Members of the Washington County Children’s Chorus are as young as seven and become “Choristers Emitrius” after they graduate from high school, rejoining to perform with the Chorus during college breaks. Most members stay in the Chorus for multiple years.
WCCChorus is the only avenue for learning choral singing for many students in one of Maine’s most rural and remote counties. While the music the Chorus makes is beautiful in its own right, the opportunity for creative and personal growth in each member is even more dazzling. Much of this growth results from the self-discipline the children learn, the responsibility they learn to take, and the experience they gain from travel and meeting new people and situations.
WCCChorus has performed in concert in Washington County, Maine at numerous locations and events, including collaborative efforts with Down East Community Hospital in a program promoting healthy lifestyles for young people.
In 1999 the Chorus teamed up with a neighborhood chorus of the Chicago Children’s Choir and Bangor’s Heritage Singers to present concerts at the Performing Arts Center at the University of Maine at Machias and the Minsky Recital Hall at the University of Maine, Orono. In the fall of 1999 the WCCChorus provided “back-up” to folk superstar Judy Collins at her holiday concert at the Maine Center for Performing Arts in Orono. In the fall of 2000 the Chorus traveled to Chicago for a week of rehearsals, performances and sightseeing.
In 2004 the Chorus traveled to the European nation of Luxembourg to participate in the 60th anniversary of WW2’s Battle of the Bulge. Performing at various locations, both modern and ancient, and learning about the country’s history was a special adventure.
In 2006 the Chorus traveled to Washington DC where it performed at various venues and had an excellent guided tour of the nation’s capital.
The WCCChorus released a compact disc in 2001 entitled “A Little Downeast Christmas.” The release of a second CD, “Peace, Light and Joy Around the World” occurred in November, 2009.
In June, 2010 the Chorus toured Luxembourg in the heart of Europe for concerts and educational sightseeing. The Chorus teamed up with the Diekirsh Children’s Choir to participate in local events, performed in several concerts, met local students and musicians, entertained the Grand Duke and Duchess, and generally discovered what “the old world” is all about. On the evening of Diekirsh's 750th birthday our Washington County youngsters were the only out of town performers on an outdoor stage before thousands.
The Board of Directors and parents of the Chorus members made this an almost no cost trip for all Choristers. Parents and chaperones paid their own way. Our hosts in Luxembourg provided many of our meals at no cost.
In June, 2014 the WCCChorus took a ten day trip to the Burgundy region of France. This was a trip of a lifetime for many. The 30 Choristers ended up paying only $200 each, with that fee being waived in some cases. A highlight was a commemorative event in Duns les Place, site of a wartime atrocity against members and defenders of the French resistance near the end of WW2.
Plans are now coming together for a June, 2018 trip to the Burgundy region of France. The WCCChorus will team up with a local French Community Chorus for some concerts and tour local castles, cathedrals, villages and cities as well as participate in Europe’s June 21st Fête de la Musique (also known as World Music Day).
Please contribute and help this opportunity for this ensemble’s upcoming tour of Burgundy, France, become a reality!