National Children's Chorus
The National Children’s Chorus, under the leadership of Artistic Director Luke McEndarfer and Associate Artistic Director Dr. Pamela Blackstone, is quickly establishing itself as America’s leading treble chorus, with a set of ensembles based in Los Angeles, New York City, and Washington, D.C. Performing locally and abroad, the National Children’s Chorus is one of few youth art organizations in the world to have its concert series presented by professional music halls. Venues since 2015 include Royce Hall, Walt Disney Concert Hall, Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, and the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles; Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center in New York; as well as The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.; sharing the stage with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Los Angeles Master Chorale, American Youth Symphony and New York City Master Chorale, among others.
Tracing its lineage back to the 1904 inception of the Paulist Choristers in Chicago, the National Children’s Chorus has garnered a superb reputation for musical excellence, and amassed an impressive résumé of experience. Collaborating with some of the finest music companies in the nation, the group has performed live with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Los Angeles Opera Company, Los Angeles Master Chorale, Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, Joffrey Ballet, Kronos String Quartet, Center Theatre Group, and Musica Angelica Baroque Orchestra, under the direction of such notable conductors as Gustavo Dudamel, Grant Gershon, James Conlon, Paul Salamunovich, Helmuth Rilling, John Rutter, John Mauceri, Eric Whitacre, and Esa-Pekka Salonen, with whom the ensemble recorded Mahler’s Symphony No. 3 in D minor, with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Women of the Los Angeles Master Chorale under the Sony Classical label. In addition, the National Children’s Chorus has been featured on numerous movie and television soundtracks, including for Paramount Pictures’ 2009 film Imagine That, starring Eddie Murphy. Through the years, the group performed numerous times as the musical act on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and its members are regularly contracted as solo artists for professional engagements both in the studio and on stage, including principal roles on Broadway and in opera.
Students of the National Children’s Chorus are represented by more than 100 schools throughout its cities, and meet weekly for rehearsal and musicianship study. The extensive curriculum includes college-level conducting, composition, music theory, sight-singing in the Kodály Method, and individual voice training in the bel canto style. Through a holistic approach to educating the full musician within each child, recent graduates from the program have gone on to be accepted at top schools around the country, such as USC’s Thornton School of Music, UCLA’s Herb Alpert School of Music, UC Berkeley, the Curtis Institute of Music, Northwestern University, Indiana University, Manhattan School of Music, and The Juilliard School. Each summer, Senior Division ensembles of the National Children’s Chorus travel internationally, expanding the students’ cultural awareness and worldly experience. Since 2015, the children have performed at the Sheldonian Theatre in Oxford and St. John’s Smith Square in London, England; the Great Wall of China in Beijing and the Ancient City Wall in Xi’an, China; St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice, St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican, and St. Cecilia’s Music Conservatory in Rome, Italy.