2020-2021 Season Annual Report

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ANNUAL REPORT 2020-21 SEASON

JACKSONVILLE CHILDREN’S CHORUS

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Dear Friends of The Chorus, Innovation and flexibility are the two words that best sum up our 2020/2021 season at the Jacksonville Children’s Chorus. While choruses around the country cancelled their seasons, the JCC’s leadership and staff found alternative ways to bring high quality choral music education to children from all over the First Coast. Mr. Dailey and the staff put into place Covid protocols to keep our singers safe. We invested in equipment and air filtration systems to make indoor rehearsals safe and created an outdoor rehearsal area as an additional option. Our “Cool Side of Yuletide” concert became a drive- in concert to allow families and the community to enjoy this annual holiday tradition. Our “Lift E’vry Voice and Sing” concert became a virtual concert. And our “River City Dancing with the Stars” fundraiser was a huge success and enjoyed in person by several hundred people. In total, the Jacksonville Children’s Chorus gave 16 performances to over 41,000 live audience members and over 63,000 virtual audience members. Our Touring Choir traveled through the southeast in June and gave outdoor performances in Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina. And our choirs were featured on the PBS special “Songs from the Sunshine State”. I’m extremely proud of Darren Dailey, the staff and the board of directors for enthusiastically finding new ways to bring music into the lives of our students and our community.

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None of this would have been possible without the generous support of our donors. The gracious support of the North Florida community allowed the JCC to serve 772 students this past year. And by making our preschool music classes virtual, we were able to reach students from other states and in greater numbers than ever before. The need for scholarships increased last year, and thanks to the support we’ve received, we provided scholarships to every family that requested them; approximately 40% of our students. We kicked off this season with a week-long camp for our Concert and Touring Choirs, a minitour around the city to perform and finally a party to celebrate the 15th anniversary of Mr. Darren Dailey as President and Artistic Director of the JCC. We’re looking forward to another exciting year of meeting challenges head on and finding new ways to bring enrichment to our students and beautiful music to the First Coast. Thank you for your continued support of the Jacksonville Children’s Chorus and our mission. We look forward to seeing you at a concert soon!

With Gratitude,

Kim Rowland Chair, Board of Directors

JACKSONVILLE CHILDREN’S CHORUS

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The mission of the Jacksonville Children’s Chorus (JCC) is to provide high-quality choral music education for children of diverse backgrounds, fostering teamwork, selfdiscipline, accomplishment and pride while filling an important cultural need in the community and sharing the beauty of the choral art form through artistically excellent performances. The JCC was founded in 1995 at Jacksonville University to fill a need for a children’s music program, led by Dr. Frances B. Kinne, then-JU president, and implemented by Dr. Jon O. Carlson and Jim Taylor. From 16 voices in 1995, the JCC has grown to serve nearly 800 singers in year-long choirs and outreach programs in FY 2021.

THE MISSION 4

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YEAR-LONG CHOIRS AT THE JCC, our goal is to provide an environment

rich with diverse opportunities for children of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities. We aim to develop their social, emotional, and intellectual capabilities to prepare them for success across diverse disciplines, in music and beyond. In the 2020-2021 program year, the JCC accomplished this goal by offering four year-long choirs for differing abilities and ages. Despite the pandemic, the JCC was able to safely offer 7 different weekly classes across Northeast Florida.

GRADES SERVED

NUMBER OF SITES

Primary

K-2

1

Arlington

Training

2-5

2

Arlington & Orange Park

Treble

4 - 12

2

Arlington & Orange Park

Touring

6 - 12

2

Arlington & Orange Park

CHOIR NAME

SITE LOCATIONS

JACKSONVILLE CHILDREN’S CHORUS

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SOCIOECONOMICS & SCHOLARSHIPS IN THE 2020-2021 SEASON,

the JCC’s year-long membership reached 125 singers . Throughout its expansion over the years, the JCC continues to hold true to its core values: that diversity within singer membership is essential to its mission, and that no child who wants to sing will be turned away because of their family’s inability to pay.

The JCC’s scholarship program widens access to choral education and personal development for everyone. The awarded scholarships cover tuition, uniforms, and the cost of performances and trips. For some singers, these trips include international travel—the JCC opens up the world to many children who have never even left the state of Florida. But scholarships provide more than tuition and uniforms. The JCC offers children in Northeast Florida a forum for personal expression, skill development, and music education. In many schools, music programs are defunded and devalued. Music teachers may see their students twice a month for less than an hour—certainly not enough time to become musically literate or to learn the skills that come with music education. JCC singers, on the other hand, benefit from a rigorous and rich educational experience. They learn music theory, voice, leadership skills, positive character traits, and work ethic that follow them into adulthood. Singers learn teamwork, respect, kindness, self-discipline, and encounter the satisfaction of an outstanding performance after months of hard work. The JCC strives to foster excellence throughout our singers’ lives. Your support of our scholarship program advances student success beyond performance art and into the very fabric of their lives. 6

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THE JCC STARTED PROVIDING SCHOLARSHIPS to its singers in 1998, and the commitment to its scholarship program has meant increased fundraising efforts to keep up with the growth of the organization. More than onethird of JCC singers receive full or partial scholarships each year. More often than not, the JCC is providing more tuition scholarships than what is funded by the community through the scholarship fund.

While overall enrollment and scholarships have seen an upward trend each year, the JCC has seen a dip in these numbers due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, despite the impact of the pandemic, scholarships were provided without interruption in order to meet the community’s needs. In FY2021, approximately 40% of singers were awarded full or partial scholarships. While the COVID-19 crisis presented many obstacles in the logistics and expenses associated with new rehearsal and performance protocols, it also inspired the generosity of our donors. For instance, the 2019-2020 season scholarships saw a gap of $70,000 in funding. During the 2020-2021 season however, our supporters rose to the occasion and covered 99% of all scholarship awards. It is thanks to the support and stewardship of the community that made this year possible for so many students. As the global crisis slows, the JCC is looking forward to increased fundraising opportunities and partnerships in order to continue providing financial assistance to singers.

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REASONS TO

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Singing in a chorus quickly builds strong social bonds and community, a necessity over the past year of isolation. 1

Research suggests that choral singing improves both mental and physical health. Lung capacity, posture, and the immune system are all improved while depression and anxiety are alleviated. 2

Choral singers impact their communities in positive ways. They are more likely to volunteer and run for public office, often because they become more accepting of those who are different from them. 3

Evidence shows that singing can help keep a sharp mind as you age. 3

It’ll help you be a better team player, collaborator, and listener. Compared to the general public, choral singers rank themselves as more reliable, and generally prefer face-to-face interaction over virtual. 3

Music education is fundamental to a child’s growth. Research has shown it to impact a person’s fine motor skills, body awareness, cognitive abilities such as language learning, memorization, and sequencing, as well as the ability to remain focused.4 1.

Pearce, Eiluned, et al. “The Ice-Breaker Effect: Singing Mediates Fast Social Bonding.” Royal Society Open Science, vol. 2, no. 10, 2015, p. 150221.

2.

Stacy, Rosie, et al. “Singing for Health: an Exploration of the Issues.” Health Education, vol. 102, no. 4, 2002, pp. 156–162.

3.

Grunwald Associates LLC and Chorus America. (2019). The Chorus Impact Study: Singing for a Lifetime

4.

Miendlarzewska, E. A., & Trost, W. J. (2014). How musical training affects cognitive development: Rhythm, reward and other modulating variables. Frontiers in Neuroscience, 7.

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AN ALUM’S STORY MY SON ALEX HAS ALWAYS LOVED TO BE THE BEST and associate with the best, and he thrived in the Jacksonville Children’s Chorus. At 12 years old, he learned of the JCC and immediately wanted to audition. He is a dedicated musician, and wanted to be a professional violinist when he grows up. I was surprised he wanted to audition because he had never thought that singing was “cool”. He even paid for his tuition from his own savings along with receiving a generous scholarship from the chorus. His instinct was right on.

Over the course of just one season, Alex’s musicianship skyrocketed; specifically with note reading, harmony, and independent learning. Because of how they are taught to sing and read, the kids don’t depend on the instructor to feed them each pitch and rhythm. To my knowledge, this skill isn’t something that is typically acquired until the college level, and so I felt that Alex was miles ahead of most kids his age. Of course this skill spilled over into his life in the youth symphony and violin practice.

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Socially, Alex was totally comfortable and confident in his love for classical music and choral music because he is surrounded by mentors and friends that are passionate and successful in what he loves. He knew the JCC was full of people that are at the top of their game. There is such a team spirit; a sense of family in the JCC. The JCC was a doorway to many experiences that shaped Alex’s formative years and we are proud to be a part of this organization. We are impressed with the high expectations, the structure, the efficiency, the fantastic communication, and the professionalism of the JCC.

It’s worth the time and financial investment; Alex is growing into an amazing young man that we are proud of; much of which is due to the JCC. — DEANNE ROES MOTHER OF ALEX

JACKSONVILLE CHILDREN’S CHORUS

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RACIAL DIVERSITY STATS & AGE STATISTICS 49

STUDENTS ON SCHOLARSHIP

60REA9CH

OUT NTS A PARTICIP

125

YEARCHORA LONG L STUD ENTS

772

TOTAL NUMBER OF STUDENTS 12

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PERCENTAGE ON SCHOLARSHIP

YEAR-LONG CHOIR STUDENTS

OUTREACH PARTICIPANTS

ALL STUDENTS

AUDIENCES

ARTISTS

21.8%

279

142

421

10,325

36

1213

25.0%

280

248

528

51,550

168

1314

25.2%

306

273

579

51,631

170

1415

36.7%

338

222

560

62,112

171

1516

34.7%

369

485

854

84,283

176

1617

32.8%

402

601

1,003

81,448

174

1718*

37.0%

300

418

718

260,177

129

1819

44.3%

334

578

912

91,739

126

1920**

38.7%

279

330

609

212,735***

81

2021**

39.2%

125

647

772

104,402

37

FYE 6/30 1112

*The drop in singer numbers was due partly to lower registrations and singers dropping after Hurricane Irma. **Decreased singer numbers due to the pandemic. *** Increase in virtual audience after cancellation of in-person performances.

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AGE DISTRIBUTION In FY 2021, age distribution for the JCC’s year-long choirs and its

preschool program was: 69% age 0-5, 19% age 6-10, 10% age 11-15, and 3% age 16-18. The increased popularity of our Virtual Preschool program meant that we served many more young children this season than in past years!

Age 16-18 Age 0-5

8% 7%

Age 11-15

29%

Age > 3

57%

Age 6-10

56%

YEAR-LONG CHOIR MEMBERS

Age < 3

43%

PRESCHOOL PROGRAMS

(NOT INCLUDING PRESCHOOL PROGRAMS)

82% 64% GENDER DISTRIBUTION The

trend continues to include more boys: in FY 2021, 36% were boys (up from 28% in FY1920).

Girls Boys

36% 18%

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FY 1112

FY 2021


ETHNIC DISTRIBUTION TOURING TREBLE TRAINING PRIMAR Y PRESCHOOL 20%

40%

60%

80%

100%

The JCC strives to be an environment that accepts all students, celebrates their similarities and differences, and teaches them to treat one another with respect and dignity. And this year, the JCC’s racial and ethnic makeup was even more diverse than Jacksonville’s. The U.S. Census Bureau reports, as of 2019, that 41% of Jacksonville residents are non-white. In FY 2021, 66% of our yearlong singers were Black, Hispanic, Asian or Pacific Islander, Mixed, or Other. In our free Virtual Preschool program, which included participants from across the globe, 77% were non-white. Additionally, the JCC served nine children with disabilities in FY 2021; ranging from mood disorders, ADHD, mobility aids, speech pediments, and learning disabilities, all participated fully in JACKSONVILLE CHILDREN’S CHORUS 15 their year-long choirs and performances.


INNOVATION DURING THE PANDEMIC THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC PRESENTED UNIQUE CHALLENGES TO THE JCC.

Music-making is traditionally an activity that relies on in-person collaboration and connection, and so our team was driven to devise innovative methods of following through on the JCC’s mission. At the height of the pandemic, The Chorus swiftly adapted to the new circumstances with virtual rehearsals and performances. The JCC consistently followed CDC guidelines and recommendations from various industry institutions (e.g. ACDA and Chorus America) in order to keep our singers, staff, and families healthy. Then as Spring 2020 came to a close, we were forced to determine how to mount an entire season in the midst of a global crisis. Most children’s choruses around the world came to a halt, but The Chorus’ mission and our community were too important—we couldn’t give up in the face of adversity. In-person rehearsals began again in August 2020, with the safety of singers and staff of the utmost importance. With that in mind, JCC choirs continued to operate with physical distancing, “singers’ masks”, HEPA filters, and outdoor rehearsal and performance spaces.

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It is well-known that performing on stage helps children expand their self-efficacy by increasing confidence and self-presentation skills, developing empathy and compassion for others, and increasing perseverance and problem solving. Performing regularly also teaches children self-reliance and that collaboration with others is necessary to reach a common goal. Not only did our singers gain these skills over the various performance opportunities this year, but they showed tremendous discipline, responsibility, and resilience in the face of new policies and major changes to their routines.

During this time of Covid and quarantine, participating with the JCC has been a welcome constant in a challenging time. Having transitioned to virtual schooling full-time, this year has been full of changes. JCC provides a safe venue to interact with other students. — ELIZABETH J., JCC SINGER17 JACKSONVILLE CHILDREN’S CHORUS


PERFORMANCES DESPITE THE OBSTACLES PRESENTED THIS YEAR, JCC was able to offer over 16 different performing opportunities throughout FY 2021, representing a variety of languages, cultures, and venues, both live and virtual.

Performances took very different forms this year, particularly the 12th Annual Cool Side of Yuletide Concert. In a time without many safe options for shared experiences, The Chorus wanted to provide an opportunity for connection and festivity for our community. But due to the limitations of physical distancing, this event required creativity, resourcefulness, and innovation. Instead of the traditional concert, the JCC partnered with SunRay Cinemas to produce its first ever drive-in movie concert experience. Children and their families gathered in their cars at the Jacksonville Fairgrounds to watch themselves on the big screen, along with featured guest artist Jennifer Pascual. Guests enjoyed lights and holiday décor along the “Winter Wonderland Path”, food trucks, goody bags, and the chance to win gift baskets.

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Singing with the JCC taught me important life lessons. My experience taught me how to listen and collaborate with others. While we sang through the songs in the repertoire, I exclusively paid attention to the sound of my own voice. As I progressed, my music teachers at the JCC repeated an important lesson:

LISTEN TO THE SINGERS AROUND YOU. - SILAS LEWIS, JCC ALUM

I have had the pleasure of performing alongside the JCC and each time I'm in awe on how professional these kids are on stage. They truly embody the essence of vocal performing and they absolutely enjoy it. Darren and his team really are outstanding in making the JCC the success that it is.

- ROSEANNA GEORGE, PROFESSIONAL DANCER JACKSONVILLE CHILDREN’S CHORUS

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VIRTUAL PERFORMANCES This year, the JCC adapted in order to provide music to the Jacksonville community. With help from community leaders and friends of The Chorus, we were able record, film, and publish two unique virtual performances. Thank you to J.F. and Peggy Bryan and Alex Sifakis, President of JWB Real Estate, for their help in filming our Hamilton Medley!

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VIRTUAL STATISTICS This year, reaching our community virtually became more important than ever. We revitalized and boosted our marketing to reach even more people, in Jacksonville and beyond.

44,150

51,168

YOUTUBE VIEWS

717

INSTAGRAM FOLLOWERS

TWITTER INTERACTIONS

12,797 MAILING CONTACTS

1,362,087 FACEBOOK INTERACTIONS

27,728 WEBSITE HITS

Thank you to the Numa Sasselin, President of the Florida Theater, and the Jacksonville Arboretum and Botanical Gardens for hosting the JCC’s filming of the Florida Frontiers PBS special! JACKSONVILLE CHILDREN’S CHORUS

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OUTREACH PROGRAMS THE JCC IS UNIQUE

among other Jacksonville arts programs. It is the only children’s chorus of its size and professionalism in Northeast Florida, serving nearly 800 children and music educators through yearlong choirs and outreach programs. The JCC was one of the few children’s choruses in the nation to continuing operating during the pandemic, thanks to the support of the community and the hard work of our staff and singers. We greatly value reaching into the community to expand music education, and this year was no exception.

The Jacksonville Children’s Chorus has helped our daughter to discover the joy of music. Mr. Dailey and the staff at JCC continue to provide the singers of the choir with the highest standards while training every young singer to develop discipline, courage, and confidence. Thank you JCC for providing our daughter with an experience that she will treasure for the rest of her life. — SONIA & WILL FOLSOM 22

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JCC PARENTS


VIRTUAL PRESCHOOL MUSIC CLASSES

One of our greatest successes during the pandemic was our Virtual Preschool Program. This program serves children ages 18 months to five-years old and allows them and their caretakers to experience singing, creative movement, simple instruments, and finger plays through traditional songs and rhymes. The reach of these classes surpassed our expectations—by the end of the last session of the fiscal year, we had served families in 32 U.S. states, Canada, Central America, South America, Europe, and Africa. The Virtual Preschool Program is entirely free, widening accessibility for low-income families across the globe.

18TH ANNUAL FIRST COAST HONORS CHOIR FESTIVAL

Created in 2003, this day-long annual festival serves area fourth through sixth graders recommended by their music teachers from public and private schools. This year, the event featured one guest conductor, Barbara Sletto, the founding Artistic Program Director for Iowa’s Heartland Youth Choir, and a performance from the JCC’s Treble Choir.

RIVER CITY DANCING WITH THE STARS

In March 2021, the JCC held its River City Dancing with the Stars fundraiser, an event in which community leaders are paired with professional dancers, take weeks of dancing classes, and compete against each other to raise money for the JCC. This year, the event featured six celebrity contestants, two comedian emcees, and five professional ballroom dancers.

JACKSONVILLE CHILDREN’S CHORUS

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FINANCIALS EARNED REVENUE

The JCC earns revenue from several sources including income from its over 16 different performances held both live and virtually, from tuition payments of year-long choir singers, and from registrations for its various outreach programs offered throughout the year.

CONTRIBUTED REVENUE

Contributed revenue at the JCC comes from corporations, city and state governments, foundations, and individuals. These dollars provide the JCC much-needed support, contributing to JCC’s scholarships and ongoing programming so that no child who wishes to sing is turned away. The JCC spent $46,627 on tuition scholarships last year.

EARNED REVENUE - 43%

CONTRIBUTED REVENUE - 57% GOVERNMENT

12%

FOUNDATIONS

PROGRAMS TICKETS

CORPORATIONS

88%

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INDIVIDUALS

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ENDOWMENT


33%

OPERATING EXPENSES

Artistic Administrative

67% ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSE

Administrative expenses directly relate to the operations of the organization such as accounting expenses – including administrative staff salaries and our annual nonprofit audit fees, fundraising expenses including staff and postage for mailing request letters, and administrative rental space so our organization has a mailing address and a place to take payments.

ARTISTIC EXPENSE

Artistic expenses include artistic staff salaries, sheet music, production expenses, instruments, fees for worldrenowned guest artists and musical experts, and rehearsal space. These expenses related directly to the production of our year-long choirs and outreach programs. JACKSONVILLE CHILDREN’S CHORUS

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OUR COMMUNITY 14

Worldwide Venues

16

Performances

772

Year-long Choir Singers and Outreach Participants

Dona

41,413

Live Audience Members

63,026

Virtual Audience Members

26

95t9 ions

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200

Community and Parent Volunteers


5

1

Choreographer

Conductors

2

Accompanists

9

3

Board Members

Interns

5

31

Administrative

Guest Artists

OUR TEAM JACKSONVILLE CHILDREN’S CHORUS

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When the children sing you hear a beautiful blend; pitch accuracy; wonderful breath control and phrasing; rhythm and note accuracy. The best part of their singing is that they sing from their hearts - Darren has taught them how to truly express WHAT they are singing with passion- the passion and love that he has for music! That is what makes this Chorus so special - their musical expression is really exceptional! 28

— CHRISTINE PLONSKI SEZER

MUSIC CURRICULUM CONSULTANT & RETIRED MUSIC EDUCATOR 2020 - 2021 ANNUAL REPORT


THANK YOU DONORS SUSTAINER’S DIVISIONS ($50,000 AND UP) Cultural Council of Jacksonville

CONDUCTOR’S CIRCLE ($10,000 - $49,999)

BENEFACTORS ($5,000 - 9,999)

Estate of Josephine Bahn Henry and Lucy Gooding Endowment Florida Blue Foundation Live Oak Contracting Laura Lee Pattillo Norquist Charitable Foundation Rice Family Foundation Vystar Credit Union Delores Barr Weaver Fund est. 2012 Delores Barr Weaver Forever Event Fund est. 2015

John E. Anderson Elevated LLC Jacksonville Transportation Authority David A. Stein Charitable Trust

LEAVE A LEGACY: A GIFT OF MUSIC FOR GENERATIONS TO COME Do you have a will? In your will you can arrange to have assets you need today gifted to your favorite charity tomorrow such as IRAs, real estate, vehicles, life insurance contributions, and much more. A bequest to the Jacksonville Children’s Chorus is a commitment to the musical education of Northeast Florida’s children for generations to come. For more information, contact Business Manager & Development Officer, Katherine Boling at 904.353.1636 ext. 4 or katherine@jaxchildrenschorus.org. JACKSONVILLE CHILDREN’S CHORUS

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THANK YOU for your civic leadership and stewardship. People like you make Northeast Florida a lively place to live, work, and play, and this is why the Jacksonville Children’s Chorus is appealing to you to consider supporting its efforts.

The JCC is committed to providing an educational and accepting place for children to express themselves and develop their music knowledge. The arts are in a dire state of vulnerability, and it’s community members like you who have allowed us to continue serving out our mission. Thank you so much for your consideration. 30

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Dear Community Leaders, Despite the tragedy and loss the last year presented, we learned the importance of connection. The JCC has always believed that making music is a unique way of doing just that—speaking a language that transcends our differences and allows us to share an experience together. The JCC has always sought to create and strengthen community, and this year was no exception. The pandemic forced us to be innovative in that mission, and technology has given us the ability to expand connection even further. Our Virtual Preschool Program grew beyond Florida and beyond the United States—all the way to Europe, South America, and Africa. Through things as simple as rhythm and rhyme, music linked hundreds of people across the world in a time that robbed us of that vital human connection. The JCC experienced significant losses to our earned revenue due to the economic struggles of the pandemic. Despite that, we remain committed to providing the children of Jacksonville with the opportunity to expand their musical education and learn the social and emotional skills that follow. Our singers are granted a reprieve from the chaos and stress of the outside world—they can sing uninhibitedly and experience the collective effervescence of music-making. In order to continue to foster our singers’ talents, we do everything in our power to provide every family with the financial assistance needed to keep their child in The Chorus. Families may continue to feel the effects of the recent global crisis for years to come, and we are preparing to provide additional scholarships for our participants. As we enter our 27th season and I enter my own 15th season with the JCC, I continually reflect on how fortunate we are to serve a community that understands the value of the arts. Our mission is only possible because of your generosity and support. Every donation to the JCC helps transform the lives of hundreds of children each year. With your help, we will continue to change lives with music for years to come! With gratitude,

Darren Dailey, President and Artistic Director JACKSONVILLE CHILDREN’S CHORUS

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ANNUAL REPORT 10131 ATLANTIC BLVD • JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA 32225 • (904) 353-1636 • WWW.JAXCHILDRENSCHORUS.ORG

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