You, Cheryl, and the New Orleans Children’s Chorus have been a central part of my life in music and for this I am extremely grateful. What I have always loved about the choir is that it is always MUSICAL! Most importantly though, you represent to me a group of people who help to show that music is not only about notes, but about humanity, joy, friendship and love, and this is something which we should all be thankful for and celebrate. So congratulations on your twenty-fifth anniversary and all best wishes and love for the future.
Composer, Principal Guest Conductor, BBC Oxford, England
It is incredibly easy for me to make this definitive statement: my Broadway career is due to Cheryl Dupont and my formative singing years with the New Orleans Children’s Chorus. I get all sorts of calls for different types of jobs in New York using a variety of vocal styles: from the pop-rock (Cry-Baby and 9 to 5 the musical; both on Broadway) to super-legit (Jerry Springer the Opera at Carnegie Hall). This is simply because I grew up learning how to listen, blend and sing in a group surrounded by an incredible group of musicians, between the ages of 8 and 18 who rehearsed twice a week after-school. In fact, when I sat down to compare bios with my fellow performers in Jerry Springer the Opera, I proudly exclaimed that my Carnegie Hall debut had been with the NOCC at the young age of 12! The lessons of commitment, repertoire, harmony and friendship have been invaluable and I wouldn’t be where I am today had I not been a member of the NOCC.
I sang with the New Orleans Children’s Chorus for 5 years. But the effect the chorus has had on me has lasted 27 years and counting. In addition to the wonderful training I received as a singer, I made friends that I will have for a lifetime. NOCC teaches you the skills necessary to be a successful and hard working musician, as well as the joys and benefits of working as a team to create something beautiful and worthwhile.
NOCC gave me a place. It gave me something to be a part of – something very special. Some of my dearest memories are of Masterclasses, singing in the dark in a little chapel in Italy, or on the vast stage of Carnegie Hall. Wherever I go in life, these memories and the lessons learned will go with me.
Emily Musso Stuart
Years ago my daughter attended a NOCC summer singing camp and on the night of their end-of-the-summer concert, I was amazed what the children learned in a short period of time. When the actual Children’s Chorus followed the campers with a performance. I was stunned by the quality and difficulty of the music they performed.
That night I knew this was an organization that could provide an opportunity for my daughter to grow and perform at a high level for it was clear that she would receive excellent training.
Over the next ten years my daughter sang in the Children’s Chorus, the Chamber Ensemble and Youth Chorale and during that time I served as President of the Board. During these ten years our entire family forged lifetime relationships with other children and their parents.
I cannot think of another activity that bonded our family while allowing my daughter to sing in Carnegie Hall, St. Peter’s in Rome, across Europe and the United States. I am thankful as a parent to have had the opportunity for my daughter and our family to be a member of the New Orleans Children’s Chorus.
We are thrilled to pay tribute to you for your outstanding leadership as NOCC’s Artistic Director and as an esteemed colleague in ACDA and in ACME. Your superb musicianship artistry, musical insights, teaching skills and ability to inspire the best from all singers and conductors with whom you work are traits we admire and applaud.
Roberta Q. Jackson and Debra R Burgess
Co-Conductors Portland Symphonic Girlchoir, Portland, Oregon
I have long admired these young singers for their musical artistry and more recently, their determination and spirit. They are an inspiration in every way!
David L. Brunner
Composer, Professor, University of Central Florida, Orlando