Our Choirs

Honors Choir Festival

15th Annual First Coast Honors Choir

Saturday, January 27, 2018 - Mandarin Presbyterian Church   

The Jacksonville Children’s Chorus's (JCC) one-day event to honor local fourth through seventh 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 with our guest conductors to provide enrichment and continuing education to area music educators. This free breakfast and education seminar is open to all Florida public and private school music teachers.


Honors Choir Registration has now been closed as we have reached capacity.

Click here for access to practice recordings.


The Honors Choir Festival Day Schedule: 

10:15am- 10:45 am

Check-in at Mandarin Presbyterian Church


Rehearsals with Guest Conductor (songs that singers have been practicing)


Lunch and break




Stage walk-through/rehearsal




The doors will open for general admission seating at 4:45 pm. The concert will begin at 5:00 pm. Admission is $5.  Parents will be able to purchase tickets upon singer check-in at 10:15 AM or at the door in the afternoon.


About the Guest Conductors

Girl's Ensemble Conductor 

Sandy Holland
Founding and Artistic Director, Young Voices of the Carolinas

Sandy R. Holland is the founding director of the Young Voices of the Carolinas. Before beginning a new program for the greater Charlotte area, Sandy was the Artistic Director of the Charlotte Children’s Choir for 23 seasons. Under her director the Charlotte Children’s Choir gained regional, national and international recognition as an outstanding arts organization dedicated to children and choral excellence.

Sandy is a sought after choral clinician and guest lecturer on children’s vocal development and has conducted honors and all state choruses in 14 states.

Before moving to Charlotte in 1991, Sandy received her undergraduate degree from Pfeiffer College in Church Music, and Voice and received her masters degree from Indiana University studying Music Education, Voice and Conducting. Sandy is dedicated to working with children in a fun loving environment, encouraging children to make friends with fellow singers and create an atmosphere of teamwork.  Currently teaching general and choral music at Scholars Academy, and directing children’s choirs at St. John Baptist Church, Sandy is a active member of Chorus America, National Association for Music Educators and American Choral Directors Association for which she is serving as President for North Carolina.


Boy's Ensemble Conductor 

Vincent Oakes
Artistic Director, Chattanooga Boys Choir

Vincent Oakes earned the Bachelor of Music Education degree from the University of Florida and the Master of Sacred Music degree in Choral Conducting from Emory University.  Since 2003, he has served as Artistic Director of the Chattanooga Boys Choir, a music education and performance organization of over 130 boys (grades 3-12) in five different ensembles from across the Chattanooga area. Under his direction, the choir has taken performance tours to Canada, Germany, the Czech Republic, Ireland, Cuba, and to many prestigious venues throughout the United States, including Carnegie Hall, St. Louis Cathedral, Duke University Chapel, and the Piccolo Spoleto Festival. The boychoir has also been featured in commercial recordings with Stephen Curtis Chapman, Casting Crowns, and the Nashville Symphony Orchestra, including the grammy-nominated recording of Maurice Ravel’s L’enfant et les Sortilèges with the NSO.

A frequent choral clinician and guest conductor, recent conducting engagements have included the Tennessee All-State Treble Chorus, the Florida ACDA Male Honor Chorus, the Alabama ACDA Young Voices Festival Boychoir, the Instituto Piaget Vocalizze in Lisbon, Portugal, and the ACDA International Conductors Exchange Program in Havana, Cuba. The 2016-2017 season includes guest conducting appearances in Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina, South Dakota, and the Bangkok International Choral Festival in Thailand. He has also been a clinician/conductor for youth and children’s choirs at the Montreat, Lake Junaluska, and Massanetta Springs church music conferences and has authored articles which have appeared in Choral Journal and in the textbook Choral Pedagogy by Robert Sataloff and Brenda Smith.

A member of the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) and the American Choral Directors Association, he served as Southern Division Chair of Boychoir Repertoire and Standards for ACDA and recently completed his term as President of Tennessee ACDA.  In June 2017, he begins his term as President-Elect of ACDA’s Southern Division, which is comprised of  3,000 choral directors across the division’s eleven state chapters.

Mr. Oakes is also the Director of Choral Music at the Baylor School in Chattanooga, where he conducts four student choirs (grades 6-12) and the faculty choir. In 2013, he founded the Tennessee Valley Voices, a chorus of Chattanooga-area music educators whose performances raise awareness of the importance of music and arts education in the Tennessee Valley region.


Contact Information:  

Melissa Barnes

Honors Choir Performance Coordinator 

Email: melissa@jaxchildrenschorus.org 

Phone: 904.353.1636, ext. 6

“The JCC is more than just a chorus; it is truly a life-changing experience. The Chorus has opened me to new experiences, provided me with once-in-a-lifetime opportunities and helped me discover singing is not just one of my interests but rather a lifelong passion.”

Emma, 17, Touring and Concert Choirs

“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

“The Chorus expands your musical horizons and helps you grow as a person. You are surrounded with other young people who have something in common…their love of music. I have learned that music does, indeed, bring people and cultures together. The music we sing brings people hope for a better future of understanding and cooperation.”

Jasmine, 16, Touring and Concert Choirs

“JCC truly embodies some of the best qualities of team sports: camaraderie, discipline, patience, persistence, and positive mentoring.”

Wali Gomes, 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