Chicago Children’s Choir singers are connecting across the city!
Select your age range to find a connection session:
About Singer to Singer Community Connections
Many of our CCC singers say that what they love most about the choir is meeting people of all different backgrounds and making new friends. This is your chance to connect with some members of your CCC family around the city without ever leaving your house! You can even bring your lunch as some of the leaders in our top-performing ensemble, Voice of Chicago, guide you in a variety of activities such as ice breakers, Q and A’s about music and performing and discussions about current topics.
Prerequisite: Conversations are available for CCC singers who were enrolled in the 2019/20 season.
Meet your peer moderators!
Singer to Singer Community Connections are moderated by Voice of Chicago singers who have demonstrated incredible leadership skills during their time in CCC.
Gabriela Allemana My name is Gabi Allemana and I am in my 10th year in CCC as a senior at Whitney M. Young High School. Growing up in the Albany Park Neighborhood Choir and Honors Choir, I worked my way up to VOC in 2015. I have had several special CCC memories such as touring Spain and Italy with VOC, working with Jamila Woods on her HEAVN tour, participating in Common’s music video and performing in the NBA All-Star game with Queen Latifah. This past year, I served on VOC’s elected Singers Council as the only underclassman. I am currently president of Whitney Young’s only a cappella club and a Freshman Mentor.
Charlotte Amoako My name is Charlotte Amoako and I am a 17 year old, rising senior at Dwight D. Eisenhower High School. My first year in CCC, I enrolled in the Hyde Park Neighborhood Choir Presto ensemble. I spent 4 years learning music from different cultures and built connections with fellow peers. During this time, I was granted the opportunity to perform at many wonderful venues such as Kenwood Academy and Rockefeller Chapel. I also toured across the country. This year will be my 4th and final year in VOC. Over the past few years, I’ve gained lots of knowledge about the true meaning of music. I’ve also created even stronger bonds with my peers and learned so much about myself. Because I was given the opportunity to perform at places such as Ravinia, The Palmer House and United Center, I find that I am very appreciative of what this program has to offer.
Isaiah Calaranan My name is Isaiah Calaranan. I was a part of CCC for 10 years and have participated in Armstrong ISP, Rogers Park Neighborhood Choir, Honors Choir, Dimension and VOC. I have traveled to Detroit, Indianapolis, Italy and Spain. I have performed with Bobby Mcferrin, Chance the Rapper, Yo-Yo Ma, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Ted Hearne, Queen Latifah, Marin Alsop and many others. This fall, I will be attending University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.
Charlie Calkins I have been in Chicago Children’s Choir for 7 years and I am currently a rising junior at Whitney M. Young High School. Starting at the Allegro level in the Lincoln Park/DePaul Neighborhood Choir, I worked my way through the levels to Dimension and then to Voice of Chicago. My favorite CCC memories include touring in Spain with the choir in 2019, performing at the NBA All-Star game and seeing all 5,000 CCC singers at the annual Paint the Town Red concert! In addition to CCC, I play on the Whitney Young baseball team.
Anyiah Chase-Mayfield My name is Anyiah Chase-Mayfield and I am sixteen years of age. I am a junior at Walter Payton College Preparatory and this will be my 9th year in Chicago Children’s Choir. I am an alumni from Hyde Park and I am so excited to say that this will be my 4th year in VOC! Through CCC I have indulged in some of the most life changing experiences such as touring in Spain, being apart of an original CCC musical, Long Way Home and getting to know those I never thought would be my best friends. Without the support, presence and loving atmosphere that CCC provides, I am certain that I wouldn’t feel as fulfilled and happy as I am now.
Aidan Chung My name is Aidan Chung. I am a rising junior at Walter Payton College Prep and have been in CCC for 5 years. I started my journey in Lincoln Park/Depaul Neighborhood choir, then moved to DiMension the year after. While in LPD and DiMension, I participated in tours of Virginia and Chicago. I have been in VOC going on 4 years, and I was fortunate enough to travel to Spain last summer. Some special projects I have been a part of were Merry Merry Chicago, Long Way Home, Unsettlement Anthems, and a collaboration with Sam Fischer on the Late Late Show.
Diondre Dunigan Hi! My name is Diondre Dunigan. I’m currently 16 years old and entering my junior year at Jones College Preparatory High School. This coming year will be my ninth year as a member of Chicago Children’s Choir. I began in the A.N. Pritzker In-School Program where I performed at various venues across Chicago such as Navy Pier and Symphony Center. After five years, I joined the DiMension program. The next year, I auditioned and was accepted into VOC. I have performed with the choir at a multiplicity of venues including Symphony Center, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago and Harris Theater for Music and Dance. I have experience with playing woodwinds, piano and guitar. I look forward to meeting everyone!
Casey Franco My name is Casey Franco. I’m 16 years old and this is my 8th year in Chicago Children’s Choir. I am homeschooled but started in the In-School Program at Cooper Dual Language Academy for 2 years, Pilsen/Little Village Neighborhood Choir for 2 years, 1 year in DiMension and 3 years in Voice of Chicago. I have had the opportunity to participate in many special projects throughout my years in CCC starting with The Rankin/Bass medley at Harris Theatre for Music and Dance, Caroling at Cloudgate, two productions of Merry Merry Chicago with The Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Unsettlement Anthems collaboration with Ted Hearne and [AR]T with Nick Cave. Most recently, I had the opportunity to perform in Bernstein’s Mass at Ravinia as part of the Adult Chorus led by Maestro Marin Alsop. This included a PBS recording of the second production.
McKenzie Jackson My name is McKenzie Jackson and I am 16 years old. This fall, I will be a senior at St. Ignatius College Prep and I will be spending my 10th and final year in CCC. I started with CCC in 3rd grade in the Rogers Park Neighborhood Choir where I grew a deep love and passion for music, made great friendships with my peers and took part in experiences that have had such an impact on who I am today. CCC has allowed me to travel to places including Philadelphia, Michigan and Spain to further expand my knowledge about music while also forming connections with people from around the world. Additionally, CCC has allowed me to work with influential artists on influential platforms, such as Sam Fischer. Overall, my experience with CCC has been nothing but positive and the education that I have acquired from being a part of such an amazing program has and will forever hold a special place in my heart.
Olivia Katz I am a rising senior at the Latin School of Chicago. This upcoming year will be my tenth year in the choir: after 4 years of participation in the Lincoln park/Depaul neighborhood choir and 5 years of Voice of Chicago—this year will be my sixth year in the Voice of Chicago. In neighborhood choir, I was lucky enough to participate in the tours to San Francisco, Washington DC, Baltimore, and New Orleans. During my time in neighborhood choir, I participated in the Children’s Chorus for Puccini’s La Boheme and Tosca at the Lyric Opera House of Chicago, as well as Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem. With the Voice of Chicago, I have traveled to Italy and Spain. Some additional special projects while in VOC include the Chance the Rapper studio recordings for his GRAMMY award-winning album, Coloring Book, another album, The Big Day, and three performances with him in Chicago for a select concert series. I am eternally grateful for everything this choir has given me, and I can not wait to give back to the CCC community in every possible way this summer, and even more along the road.
Albert Kerelis Hi, my name is Albert Kerelis, I am Voice of Chicago’s Singers’ Council President and an incoming freshman at Reed College. I’ve sung with the Chicago Children’s choir for seven years, starting at the Lincoln Park DePaul Neighborhood choir, moving up to DiMension and finally to VOC. I’ve participated in projects such as the Lyric Opera’s 2015 production of Tosca, tours to Italy and Spain, our collaboration with Bobby McFerrin at Ravinia, as well as our own Unsettlement Anthems with Ted Hearne. Outside of choir I ran a philosophy club at my school and am an over enthusiastic coffee nerd.
Coda Lewis My name is Coda Lewis and I am a rising senior in Lincoln Park High School’s International Baccalaureate Program. I began my journey at Chicago Children’s Choir at the age of 8 in the Hyde Park Neighborhood Choir. I soon advanced to the choir’s top performing ensemble, Voice of Chicago. Although I am approaching my 10th and final year in Chicago Children’s Choir, throughout my CCC experience, I have had the pleasure of performing with Chance The Rapper, Queen Latifah, Yo-Yo Ma and more. I have also been selected to travel on tour to Italy and Spain to help spread the choir’s mission of changing and inspiring lives through music.
Lucia Ruggiero Hi, my name is Lucia Ruggiero, but everyone in the choir knows me as Lulu. I graduated this last June from the Latin School of Chicago and will be attending Barnard College at Columbia University in the fall. I have been in the choir for six years: 1 year in the Lincoln Park/DePaul Neighborhood Choir Vivace ensemble, 2 years in the LPD Neighborhood Choir Presto ensemble and 3 years in VOC! I have been lucky enough to go on tour to Virginia, New Orleans and Spain! I am so grateful for all the opportunities the choir has afforded me.
Nicki Sekhar My name is Nicki Sekhar. I have been a member of Chicago Children’s Choir since 2010, and have been a part of Hyde Park Neighborhood Choir, DiMension and VOC. I have been involved in special projects such as La Boheme at the Lyric Opera, War Requiem with Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Lord of the Rings at Ravinia Festival. I have also traveled to Minneapolis, Italy and Spain with the choir. I attended University of Chicago Laboratory Schools and will attend NYU in Fall 2021 to pursue a major in Music Composition.
Whitney Shurtliff My name is Whitney Shurtliff. I have been a member of Chicago Children’s Choir for 9 years and VOC for 4. I have loved participating in Bernstein’s Mass for the past two summers, the Spain tour, recording with the choir, World Music Festival and getting to perform with artists like Jamila Woods. I started in the Hyde Park Neighborhood Choir where I will be helping to teach music theory this fall. I am a rising Junior at Jones College Prep where I participate in school musicals and chamber choir.
Madysen Ward My name is Madysen Ward. I started my 7 years in Chicago Children’s Choir with the Rogers Park Neighborhood Choir Vivace ensemble and was a member of Voice of Chicago for 5 years. With CCC, I have travelled to Italy and Spain, participated in many summer programs at Ravinia, including both runs of Leonard Bernstein’s Mass, and performed at the NBA All-Star game. I recently graduated from Lane Tech College Prep and will be attending DePaul University in the fall.