Children's Choir singing

Singing for Joy

Words by Jennifer Abbot
Photo By Kiley Panziera

Campbell River Children’s Choir makes music around the world.

For more than 35 years, Campbell River Children’s Choir (CRCC) has provided children and young adults with the gift of connection through the art of musical expression and choral excellence. Currently under my artistic direction with Beth Kingston as Assistant Director, this remarkable non-profit organization brings the joy of singing to countless families by giving young people the opportunity to make life-long friends, develop their sense of commitment and self-confidence, and pursue the craft of choral excellence.

CRCC, a registered charitable organization based in Campbell River, is composed of four separate choirs, grouped by age. Many singers grow up in the choir, through childhood and into their teen years. They often start out between the ages of six and 10, and then move up through the age groups, growing in their commitment to create beautiful choral music. Breeze Choir consists of singers in grades one and two, Echo Choir grades three to five, and River Choir grades six to 12. Zephyr Choir, newly created and consisting of alumni, is evolving into a community women’s choir.

The dedication and commitment that the singers bring to the organization is inspiring. CRCC meets each week to rehearse a diverse range of music, singing everything from classical and baroque to pop and folk. I like to tell people that it is our responsibility to open the door to every genre of music for these young singers. There is so much to gain from singing centuries- old music one moment, and the next, being uplifted by your favourite chart-topping song. Over the years, the choir has been invited to perform in festivals and workshops across the globe. This has included performances across Great Britain, Cuba, and Hawaii, at Carnegie Hall in New York, and at countless other festivals dedicated to growing the choral arts. At these events, CRCC has worked with renowned composers and musicians, including Henry Leck, Malcolm Dalglish, Moira Smiley, Rollo Dilworth, and Susan Brumfield.

The aim of the festivals and workshops is to cultivate a sense of connection and belonging through choral music, and to enrich the musicianship of the festival’s participants. This is done while simultaneously nurturing the love of choral art. Travelling across the globe has enabled the singers to connect with other cultures and worldviews, and has required the singers to learn songs in multiple languages or dialects. Because music is a universal language, we offer an opportunity for our singers to connect with children from other parts of the world through a mutual love of singing.

River Choir has recently been invited to participate in the world- renowned International Children’s Choir Festival in Canterbury, England in July 2023. For the singers, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. It’s incredibly exciting to all of us in the choir, so we’ll be working hard to be as prepared as possible.

The sense of community and connection felt in the Children’s Choir can be witnessed through their performances and heard in their sound. This is a very special group of young people who come together to create something beautiful, and in the process build connections and relationships that may last their entire lives. These children inspire audiences, each other, and me.

CRCC is accepting new singers in grades 1-12 and beyond for the 2022/2023 year. If you are interested in joining or have any questions, please email jennifer.abbott@hotmail.com.




Category: Volume 6