Chicago Children's Choir Bridges Neighborhoods Through Song

By BJ Lutz and Allison Rosati
|  Thursday, Oct 22, 2009  |  Updated 1:09 PM CDT
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Chicago Children's Choir Performs at Standard Club

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Chicago Children's Choir "A Lot Like A Second Family"

In a city where going to school means crossing gang territories, the Chicago Children's Choir brings kids from different neighborhoods together through song and has helped change lives worldwide.

Chicago Children's Choir Performs at Standard Club

Watch a performance of the Chicago Children's Choir from Oct. 16, 2009.
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With headlines this week that youth violence is at an epidemic level, many are left wondering what can be done to change it.

In a city that some people say is segregated, and where going to school means crossing gang territories, the Chicago Children's Choir brings kids from different neighborhoods together through song.

Each face represents a neighborhood. Each voice gives sound to their heritage.

The choir has a long history, founded 50 years ago at the height of the civil rights movement. But some can see how its mission through music is just as vital today.

"Since 1956 the choir has been on this continuous momentum," said 11-year-old Cameron Woods. "It teaches you so much, like discipline and how to focus and just be open to other people. And I'm just so glad I could be a part of this."

The choir serves almost 3,000 students, and brings music programs into 45 neighborhood schools.

Artistic Director Josephine Lee calls the musicians young ambassadors whose performances move audiences and change lives.

"I think it gives them pride, and it gives them self-confidence, and I think tools to survive in life," she said.

http://www.ccchoir.org/

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