VIRGINIA RYAN
NCC PARENT SINCE 2011

"Our daughter has been a part of the NCC since its arrival in NYC and it has been nothing short of a transformative experience for her. She has always loved to sing and was eager to join a choral ensemble. Mr. McEndarfer noted in his first meeting with our daughter during the audition process that, “she sings from her heart”, and with that we knew we were in the best of hands, having found someone who could see that her love of singing came from deep inside. She immediately connected with founding NCC chorus members and committed to learning how to become a more skilled and technically proficient singer. She has worked hard to improve and has benefitted enormously from the consistent professional guidance and unending support and encouragement of Mr. McEndarfer. The NCC experience has taught her discipline, voice control, and performance skills. It has made our daughter’s lifelong love of singing a wonderful growth experience and one which she treasures every single day. The NCC performances have been, without exception, extraordinary musical celebrations. We have watched, with much pride and great admiration, each NCC performance and have marveled at the growth and development of the skills of the children under the expert teaching of Mr. McEndarfer. It has been a joy for our daughter and all of our family to be part of the NCC."
 


LISA CAHILL
NCC PARENT SINCE 2013

"I love this program – it is simply the best! Keira has been in the NCC since 2013, and is so happy to have been promoted to the Premier Ensemble, although she says, “I will miss Dr. Blackstone so much!” Michael has only been in chorus for about a year and it has already made such a difference in his level of self-confidence and maybe more importantly, serves as a source of happiness for him. Over the last few months, he has dealt with the inevitable growing pains of being a nine-year-old boy. On days when I know that he is a bit sad or overwhelmed, he goes up to his room or out to the backyard and SINGS! 

It is clearly something that brings him comfort and joy, and as his mom, when I hear a sweet French lullaby, rather than angst or frustration, it’s more than music to my ears. It lets me know that no matter what he faces, this gift of music will be a resource for him throughout his life. After successfully performing twice on stage with NCC, he volunteered(!) for a lead role in his class play. I feel that this has a great deal to do with all he has gained from chorus.  His idea of what he can do has expanded because of his success at NCC. 

Thank you so much for all that you do – the NCC is a treasure!"  


JENNIFER DOHR
NCC PARENT SINCE 2008

"Our daughter’s passion for music has soared in her years with the National Children’s Chorus. Under the gentle guidance and high standards of NCC’s talented instructors, she has become a confident and moving vocalist and an accomplished composer whose growth exceeds our imagination. She is flourishing as a young woman of character and self-esteem born of tremendous effort and dedication, and we’re so thankful for the gift of NCC in her life."
 


CHARLENE VILLASENOR
NCC PARENT SINCE 2011

"Auditioning for the National Children’s Chorus at the age of 11 turned out to be an extraordinary turning point in the life of my son, Joe. He auditioned on the recommendation of a friend and NCC parent after unexpectedly winning a try-out at UCLA for Seussical, in which he played the role of Jojo. At the audition, Director Luke McEndarfar listened intently, then observed, “You’re only using 20% of your voice!” Joe was accepted into the Premier Ensemble and we immediately began private voice lessons with Associate Artistic Director, Dr. Pamela Blackstone. Joe’s training in the NCC has been superb — the high-quality repertoire, the group’s signature warm sound, their meticulous diction, their musical precision and passion. The students’ choral education is rounded out by solo masterclasses plus instruction in music theory, sight-singing (Kodály), conducting, and composition. My son had no idea he could be a composer until he participated in a workshop with Dr. Ian Krouse, NCC Composition Studies Director and UCLA’s chair of composition. At the NCC, Joe began sketching out a choral piece based on Tennyson’s poem, The Charge of the Light Brigade, which he just finished this past summer. He is now composing a mass with full orchestra. The program for boy’s changing voices is particularly beneficial, and the only program in the city geared toward working with boys as their voices deepen. In addition to working on choral repertoire, the “TB”s work intensively with a private voice instructor on vocal technique. Because of the high quality and comprehensive nature of his NCC training, Joe has gone on to sing solo roles at Interlochen, the Los Angeles Opera Summer Camp, and in various school productions. He frequently sings as a soloist at St. Alban’s Church in Westwood."
 


CHERYL PUNTIL
NCC PARENT SINCE 2007

"My daughter Christine has been a member of the National Children’s Chorus for about 6 years. After one year of participating in the chorus, she became a Scholar, which represents the highest level singers. Christine worked very hard and was dedicated, almost never missed a practice, and eventually began private voice lessons, and participated in the conducting program offered by the NCC. She began to get solo parts both when performing in Los Angeles at The Broad Stage, and in New York at The Church of Saint Paul the Apostle. She was taught classical technique in voice, learned to read music, harmonize with her fellow choral members, and has been able to sing varied styles of music in diverse languages. I believe the NCC group of kids is supportive of each other and even though they are serious about singing, they receive great joy in their efforts to produce extraordinary music. The children learn not only how to take care of their voices, but how to respect their bodies as the instrument in which they perform. I truly believe that her involvement in the NCC with the support and coaching from Luke McEndarfer, Dr. Pamela Blackstone, and their team of talented mentors, Christine has had, and continues to have, amazing opportunities and life experiences. She has learned to respect the beauty of music, gaining confidence and maturity beyond her age. Because she has had such good instruction, Christine was asked to participate in the Artist in Residence program at her high school, which consisted of four masterclasses with mezzo-soprano Suzanna Guzman, culminating in a solo performance at her school’s spring concert. She was also able to excel at Interlochen Music Academy’s six-week Operetta program this past summer, having a solo part in the final choral concert, and singing the Habanera from Carmen as her opera scene’s final performance. Whether a child wants to sing professionally, or just loves to sing for fun, the NCC can provide experiences that build a solid foundation for stimulating future endeavors."
 


DIANE PINESCHI
NCC PARENT SINCE 2004

"The National Children’s Chorus was a positive, life changing experience for my three children in part due to the growth and wonderful opportunities it provided them. During their six years as active members, they have not only had a profound musical education, but also multiple high level concert performances that provided them great opportunities to not only hone their performance skills but also to develop as young adults with great personal pride and discipline. The professionalism of the organization is unmatched, and my children and I am so very proud to have been an integral part of the NCC. Luke McEndarfer and his carefully chosen associates put the child’s education on the top of their priority list. I can not recommend this organization more highly. Total Quality."
 


MAMIE MCINDOE
NCC PARENT SINCE 2011

"The NCC is a remarkable organization. It surpasses any expectations or desires you might have for your child. I am proud to say that my family was one of the first to get involved when the NCC began again in New York City. Not really knowing what to expect and coming across a random advertisement, boy have we had a remarkable experience. Not only does my daughter love the rehearsals and the instruction,  but she even loves the tech weeks, and of course the performances. Most importantly, she thrives with the methods of instruction, through the support and dedication of all the staff, especially Mr. Luke McEndarfer. The NCC believes in the whole child and reaching them to let them find and experience their voice. I can’t imagine better life coaches or mentors than the caring people of the NCC who are supporting my daughter to not only learn to sing, but to feel the joy of singing both on the stages of concert halls and in life. Our experience has been invaluable and we highly recommend it!"
 


KIERSTEN CLUSTER
NCC PARENT SINCE 2009

"My son, Noah, has loved to sing and perform since before he could walk. However, I knew nothing about formal voice training, or even much about classical music. In 2009, he was referred to a choral audition, and was accepted into the NCC. Little did we know that his membership in the NCC would open up a whole new world for him and change the course of his life. Noah is now a tenor of the Scholars in the Senior Division, and based on his experience in the NCC, music is his life.  He plans to apply to a music conservatory for college and study classical voice performance. His dream is to be a professional opera singer. Due to the connections he has made through the NCC, he trains with the Chair of the Voice and Opera program at UCLA, and is a Student Ambassador for LA Opera. He attends the opera regularly and writes opera summaries for the LA Opera 90012 Program. Aside from his professional and artistic goals, Noah has found a second family in the NCC. He has made good friends who share his passion for music and opera. I love to listen to their conversations as I drive Noah and his friends to rehearsals! I cannot speak highly enough of the NCC program and the caliber of its instructors. Not only has the NCC provided professional level vocal training and music theory education for Noah, it has also nurtured his love for music through personal and professional connections and enabled his artistic creativity to blossom."
 


Ros Warby 
NCC PARENT SINCE 2013

"Our son, Malachi, joined the National Children’s Chorus as a shy 8 yr old. Now 11, his musical aspirations, and love of music could not be stronger, and more fired up. The journey Malachi has taken, though the various levels of the NCC, has been like a steady and gentle series of stepping-stones through a musical wonderland. The repertoire selected each season by a remarkable team of musical directors, is superb, exposing the children to a wide range of beautiful music and language from across the globe. The continuity of exceptional musical education running through every area of the program, including vocal training, musicianship and performance, is remarkable.

Malachi has been so fortunate to have Dr. Pamela Blackstone as his director for the past 3 years. She has been a consistent inspiration, mentor, teacher, support and beacon of light for Malachi - since his very first day in 2013. Her vibrant, effervescent nature, and delightful way with the children is infectious. You can see the children just fly along with her in performance. The training she offers young musicians encompasses an awareness of mind, body and voice. Her ability to inspire and teach students how these work together, to produce a wonderful sound, is unparalleled. The children possess a presence and poise that carries the innocent, yet disciplined voices far, and transmit a quiet joy that resonates to the audience. Malachi has thrived under Dr. Blackstone’s magical direction. Her teaching and mentorship has not only introduced him to his own vocal potential, but has boosted his confidence, which enhances every aspect of his life. Malachi is inspired, not only by his directors, but also by the older students who have ventured into the composition and conducting programs available in the senior years. I can feel Malachi’s anticipation and excitement as he imagines what may lie ahead, on the NCC road. NCC feels like a place that will continue to shape Malachi’s musical and personal development throughout his middle and high school years in a well-rounded and brilliant way, exposing him to the very best training, performance and touring opportunities as he continues to grow and develop.

As a parent, I am thrilled to have found a program of quality and vision that I feel our son will flourish in, as he is exposed to the very best of an art form that is central to his being. The NCC is a very big part of Malachi’s identity and he treasures his place in the organization. Seeing him come to life on stage, and witness his musical essence shine, is a wonderful gift our family shares at each NCC concert. NCC is an organization of the highest caliber supporting children’s musical education in the most extraordinary ways. It’s a wonderful organization to be a part of."
 


Joanna and Kaj Rydman
NCC PARENTS SINCE 2011

"It is with such delight, awe, and gratitude that we have been observing NCC successfully push its vision forward over the years.  We are so very proud of the work NCC does, and we're grateful for being part of it. The positive emotional impact that NCC has on all the kids is simply amazing.

The program you have created is clearly without parallel in the United States.  The structure and curriculum, combined with the quality, passion, and energy in everyone at NCC just continues to amaze us.

As we watch the faces and body language of the kids in the NCC concerts and listen to the ever more beautiful sound of each of the groups, we are constantly reminded what an astonishing and amazing world you are helping them explore and discover at every rehearsal, at every private lesson, and in every concert. We are so privileged and fortunate to be part of it.

It is exciting to witness how all those things that you envisioned 10+ years ago are starting to become reality. And what a difference it has made in Hanna's and Anja's lives. Without NCC, they wouldn't flourish the way they do today. 

Looking back 20 years from now, this will single-handedly be the most formative experience in Hanna’s and Anja’s lives. There’s no doubt about it. Thank you for taking our two girls under your wings for this journey." 
 


Allison Abner and Gene Sperling
NCC PARENTS SINCE 2015

"Our daughter, who began at age 8 has gotten an incredible music education with NCC. The NCC combines a high level of professionalism and rigor in both performance and music education, while also still remembering that they're teaching to children and keeping it fun. The music is challenging and appropriate for her age level, and she is deeply inspired by the senior division performances to keep reaching. Every level that she advances also inspires us as her parents, to see how much she has progressed, matured, and learned with each semester's curriculum."
 


Sarah Chart
NCC PARENT SINCE 2016

"Our daughter has been singing with the National Children's Chorus since the beginning of 2016 and this has been a wonderful experience for her. The Spring Showcase was the first time she participated in a concert with the NCC and the sound coming from the voices of the children was beautiful and beyond what we were expecting to hear.

Emma feels very fortunate to have the opportunity to learn from Mr. McEndarfer, and under his instruction, she is learning to master the use of her voice and her passion for singing continues to grow bigger and bigger.

Thank you, NCC!"
 


Brandhi Williamson
NCC PARENT SINCE 2012

"Thank you for four truly transformative years with the National Children’s Chorus. Hayes and I are sad to leave, but delighted by the experiences we’ve shared—from Hayes’s first year in the Minuet Level and earning Golden Apple Awards to being a soloist at Carnegie Hall and touring England and China. Truly memories of a lifetime! I am most thankful that the NCC has set a wonderful example of professionalism and excellence that is now the foundation for Hayes’ career as a performer. What a gift! Hayes and I wish all the best to the NCC, and we look forward to attending next season’s shows and following the progress of such an outstanding organization."