Repertoire & Curriculum

The Durham Children’s Choir is a special learning environment designed to provide a rich and rewarding musical experience for each child. The choir studies and performs a variety of music from all styles and periods of music history, including sacred and secular, folk, popular, gospels, spirituals and patriotic music. The music chosen is from many religious and secular traditions, and since the repertoire is not selected to intrude upon anyone’s personal or family beliefs, it is essential that all singers be willing to sing all repertoire.

Concepts about music (melody, rhythm, harmony, dynamics, form and style) and musical skills (vocal, theoretical, sight-reading) are taught throughout the rehearsals. Choir members are taught the use of their vocal instrument through exercises, posture, breathing and tone production. Our goal is to form the foundation of a life-long relationship with music for the singers and their families. 

The Choirs

The Durham Children’s Choir is comprised of two groups, Cantare – our preparatory choir, and Bel Canto – our performance choir (8 – 12 events per year). Both groups meet at the Durham Arts Council on Mondays, Cantare from 5:00 – 6:00pm and Bel Canto from 5:00 – 6:30pm.


Singers entering grades 2-4 do not need to schedule an audition. Our Cantare division’s purpose is to prepare students vocally to join our performance choir, Bel Canto. We are committed to growing DCC by developing young singers who can grow individually and as choral ensemble musicians. Since this is a preparatory choir, this emphasis is on a joyful atmosphere of music-making and fewer performances, allowing each child to develop confidence as a singer and musician.

Registration for the 2020 – 2021 season is now open.  Please use the link below to sign up.

Bel Canto

Bel Canto is our performance choir, open to singers in 5th grade and up.  The choir generally participates in 9 – 12 performances each year.  Singers must audition for this group.

This year auditions for the Bel Canto division will be virtual!  There are two parts.  The first part is the submission of an audition form and recording.  To do so you will follow the instructions below.  The second part is a very brief, virtual meeting, which will be scheduled after your submission.  

PART I: Recording and Audition Form

Step OnePractice and prepare the song Happy Birthday. Use this starting pitch when practicing:

Step TwoCLICK HERE to record yourself singing the song. Once you have recorded your song, click on Save and Share and copy your link, as you will need it for your audition form. Then return to this page. 

Step Three:  Complete the Singer Audition Form below. 

 PART II: Virtual Meeting

Within two weeks of your submission, you will be contacted to set up a virtual meeting.  The meeting will be short (maybe 10 minutes) and will give us a chance to meet one another!  It may involve some short vocal exercises so we can further assess your vocal quality, timbre, and range, and tonal memory aptitude.   It is also an opportunity for you to ask any questions you may have.

Thank you for auditioning for the Durham Children’s Choir!

Please share this information with any of your friends who sing and would be interested in auditioning.  It is fun to sing with friends!

Financial Assistance

Financial assistance is available on a need-basis to help Durham Children’s Choir (DCC) families cover the costs of their singer’s participation in DCC programs. Financial assistance awards are limited to the funds available each year. Financial assistance applications are reviewed in confidence and need-based awards are granted at the discretion of the DCC’s Board of Directors.

The Durham Children’s Choir is a professional, non-profit organization. It is our policy not to discriminate against individuals on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, religion, age or national/ethnic origin

The Durham Children's Choir is supported by generous grants from:

Our choir is supported by the Durham Arts Council's Annual Arts Fund and the N.C. Arts Council, a division of the Department of Natural & Cultural Resources.