Founded in 1998, the Central Dakota Children’s Choir (CDCC) was formed to inspire children to a lifelong love of singing through the performance of fine choral music. It is a nonprofit organization for children enrolled in public, private and homeschools. Their mission is to provide a unique choral education and experience to the children of central North Dakota, to enrich the artistic community, and to serve as ambassadors for North Dakota through music and education.
Starting as a single choir of 65 boys and girls in fourth, fifth, and sixth grade the program, now in its 22nd season, has grown to encompass 350 youth in grades two through 12 from 47 different schools. As a collaborative effort from many schools, the choirs perform at community, state, and regional events as well as producing three formal concerts a year in December, March and May.
Tuition to be involved in the CDCC covers 30% of their total program cost. The remaining funding needed comes from fundraising opportunities such as concerts, performances, corporate income, and grants as well as contributions from individuals and businesses such as Dakota Community Bank & Trust (DCB&T). “Our relationship with Dakota Community Bank & Trust started eight years ago as a sponsor of our Evening to Inspire Event. We were looking for a new sponsor and I knew they were big supporters of youth activities,” says CDCC Executive Director Tammy Rector.
In its 18 years as a fundraiser, Evening to Inspire is the CDCC’s largest fundraiser event. It is their annual banquet normally held at the Ramkota Hotel in Bismarck where all five choirs preform. The night also consists of award recognition, student stories, a dinner, silent auction, raffle and more. “In those eight years, Dakota Community Bank & Trust has helped us to raise over $100,000 for our organization. That is huge for us. The event started small, but it keeps growing and getting bigger,” mentions Rector. Without the support from their many contributors, they would be unable to provide a quality, comprehensive choral education to our region.
In her 13th year with the organization, Rector’s passion for the CDCC all started when her own daughter started in third grade. Following her daughter’s lead in the program all the way through her senior year of high school, Rector remained heavily involved and was promoted to her current role when the founding director of the program retired. She shares that, though she enjoys seeing the student’s learn a love for music, along with other benefits such as relationship and friendship building, one of her favorite memories revolves around Evening to Inspire and the student impact stories. Rector recalls a singer sharing that, “Evening to Inspire is one of the few times her family gets together and sits down and has a meal. Because people are just crazy busy and that just really hit home. It was one of those times when the entire family sat down and had a meal together as one.”
The choirs of CDCC are recognized nationally for their quality and have been invited, by audition, to perform at state and regional events. CDCC performs 30 to 40 times each year and is available for special events. They sing annually for 12,000 to 15,000 people.
Music benefits so many things – enhancing foundational learning skills and making connections to overall attitude and improved mental health. It is the goal of the Central Dakota Children’s Choir to maintain a steady planned growth as it evolves into a strong organization which provides a nurturing environment where children aspire to their highest level of musical artistry and personal development. If you wish to inspire tomorrow’s voices, visit http://www.highprairiecomplex.com/choir/.
Written by Lindsey Hefta, Marketing Director