The Choir

The Durham Children’s Choir is comprised of two groups, Cantare – our preparatory choir, and Bel Canto – our performance choir. 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. The purpose of our Cantare division 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, the emphasis is on a joyful atmosphere of music-making, allowing each child to develop confidence as a singer and musician.  Cantare typically has two performances during the season.

If you have questions, or are interested in signing your child up for the current Cantare season, please contact Susan Parham at

Bel Canto

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


Auditions for the upcoming season are held in the late spring.  If your child is interested in joining the choir mid-season, please contact Susan Parham for more details and to schedule an audition. (

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 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, gender, sexual orientation, religion, age or national/ethnic origin.

Repertoire and 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 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.