer
Dave Shuey, Siemens PLM Software
Robert Steen, RES for Research
Donna Zoeller, Waddell and Reed