Tag Archives: irma taute

One more chance to join Children’s Chorus of SA

One more chance to join Children’s Chorus of SA – mysanantonio.com

The Children’s Chorus of San Antonio will hold one last round of placements for the 2014-15 season on Sept. 5-6 at Alamo Heights United Methodist Church, 825 E. Basse Road.

The chorus, which has several ensembles, is open to young performers ages 8 to 22. Those who participate will learn vocal technique and musicianship. No experience is required to take part, and financial aid is available for those who qualify.

Registration can be made through the Children’s Chorus Web site.


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.

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 – Addison Cook

add_scanIn middle school, I chose to play an instrument over being in the school choir because my school schedule wouldn’t allow for both.  However, I loved to sing so my parents had me try out for CCSA.  I thought it would be a substitute for that school choir experience but quickly saw how CCSA would be so much more than that for me.  The music was harder, later with complicated rhythms and harmonies.  These made learning and perfecting them more of an accomplishment than I would have experienced in public school. As the music got to be more complex and challenging, my enjoyment singing with the CCSA increased in proportion. Also, the caliber of the voices in the groups made the performances sound amazing and I felt satisfied and proud after every single one.

Singing with CCSA has made me a great listener, a better performer, and a more accomplished singer.  The past seven years have helped fine-tune my musicianship as well.  Some of the experiences I had with CCSA, such as singing with the San Antonio Symphony Orchestra and going to Washington D.C. were astonishing, and made me feel like a professional singer.

Ms. McCormick and Ms. Taute have always made me feel extremely valued and treated me with great kindness.  I am glad I got to be a member such an awesome organization and will miss these wonderful teachers/directors who I’ve spent a significant portion of my life with.

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’s season continues with a celebration fit for Winter

ImageWho: The Children’s Chorus of San Antonio
What: Winter Magic
Where: St. Mark the Evangelist Catholic Church, 1602 Thousand Oaks Drive
When: Sunday, December 8 @ 2:30pm

New time and location! Start your holiday festivities with a celebration of favorite songs and carols! CCSA’s training and elite choirs will all perform in our most popular celebration of the season – bring your singing voice as you never know when the audience may join along in song! Tickets to this and all concerts are available by clicking childrenschorussa.org or calling 210.826.3447.

Season Information
CCSA is celebrating its 30th Anniversary and continues to provide exceptional experiences in choral music education and performance to over 400 young people annually. Season highlights include a combined concert with the Youth Orchestras of San Antonio as part of the San Antonio Symphony’s Dvorak Festival, performances with the San Antonio Symphony in June 2014, and a rousing tribute to retiring Founder and Artistic Director Marguerite McCormick as she conducts her final concert in May 2014.

Exciting things are happening at CCSA! From all walks and corners of greater San Antonio our singers represent the rich tapestry of our City and radiate the joy that comes from singing. Join us as we shape our future – one voice at a time.

CCSA holding placements September 4-7; it’s not too late!

ImageWho: The Children’s Chorus of San Antonio
What: placements for our 2013-2014 season
When: September 4 through 7
Where: various locations; visit childrenschorussa.org for details

It’s not too late to join CCSA! Placements will be held September 4 through 7 to join for the 2013 – 2014 30th Anniversary season. Boys and girls ages 7-18 rehearse weekly during the academic year in one of seven training and performance ensembles; they learn musicianship and vocal technique – and develop valuable life-long skills including confidence, poise, self-esteem and discipline. No prior experience is necessary and financial assistance is available to qualified families. Visit childrenschorussa.org for additional information and to register.

Season Information
CCSA is celebrating its 30th Anniversary and continues to provide exceptional experiences in choral music education and performance to over 400 young people annually. Season highlights include a recital featuring four rising stars from the CCSA alumni ranks in November 2013, a combined concert with the Youth Orchestras of San Antonio as part of the San Antonio Symphony’s Dvorak Festival, performances with the San Antonio Symphony in June 2014, and a rousing tribute to retiring Founder and Artistic Director Marguerite McCormick as she conducts her final concert in May 2014.

Need more info?
Looking for more info on The CCSA and our season events? Check out our Facebook fan page or our website where you will find audio and video, placement information, latest news and more!

About The Children’s Chorus of San Antonio
The CCSA was founded in 1983 with the mission to bring choral music education and performance opportunities to San Antonio’s young artists. Programs include seven performing ensembles for children and youth ages 7 – 18; Music Together® with CCSA, an early-childhood music and movement program for infants and toddlers ages birth – 5 in four locations including Haven for Hope; Big Kids® for youngsters ages 5 – 7; and Project: Sing!, neighborhood-based satellite ensembles for elementary-aged children in Harlandale, San Antonio, South San Antonio and Edgewood school districts. CCSA Singers represent San Antonio and surrounding communities, performing in a variety of concerts throughout the city. Advanced choirs have traveled nationwide with feature performances, toured Europe and Canada and have been featured on NBC-TV’s Today Show. CCSA ensembles regularly perform with the San Antonio Symphony and the San Antonio Mastersingers among others.

For additional information on CCSA, its auditions or programs, please call 210.826.3447 or visit www.childrenschorussa.org.