NCC Announces Season 2016/17: Metamorphosis        


Upon returning from China, NCC Students Inspired to Change the World with "Peace" and "Love"   



The 2016/17 Season of the National Children's Chorus (NCC) entitled Metamorphosis features the organization's most extraordinary repertoire selections to date, including music by Eric Whitacre, Leonard Bernstein, Ludwig van Beethoven, John Rutter, Paul Gibson, Giacomo Puccini, Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, Johann Sebastian Bach, Giuseppe Verdi and Gabriel Fauré, among others. Led by Luke McEndarfer and Dr. Pamela Blackstone, Metamorphosis highlights the NCC's superb musical artistry and celebrates the role of its talented students as agents of change in the world. Coming off the heels of a tremendously successful international collaboration with the Galaxy Children's Choir of the People's Republic of China, and debut performances at Walt Disney Concert Hall and the Hollywood Bowl, Metamorphosis ushers in for the NCC a new level of commitment to the choral art form as a life-changing and transformative experience, both for its performers and audience members alike. Venues of the season include Royce Hall and Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in Los Angeles, as well as Carnegie Hall in New York City. At its conclusion, Metamorphosis culminates in the NCC's 3rd major international tour to Italy, with visits and musical presentations in Milan, Venice, Florence and Rome.

NCC makes debut at Walt Disney Concert Hall, 2016 

In December, the NCC proudly presents a holiday concert entitled Peace at Carnegie Hall in Manhattan and Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in downtown Los Angeles. The inspiration for this moving program draws on the human desire for peace, examining its significance throughout the ages and calling for its perpetual sustenance in our global community. In Los Angeles, the NCC's acclaimed Scholars (an SATB, college-prep ensemble) will sing Leonard Bernstein's Chichester Psalms as an early installment towards Bernstein/100--a worldwide centennial festival commemorating the great American composer. The version performed shall be accompanied with harp, percussion and the Cathedral's majestic 6019-pipe Dobson organ. Other works of interest include Lux Aurumque by Eric Whitacre, Hallelujah (from Christ on the Mount of Olives) by Ludwig van Beethoven, and Do You Hear What I Hear, arranged by Artistic Director Luke McEndarfer (world and LA premieres). Additionally, Paul Gibson's intricate and haunting setting of Dona Nobis Pacem will grace performances on both coasts, making its Carnegie Hall debut.

NCC sings at the Cathedral, 2014 

In May, the NCC revels in timeless classics from across Western Europe which have long inspired men and women around the world. Entitled Love, this thrilling season finale is a feast for the senses, weaving operatic melodies, art songs and folk tunes into a rich tapestry of sound--all sung with the masterful vocal ability of the NCC's most advanced singers. Thematically designed to explore various meanings and concepts of love, this stunning and sophisticated program exhibits music's potential to touch the hardest of hearts, break down walls, and bring people closer together. With an emphasis on composers from Italy, France and Germany, featuring many of the greatest hits from the last several hundred years, audience members will surely reconnect with special memories, as well as dream of new moments to come. Giacomo Puccini, Johann Sebastian Bach and Gabriel Fauré are among the composers whose music will fill Royce Hall and Carnegie Hall as part of this bicoastal presentation. Additionally, both shows will highlight the premiere of a new piece commissioned by the NCC, written by LA Phil Composing Fellow Robby Good. As part of its ongoing collaboration with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the NCC's noted Composition Program, under the guidance of Dr. Ian Krouse, continues to produce rising young stars, with university acceptances at Stanford, Harvard, Yale, New England Conservatory, Brown, Northwestern, and London's Royal College of Music, just in the last year alone. This year's commission continues the NCC's strong pledge towards new music, mindfully investing in the advancement of the art form.

NCC performs at Carnegie Hall, 2015 

During 2016/17, the NCC's twelve Junior Division ensembles in Los Angeles, New York and Washington, D.C. take the stage in two seasonal concert appearances. At the Fall Showcase in December and Spring Showcase in April and May, both taking place in each of the NCC's three cities, patrons are invited for an in-depth view of the educational process of the National Children's Chorus. From ages 5 and 6 to more advanced, the Junior Division reflects the building blocks and foundational training methods employed by the NCC's youngest vocalists, all of whom dedicate themselves to the achievement of skills eventually required for promotion to the Senior Division ranks. The intimate and supportive atmosphere of these Showcases makes them heartfelt favorites within the NCC community and beyond!

Spring Showcase in Washington, D.C., 2014 

In June and July, Senior Division students from Los Angeles, New York and Washington, D.C. will prepare for performances in Italy as part of the NCC's highly-anticipated return to Europe. Visits to many top tourist destinations are in store, such as the Vatican City in Rome, Uffizi Gallery in Florence, and the Grand Canal of Venice. Concert selections sung on tour will be drawn from repertoire throughout the 2016/17 season, with the tour activities reinforcing and expanding upon artistic, cultural and historical lessons covered during the year. As part of a new educational initiative at the NCC, designed to further enrich the international travel experience for its singers, students of the Premier Ensemble will now enjoy a dedicated class as part of their curriculum that focuses on the diction rules of foreign language, as well as insightful exploration of the country specific to the tour destination each year.

Grand Canal in Venice, Italy 

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Media Contact: Vanessa Butler | 213.446.0774


A Stunning Gala

Honoring Founder

Sister Stella Maria Enright, DMJ


Live Chinese Dragon Dancers, Gala 2016

This spring, the NCC enjoyed a magical night under the stars at the home of Ms. Barbera Thornhill in Holmby Hills, California. Entitled An Evening on the Silk Road, the event, honoring founding member Sr. Stella Maria Enright,  had a Chinese theme, beautifully designed in anticipation of our chorus' summer tour to Hong Kong and mainland China. Guests enjoyed a cocktail party at the main house accompanied with live jazz, followed by dinner and musical presentations at the garden house, with selections sung by members of the NCC Senior Division. Silent and live auctions featured many unique items and rare experiences for patrons, while raising much-needed funds for the NCC Scholarship Program. All in all, this was the organization's most successful gala to date, bringing together the NCC family in support of its educational mission! Thank you to all who contributed and made the gala possible. Stay tuned for our upcoming announcement regarding Gala 2017!

An Evening on the Silk Road, Gala 2016 



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The NCC Senior Division presents
Exquisite Seasonal Music!


Sunday, December 11th at 7:00 PM

Carnegie Hall 

New York


Saturday, December 17th at 7:30 PM

Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels 

Los Angeles



NCC Students Make Historic Debut in Xian and Beijing       


Welcomed by the Mayor of Xian, NCC sang triumphantly in collaboration with CCTV's Galaxy Children's Choir  



NCC presents music of the Silk Road at the Xian Ancient City Wall

It's not every day that a children's chorus is asked to perform at the Ancient City Wall in Xian, China, let alone as part of a special artistic collaboration between two countries in a nationally-televised event. And yet, that is where the NCC's gifted singers found themselves upon arrival from Beijing in mid-July. Surrounded by more than 1,000 years of architectural history, they took the stage for their performance and looked into the eyes of the packed audience (mostly Chinese government officials and dignitaries). Several students mentioned afterwards at that moment they felt an unprecedented opportunity to make a difference--to show that music is indeed a bridge that brings all people together from across the world, regardless of race, religion or cultural differences. And with the audience comprised largely of those who govern and rule, how increasingly important their message was. 

The prestigious Tang Dynasty Welcome was used to greet guests of the performance, several of whom were heads of state and international dignitaries


As the music began, rain started to descend upon the stage, at first a light drizzle, and then with increasing intensity. The students sang from one piece to the next, building in excitement and power along with the rain, their joy unyielding. By the grand finale, written in Mandarin by one of the NCC's student composers Joss Saltzman and entitled Chinese Bridge, the rain was pouring down. Production staff were racing to brace umbrellas over the grand piano (pictured above), which was quickly filling up with water as the sound of the combined ranks of the NCC and China's state-run Galaxy Children's Choir soared through the stadium. Needless to say, it was a powerful moment for all who were there to remember--a moment where nothing else mattered or existed except peace, love and unity.

Members of the NCC and Galaxy Children's Choir make friends at the Ancient City Wall of Xian 

"Dr. Pamela Blackstone was leading the finale that night, and as I watched and experienced it, the rain unapologetically drenching us all, the only thought that came into my mind was 'I will never forget this moment so long as I live,'" said Artistic Director Luke McEndarfer. "This is what music is all about. At the NCC, we work tirelessly on tone quality, breath support, intonation, phrasing, diction and dramatic communication of the text. But it's not enough. Only when excellent musical execution is then taken to the next level of transforming every person in the room, only then have we begun to reach our potential as artists."

The trip for the NCC was the 2nd major international tour for the organization, featuring the combined students of Los Angles, New York and Washington, D.C. Traveling more than 8,000 miles from the United States, nearly 200 students, parents and staff had set out on a 5-city tour of China earlier in the month, with plans for sightseeing, performances and cultural exchange in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing, Xian and Guilin. Having just performed Tan Dun's stunning Heaven Earth Mankind (commissioned for the 1997 reunification of Hong Kong with mainland China) to a sold out crowd at Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, students were anxious to visit the actual sites referenced in the work. "It's amazing that the NCC coordinates the tour destination each year to reinforce the things we learn in the music," said New York student Kayla Judge. "I learn about it in class, I sing it, and then I get to see it. Both England and China were life-changing experiences for me."

NCC sings Tan Dun at Walt Disney Concert Hall, presented by the LA Phil; NCC views Hong Kong by air just prior to arrival 

In addition to the students' stunning performance in Xian, they also appeared at the Great Wall of China, where they sang their concert literature in a free public performance at the site used by the Beijing Symphony. Locals and tour guests enjoyed an afternoon performance, followed by a beautiful sunset walk along the Great Wall. Repertoire included works from the NCC's spring season performances at Royce Hall in Los Angeles and Carnegie Hall in New York, which focused on music from cultures found along the ancient Silk Road. Selections from Armenia, Japan, Korea, Philippines, Kenya, India, and of course, China, thrilled the audience (pictured below). Another unforgettable moment for the NCC!

NCC performs at the Great Wall of China 

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Stay tuned for our official 2016 Tour Photo Album, which will be launched on our Facebook fan page later this month!

For more information on the NCC, please visit  



  A Joyous Occasion
Featuring all NCC Ensembles!


Friday, December 9th at 7:30 PM

The Church of Saint Paul the Apostle 

New York 


Saturday, December 10th at 4:00 PM

National City Christian Church  

Washington, D.C. 


Sunday, December 18th at 2:00 & 4:00 PM

Schoenberg Hall

Los Angeles  





The National Children's Chorus is currently accepting applications for membership in all of its levels for the 2017 Winter/Spring Season in Los Angeles, New York and Washington, D.C. If you are interested in becoming a member, or if you know someone who is, CLICK HERE to book an audition appointment.



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The NCC hopes you had a restful and fun-filled summer! 


September 2016  |  Issue No. 28     ind us on Facebookiew our videos on YouTubeollow us on Twitter