Tag Archives: ccsa

Now accepting applications for Artistic Director!

Join our Team!

The 2014-2015 season marks the start of a new era for CCSA and we invite you to be a part of the future! One of the founding principles of CCSA is to reach every child who has the desire to sing, using creative and engaging programming that supports and nurtures their musical potential and, moreover, encourages their growth as creative individuals and as socially responsible citizens.

Position | Artistic Director

Position: The Children’s Chorus of San Antonio seeks qualified applicants for Artistic Director. Primary responsibilities involve supervision of all artistic elements of the program and to conduct rehearsals and performances for one or more of the ensembles. The qualified candidate will be a visible advocate for the program in the local and larger community including but not limited to local schools and districts, universities and the larger choral entities. The Artistic Director works with the Executive Director and Board as part of CCSA’s leadership to create a clear vision for the organization ensuring future growth and sustainability.

Required Qualifications: An advanced degree in music, a record of successful artistic experience as a conductor of choral ensembles for children and young adults. Preferred qualifications include successful experiences in leadership of a children’s/youth chorus, and a record of successful recruitment. Additional qualifications include the ability to work effectively with music education professionals and professional musicians, and the ability to communicate effectively. This is a full-time position requiring residency in San Antonio.

Click here to visit our website and access the online application.


2014-2015 Faculty Announced

As we prepare for a new era of music-making in the Tobin Center, we welcome a mix of new and seasoned faculty members to teach our advanced and junior choruses. Meet your team below!

Dr. Doreen Rao, interim artistic director, is known the world over for her ground-breaking work in the field of music education. After receiving her bachelor’s degree in voice and music education from the University of Illinois, she earned both her master’s degree in voice performance and a Ph.D. in music education from Northwestern University. Rao currently holds the Cameron Baird Conductor’s Chair and is the music director and conductor of the Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus. During her long association with the Chicago Symphony Chorus and Orchestra, she prepared her Glen Ellyn Children’s Chorus (Anima) for concerts, tours, and four Grammy Award-winning recordings.

Irma Taute, associate director of the advanced choruses, is in her 20th season with CCSA. A music educator for more than four decades, she has taught at school districts and universities all across Texas. Taute received both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music education from Texas A&I (A&M) University in Kingsville. She is active in the San Antonio choral scene, conducting local region choirs, holding leadership positions for multiple local music organizations, and working as a clinician and adjudicator. Taute has maintained a private voice studio for more than 30 years.

Chalon Murray, associate director of the junior choruses, brings with her 25 years of experience leading choirs and teaching children in both church and academic settings. She received her bachelor’s degree in voice performance, with a minor in piano, from the Wheaton College Conservatory of Music, and she earned her master’s degree in choral conducting from the Boston Conservatory. Arriving in San Antonio in 2005, Murray helped develop the choir program at the Atonement Academy and  is currently the director of music and organist at St. Helena’s Episcopal Church.

Rebecca Morgan, assistant conductor of the advanced choruses, holds the distinction of being the first CCSA alumna to join the staff, having sung with the organization from 1987 – 1991. She earned her bachelor’s degree in music education from Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey, and is currently pursuing her master’s degree in music education from Texas State University. Morgan currently teaches music at the Montessori School of San Antonio and is also the music director at Northwood Presbyterian Church. Sharing her passion for music with those who need it most, she piloted Music Together at Haven for Hope and the Project: Sing South community outreach program.

LeeAnn Valcarcel, assistant conductor of the junior choruses, has taught choral and music classes around the nation for the past eight years. She graduated cum laude from Stetson University in DeLand, Florida, with a bachelor’s degree in music education and an emphasis on voice. Having recently relocated to Texas, Valcarcel is currently pursuing a master’s degree in choral conducting from the University of Texas at San Antonio. She has taught music classes and directed choirs at the elementary, middle, and high school levels and is an accomplished accompanist, private voice and piano teacher, and published composer.


We also welcome David Lopez, accompanist of the advanced choruses, and Kevin Baxter, accompanist of the junior choruses.

Advanced Ensembles Rehearse with Dr. Doreen Rao

IRaoPRshot (1)n preparation for the opening of the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts, CCSA’s treble and mixed advanced ensembles gathered last week for four days of rehearsal with Interim Artistic Director Dr. Doreen Rao.

Rao flew in from Chicago to not only teach new music for next season, but to also bond with the ensembles and foster a community of support before the season even begins. She will return to San Antonio in late July when she directs the 2014 Elementary Honor Choir at the TCDA Convention, held July 27-30.

The singers were excited to work with Rao, describing her as “enthusiastic,” “energetic,” and “hip.”

“I like her vibe,” said Mishel Malik, a CCSA singer in the mixed chorus. “She’s active, she’s…youthful, she knows us, she understands us…I like her.”

“I think of her as…very fun, and she has set the bar high for us,” added Luna Montoya, who is also in the mixed chorus.

Rao is known the world over for her groundbreaking work in the field of music education. Appointed music director and conductor of the Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus in 2008, Rao holds the Cameron Baird Conductor’s Chair. She also holds the University of Toronto’s Elmer Iseler Chair in Conducting Emeritus. During Rao’s long association with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, she prepared the award-winning Glen Ellyn Children’s Chorus (Anima) for concerts, tours, and recorded performances that won four Grammy Awards and a Grand Prix du Disque under Sir George Solti, Margaret Hillis, Claudio Abbado, and James Levine.

Rao blog1

Senior Reflections – Mary Shannon Di Filippo

Being a part of CCSA has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. It has given me so many opportunities to meet new people and experience things that I would never have been able to otherwise. The friends I have met, lessons I have learned, and the memories I have made are things I will carry with me for the rest of my life. There is a story Mrs. McCormick tells on the last day of the season opening retreat. The story is about a tribe in Africa and in this tribe every member has a special song that the other members sing to them at crucial life transitions. I may not have grown up in that African tribe, but I have found my song.  I will be forever grateful to Mrs. McCormick, Mrs. Taute, and my family for teaching me my song and singing it to me when I forget it. As I leave CCSA, I know that in life sometimes I will lose, but I will frequently win and either way I am deeply loved by God, my family, and my friends at CCSA. There may be moments when I feel a little warbly, but so have all the great singers, and if I just keep singing I’ll find my way home.

Senior Reflections – Sofia Greimel-Garza

ChoirSofiaPortrait (1)I have been a member of CCSA since I was 7 years old.  These 11 years in the choir have been filled with wonderful friendships, top-notch instruction and repertoire, special opportunities to learn from collaborations with professional musicians, and the privilege of bringing music to our community through a great variety of venues.

When I began in the Prelude Choir, Mrs. Morgan’s playfulness drew me in. Then Mrs. Taute and Mrs. McCormick took over the process of making me musically literate and supporting the development of my voice.  They have challenged me with learning difficult and truly beautiful repertoire, always motivating me to give more in a climate of joy and respect.  They have instilled in me a sense of commitment and reciprocity.  All of our voices work together to make the music.  This is at the heart of my friendships with my fellow singers.  Mrs. Taute and Mrs. McCormick have also helped me to begin to develop a set of public professional skills that will serve me for a lifetime, such as punctuality, professional attire, posture, diction, and delivery.

Over the years we have had so many wonderful opportunities to make music with talented musicians, like the Mastersingers, YOSA, the San Antonio Symphony under both Ken David Masur and Sebastian Lang-Lessing, the San Antonio Opera, as well as visiting directors, like Barbara Baker.  While singing with the Young People’s Choir of New York City I felt the immense power of joining voices with other youth to bring music to the people.  I am forever thankful for my time with CCSA.

Senior Reflections – Daniel Velasquez

DSC_0688 (2)My time in CCSA has been wonderful. I started when I was in the 4th grade, nine years ago, in the junior chorus. I remember how I loved going to rehearsal but how scared I was of making a mistake in front of Mrs. McCormick, however my enjoyment of singing kept me returning week after week. Eventually, I realized that she was just trying to develop me into the best singer I could be. This tradition of excellence and discipline continued throughout my years in CCSA and transitioned into many aspects of life besides choir. Many of my successes, outside of choir, I attribute to the discipline and dedication to detail that I learned from Mrs. McCormick and Ms. Taute.  I have many happy and fond memories, i.e. the first Luminaria; practicing and singing Barbershop with Ms. Taute and her “Men”; singing with the Symphony on my birthday and being transported by pedicab; the New York trip; the very recent composers’ concert and many many more memories.  The friends I’ve made and the experiences I’ve been fortunate to have will be something I’ll always cherish.  Thank you Mrs. McCormick and Ms. Taute for always believing in me!

Senior Reflections – Sara Tuscher

scan0002 (1)For the past 11 years, CCSA has been like my family. I remember going to Kindermusik at age 4 and 5 and my teacher, Ms. Patti, recommended it to my mom. I started at age 7, with the wonderful Miss Morgan, and ever since, CCSA has been a part of my identity. I’ve had some very cool experiences, and it has really helped with my self-confidence. Singing the solo in “Here’s to Song” will be bittersweet, but hopefully not too emotional, since I now know I am always welcome back until I am 22. I am not one to force things on people, but if you love music, singing, and performing, I would definitely recommend CCSA.

Senior Reflections – Cory Gonzales

5x7 Gonzales Cory (2)Looking back at my time in the Children’s Chorus of San Antonio, I can’t help but remember all the amazing moments that I have had and the skills I have gained over the last 7 years.  I know I will use the knowledge I gained from this experience in my study of music in college.  However, as I write this I find myself getting sentimental and know I will miss my weekly choir routine.  It is hard to put into words the feeling I experienced making music with this group.  All I can say is that being in the choir was the best choice I ever made.  I am grateful for the potential that Ms. Taute and Mrs. McCormick saw in me and the wonderful experience of singing with the Children’s Chorus.

CCSA readying for 30th anniversary alumni reunion


Since you left CCSA, have you ever wondered about your fellow singers?

  • Whatever happened to that smokin’ hot tenor?
  • That loveable chaperone who went on tour?
  • That weight-lifter in the bass section?
  • That flighty accompanist? That popular soprano?
  • That dark-eyed goth in the alto section?

Well, this is your chance to find out! Please join your friends from across the decades as we reunite and reconnect for our 30th Anniversary alumni reunion and concert.

Alumni Reunion | Saturday May 3

  • Saturday May 3 – Reunion | 6-9pm | Radius Center, 106 Auditorium Circle, SATX 78205
  • Reservations: $30.00 per person; $40.00 after April 11th
  • Buffet dinner – cash bar
  • Dress: Fiesta casual
  • Toasts and tributes to Mrs. McCormick
  • Impromptu rehearsal for Sunday’s concert
  • Ages 18 and older are invited to attend; bring your significant other! Former liaisons, chaperones and parents welcome!

Click here to RSVP today at the early bird price! Your reservation to the alumni reunion also includes your ticket to Mrs. McCormick’s final concert on May 4 (see next).

Final concert | Sunday May 4

On Sunday May 4, all CCSA choirs and special guests will present their final concert of the 30th Anniversary season and a stirring tribute to Marguerite McCormick as she conducts her final concert with CCSA. And, yes, you will be singing! All alumni are invited to join in for the final section of the concert to perform O Music, Here’s to Song and For the Beauty of the Earth. We can’t think of a better way to honor Mrs. McCormick than to join together in a community of song.

Your ticket to Spring Song is included in your RSVP to the alumni reunion (see above). Not attending the reunion and would like to attend the concert? Click here for tickets!

Don’t remember the words?

Need to brush up on the tunes? Click here to send us a quick note and we will supply you with PDF’s of the music and MP3’s of the parts and accompaniment to help you prepare.

CCSA and YOSA to perform as part of Dvorak Festival

Youth Orchestra Gives San Antonio Kids Chance To Thrive – KABB – San Antonio Focus on South Texas – News, Sports, Weather, Traffic.

CCSA will perform with YOSA and members of the San Antonio Symphony as part of the citywide Dvorak festival on Sunday January 26, 7pm at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church. Tickets start at $8 and are available by clicking here or calling 210.826.3447.