Since 1990, the San Diego Children’s Choir has been a leader in choral training for the young voice. As the area's oldest and largest choral music education and performance program, more than 1500 choristers benefit from high quality music education and formative performance experiences.
Through the San Diego Children’s Choir ensemble program, children in grades 1-12 progress through five choir levels and learn to sing music drawn from many languages, cultures and periods of history, and represent styles from medieval to modern, classical, folk and spirituals. San Diego Children’s Choir believes all children should have access to music education and provides ensemble program scholarships to qualifying families and free music programming in underserved schools.
During this uncertain time, the San Diego Children’s Choir is more important than ever for the children and adolescents participating in its programs. When the COVID-19 virus hit the US, the Choir adapted to the circumstances and offered nearly uninterrupted access to music without compromising artistic standards and expectations. Although no amount of virtual or distanced rehearsing, performing and recording can replicate the experience of live music and collaboration with other musicians in person, the choir has maintained the highest level of instruction and interaction possible. Preparing for performances in person and online, SDCC has offered children the comfort of routine rehearsals with peers, working together to sing in harmony. Under Artistic Director Ruthie Millgard, SDCC’s gifted artistic staff continues to provide reassuring discipline and inspiration along with an emotional outlet for children to express a variety of feelings and emotions through song.
The San Diego Children’s Choir brings joy to San Diego through unique partnerships, community engagement and performance including singing in the San Diego Symphony’s “Noel Noel” presentation. From partnering with UCSD on early childhood development research, to providing choral support and teacher training to the Voices of our City Choir, SDCC actively engages with the community to make it better. The Children's Choir provides music education to underserved schools through its Neighborhood Outreach program and performs for many diverse audiences, including elderly residents in memory care, symphony and ballet lovers and even sports fans at Padres games.
Children from all backgrounds join the San Diego Children's Choir because of their love of singing. They end up with life skills and advanced musicianship that create unlimited potential in music and in life.
Singers for Dec. 2020
"NOEL NOEL AT HOME"
*"Silent Night" only
Accompanist: Adam Ferrara
Chaperones:Lyz Boltz, Maureen Monk
Ruthie Millgard, Artistic Director of the San Diego Children's Choir, has a bachelor's degree in music education from Western Washington University and a master of music in choral conducting from the University of Oregon. Ms. Millgard started out in children's choirs as a girl, and after completing her undergraduate degree she enjoyed five years as a public school music teacher in New York City, New York. During her undergraduate and graduate training, Ms. Millgard sang in regional and national American Choral Director's Association (ACDA) conventions and in various venues across Europe. The chamber ensemble she sang in at the University of Oregon won first place in the Fleischmann International Trophy Competition in 2013 in Cork, Ireland, competing against professional choirs from around the globe.
More recently, Ms. Millgard has conducted various district honor's choirs at the middle and elementary school levels, and has served as clinician at various K-12 choral festivals. She is currently Board President of the Choral Consortium of San Diego and volunteers as choral director with the Voices of our City Choir, one of San Diego’s most treasured organizations, serving those living with housing insecurity. In 2018 Ms. Millgard, with SDCC’s Chamber Choir, won Music and Memory’s Volunteer of the Year Award for the workshops Ms. Millgard created highlighting the importance of music and singing for those living with dementia.
Ruthie Millgard has been a teacher/conductor with the San Diego Children’s Choir since 2014 and lives in San Diego with her husband and two young sons.