Virginia Children's Chorus

Virginia Children's Chorus

9 employees
30 years in business

About this pro

Virginia Children's Chorus is an auditioned choir school for children in grades 1 through 12.  Auditions are held in June & August for our fall semester beginning in September and in January for our spring semester beginning in January. 

Each of our choir groups gives community performances throughout Hampton Roads.  Our older choir groups also perform with the Virginia Symphony Orchestra and the Virginia Arts Festival. 

We have 4 choirs with five levels of instruction, including solfege (sight-singing / ear-training) at all levels:

Training Choir I:  This choir is for beginners, generally grades 1-2.

Rehearsals on Tuesday in Norfolk – 4:30-5:30 p.m.  OR Wednesday  in Virginia Beach – 4:30-5:30 p.m.

Training Choir II:  This choir is for advancing beginners, generally grades 3-5. 

Rehearsals on Tuesday in Norfolk – 4:30-6:10 p.m.  OR Wednesday  in Virginia Beach – 4:30-6:10 p.m.

Choristers:  For intermediate music students, generally in grades 4-8.  Rehearsals on Tuesday in Norfolk – 6:00-8:00 p.m. OR Wednesday in Virginia Beach—6:00-8:00 p.m. 

Concert Choir:  For advanced music students, generally in grades 7-10.  Rehearsals on Monday in Norfolk – 5:00-7:30 – solfège level 4 & 5  / Rehearsals on Monday in Norfolk – 5:30-8:00 – solfège level 6 & 7

Chamber Singers:  For older, advanced music students, generally girls grades 11-12 and high school aged boys with prior vocal training.  Rehearsals on Monday in Norfolk – 6:30-9:00 p.m.


Virginia Children's Chorus is a non-profit arts education and performance organization, founded in 1992 by our Artistic Director, Carol Thomas Downing.  Our professional teaching staff is dedicated to nurturing the love of music in children and helping them to become dedicated musicians. 

The VCC embraces the music of all cultures.  Our programs reflect this love of diversity and our singers are introduced to a variety of styles:  classical, sacred, contemporary, jazz and world folk music.

Carol Thomas Downing is the Founder / Artistic Director of the Virginia Children’s Chorus. An experienced singer, children’s choral director, classical violinist and Celtic fiddler, Ms. Downing has trained young musicians from preschool through the university level. She holds a B.A. degree in voice, graduating summa cum laude from Towson University and received her Masters of Music degree in music education with Kodály emphasis from the University of St. Thomas.  Ms. Downing serves on the faculties of The Academy of Music (Norfolk, VA) and The Walden School for Young Composers (Dublin, NH) and is the Middle School Music Specialist at Ghent Montessori School.  She is Founder and past director of the Peabody Children’s Chorus (Baltimore) and a contributing author to The Walden School Musicianship Course:  A Manual for Teachers, (2002).  She guest conducts for All-City & District Chorus events, teaches at Suzuki violin workshops and frequently performs as a fiddler and singer for Irish events.  Ms. Downing holds Kodály certification and is a member of the American Choral Directors Association, Chorus America, The Organization of Kodály Educators and the Suzuki Association of the Americas.

Paul Putnam is the Chamber Singers Director for the Virginia Children's Chorus.  Paul received his Bachelor of Music Education degree from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst with a concentration in organ and voice in 1992 and his Master’s degree in Music Education with Kodály emphasis from the University of Hartford, Hartt School of Music in 2013.  Paul has taught Vocal/General Music at all levels K-12 since 1992.  Most recently, Paul taught for the past 11 years in Virginia Beach at New Castle Elementary School where he was named the 2014-2015 Teacher of the Year.  Currently, Paul is the Choral Director at Smithfield High School in Smithfield, VA.  In addition to his teaching responsibilities, Paul is also the Music Director at Oakland Christian United Church of Christ in Suffolk.  Paul holds active memberships in the American Orff-Schulwerk Association(AOSA), American Choral Directors Association(ACDA) & the National Association For Music Education(NAFME).

Louisa Priore is the Training Choir director for the Virginia Children's Chorus. She holds a B.A. degree from the State University of New York.  She completed the Kodály Level III certification class at James Madison University in 2003.  Mrs. Priore has served on the VCC staff since 2001 in a variety of teaching roles:  as solfège instructor for the Concert Choir and as rehearsal assistant and substitute director for the Training Choir, Choristers, and Concert Choir.  Mrs. Priore has over twenty-five years experience teaching in the classroom and privately. In addition to her work with the VCC, Mrs. Priore has taught musicianship classes at The Academy of Music (Norfolk, VA) and at the summer choral camp at James Madison University.  She served as worship leader and Director of Music and Arts at Bayview Baptist Church from 2001-2004 where she taught music to children and directed a children’s musical.   Mrs. Priore has begun studies for her masters in music degree at James Madison University. She is a member of the Organization of Kodály Educators.


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Norfolk, VA 23505
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