Our Choirs

Honors Choir Festival

14th Annual First Coast Honors Choir

Saturday, January 28, 2017 - Mandarin Presbyterian Church   

Each year, The Jacksonville Children’s Chorus (JCC) sponsors a day-long program to honor up to 200 local fourth, fifth, and sixth grade children who have been recognized by their music educators for their singing ability, musical aptitude and strong work ethic. The children spend the day rehearsing with a nationally recognized clinician and conductor. The event culminates in a performance of the newly-formed Honors Choir. 

Held in conjunction with the Honors Choir Festival, JCC holds the Midwinter Music Workshop to provide enrichment and continuing education to area music educators. This free breakfast education seminar is open to all area public and private school music teachers.

Teachers, please pass out the acceptance letter to your 10 nominated singers (5 boys, 5 girls) and be sure to register yourself for the FREE workshop and breakfast. Once you have nominated your singers, please fill out and send us the Vocal Range Form for each singer to Katy Polk.

Honors Choir Acceptance Letter

2017 Honors Choir Festival and Teacher Workshop Registration Form

2017 Honors Choir Festival - Girls Ensemble Registration Form

2017 Honors Choir Festival - Boys Ensemble Registration Form

2017 Vocal Range Form

About the Guest Conductors

Girl's Choir Conductor 

Sophia Papoulis, Assistant Director of Choirs, Boston Children’s Chorus

A conductor, choral clinician, and music educator, Sophia Papoulis serves as Assistant Director of Choirs for the award-winning Boston Children's Chorus (BCC), where she conducts beginning and intermediate choirs. In addition to her role as a conductor, Sophia oversees the eight choirs of the lower division, leads the recruitment efforts of the organization at-large, and manages a study group of music educators, serving as a liaison to the Boston Public Schools. BCC harnesses the power and joy of music to unite Boston's diverse communities and inspire social change. 

A firm believer in the power of music to inspire change, growth, and joy, Sophia also serves as Conductor and Creative Director for the Foundation for Small Voices (FSV), a not-for-profit organization dedicated, through music, to crossing cultural, generational, and ideological boundaries to raise awareness and funds for national and international music and mentoring programs for children from all walks of life. She created and directs FSV's "Small Voices of Hope" project, bringing a choral and songwriting experience to children in Boston's public schools, many of whom have never experienced choral singing. Together with her husband Jim Papoulis, composer and founder of FSV, she designed and launched FSV's Professional Development series in the spring of 2014.  Through this series, Sophia and Jim bring their combined knowledge and expertise to music educators in composition, world music, pedagogy, curriculum, conducting, and working with children of all ages and backgrounds. Sophia guest-conducts regional and all-state choruses; adjudicates; guest-lectures in music education and conducting; and gives workshops throughout the US and abroad.

For seven years, Sophia served as a conductor for the award-winning Young People's Chorus of New York City, directing choruses in its core after-school program and teaching within its Satellite School program in NYC public schools. She has conducted at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the 92nd Street Y, Merkin Concert Hall at Kaufman Center, and Symphony Space, in addition to a number of other venues throughout NYC. She has prepared choruses for national and international radio and television appearances, recording sessions, collaborative performances with such ensembles as Meredith Monk, the Kronos Quartet and the Stephen Petronio Company, and for performances not only in New York City, but also in major venues throughout North America, Asia, Europe, and South America.  Sophia is a magna cum laude graduate of the Ithaca College School of Music where she studied conducting with Janet Galvan.

Boy's Choir Conductor 

Tom T. Shelton, Jr., Westminster Choir College

Tom T. Shelton, Jr. is a native of Greensboro, N.C. and a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where he earned both a Bachelor of Music Education and Master of Music in Choral Conducting. He is Assistant Professor of Sacred Music at Westminster Choir College.  Focusing on children’s and youth music at Westminster, he teaches classes in conducting, sacred music, music education and coordinates and conducts the Neighborhood Children’s Choir Program.  In addition, he is the Director of Music for Children’s and Youth Choirs at Princeton United Methodist Church.

Mr. Shelton has a passion for music education in all areas: church, school and community. He taught middle school choral music in Winston-Salem/Forsyth County for 18 years. During that time he was selected Teacher of the Year for both Atkins Middle School and Kernersville Middle School.  In 1999 the North Carolina Music Educators Association presented him with the North Carolina Middle School Music Teacher of the Year award.  

Mr. Shelton is active with the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA), currently serving as the National President-Elect. Other ACDA leadership positions have included Southern Division President (2011-2012), National R&S Chair for Middle School/Junior High Choirs (2007-2009) and North Carolina President (2005-2007).

Mr. Shelton has conducted festivals and honor choirs for elementary, middle school and high school students in 20 states as well as Hong Kong. He is the Series Director for the Music for Young Voices Series with GIA Publications and has over 40 compositions published by Choristers Guild, Colla Voce Music, G. Schirmer, GIA Publications, Heritage Music Press, Hinshaw Music Company, Santa Barbara Music Press, and Walton Music.


Contact Information: 

Katy Polk

Honors Choir Recruitment Coordinator

Email: katy@jaxchildrenschorus.org

Phone: 904.353.1636, ext 600


Diana Wooten

Honors Choir Performance Coordinator 

Email: diana@jaxchildrenschorus.org 

Phone: 904.353.1636, ext. 900

“It is gratifying the Jacksonville Children’s Chorus program covers so much of what is not available to children in the Duval Public Schools. The children who have an opportunity to participate in your Chorus are very fortunate to have this outstanding musical training available to them. The entire community benefits from your talent and that of the children.”

Dr. Frances B. Kinne, Chancellor Emeritus and Past President, Jacksonville University

“Being a part of the JCC has not only allowed Christian to experience the fun, excitement and pleasure of singing with friends, it has also helped him to develop a sense of confidence that comes from life skills of hard work and perseverance.”

Elaine Bourne, JCC Parent

“I was in the Jacksonville Children's Chorus in 1999-2002. It helped me to build long lasting friendships and a greater love for music. To this day I still remember the fun times and great concerts we did in the JCC. I think this organization is great for children of all ages, it helps build confidence and friendships.”

Bethany, Former Member

“Music plays a major role in the full development of a child. Not only does it enrich lives, it also serves as a pathway for students to express themselves and explore new ways to communicate with others. For 20 years, kudos to the JCC for molding the lives of young artists, and I look forward to the next 20 years.”

Tim Cost, President, Jacksonville University

“Music is such a valuable part of life. The way it enriches one’s life and encourages creativity, I do not believe anything else can do as much. We in Jacksonville are certainly blessed to have the Jacksonville Children’s Chorus.”

Scott C. Snyder, President, Compass Consulting Group