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The Boston Children Chorus: using the power of music to create bridges

Author: Cate Newnessmith
Published Date: 22 February 2008

The Boston Children’s Chorus is a multi-racial, multi-cultural arts organization that uses music as a powerful tool for social change by bringing together a diverse group of children to sing, perform and serve as ambassadors of harmony in and around the city of Boston. It was founded in 2003 for children aged betweenseven and fifteen from Boston’s urban neighbourhoods and surrounding towns.

For decades Boston has beenracially diverse and and has often experienced racial tensions. In 2000, the Census reported that the fifty per cent of the city’s population ismade up of minority ethnic groups.

The Boston’s Children Chorus originates from a need to create a bridge between these groupsand the idea that thearts can be a great way to create belonging and shared experiences while at the same time raising aspirations amongst young people.

So far the Chorus has:

• Attracted a sold-out crowd ofnine hundredpeople, reflecting the diversity of the city, to its debut Martin Luther King, Jr., Day concert

• Co-produced or participated infifteen private and community performances, serving a total of nearly 10,000 audience members throughout spring and summer 2004

• Actively engaged community organizations throughout Boston who have trusted relationships with diverse populations of youth as well as schools and other institutions involved with children and music.