Chicago Children’s Choir (Josephine Lee, President and Artistic Director) is the nation’s preeminent youth choral organization, serving over 5,000 students across the city of Chicago. Founded in Hyde Park in direct response to the Civil Rights Movement in 1956, CCC has grown from one choir into a vast network of in-school and after-school programs driven by one mission: to inspire and change lives through music.
CCC has impacted the lives of more than 50,000 diverse youth throughout its 62-year history. Since its founding, CCC has focused on building programs that reflect the racial and economic diversity of Chicago. Eighty percent of youth served are from low-moderate income homes, with over 4,000 students annually participating completely free of charge. All singers in CCC programs receive some level of subsidy. High school seniors enrolled in CCC have a 100% graduation and college acceptance rate, becoming global ambassadors who carry on CCC’s core values in a wide array of professional fields.
Under the leadership of President and Artistic Director Josephine Lee, Chicago Children’s Choir has achieved new heights and revolutionized the youth choral arts through innovative creative partnerships and new artistic endeavors. Recent projects include the world-premiere hip-hop musical Long Way Home, written and directed by the renowned Q Brothers Collective, which played to five sold-out houses in 2018; performance in a new staged production of Leonard Bernstein’s MASS under the direction of Marin Alsop in July 2018 with two frequent creative partners: the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Ravinia Festival; and collaboration on Chance the Rapper’s GRAMMY winning 2016 mixtape Coloring Book. CCC has served as a model for youth choirs across the country including Boston Children’s Chorus, Denver Children’s Choir and Indianapolis Children’s Choir.
As a national and international touring ensemble, Chicago Children’s Choir has performed throughout the United States, in Cuba, South Africa, India, Argentina, Uruguay, Korea, Canada, Japan and Europe and for such dignitaries as former President Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama, former President Bill Clinton, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, former Chinese President Hu Jintao, former South Korean President Lee Myung-Bak, Nelson Mandela, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and His Holiness the XIVth Dalai Lama Tenzin Gyatso.
CCC has performed with or for such acclaimed artists as Renée Fleming, Denyce Graves, Kathleen Battle, Luciano Pavarotti, Samuel Ramey, Yo-Yo Ma, Andrea Bocelli, Josh Groban, Enrique Iglesias, Quincy Jones, Al Green, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Bobby McFerrin, Kurt Elling, Celine Dion, Eddie Vedder and Beyoncé. Chicago Children’s Choir has five studio recordings – We All Live Here (2016), Holiday Harmony (2010), Songs on the Road to Freedom (2008), Sita Ram (2006) and Open Up Your Heart (2004).