Founded in 1986, the Barrington Children's Choir is a select group of approximately 150 auditioned young voices in grades two through twelve from suburban Chicago, Illinois.The choristers represent over 38 different schools in the area. It was the vision of Founding Artistic Director, Peggy Crawford, to unite the purity and simplicity of children's voices with the finest concepts of music learning and artistic performance. The choirs are instructed in a diverse and an extensive repertoire including folk, classical, renaissance, and contemporary music in native languages.
Choirs are selected by audition and evaluation. The children are placed in one of three choirs:
- Chamber Choir: grades seven through twelve
- Intermediate Ensemble Choir: grades four through eight
- Noel Choir: grades two through four
In addition to the the Choirs listed above, a select group of Chamber Choir members comprise the women's Bel Canto Choir. Men high school age and older have the opportunity to sing in the Men's Choir.
Each choir rehearses weekly, performs at the annual Winter & Spring concerts and performs at numerous civic, church and corporate events. The choirs typically tour every other year. The Chamber Choir participates in both domestic & international festivals, while the Intermediate Ensemble travels domestically.
The organization is managed by a staff of choral directors & accompanists, an Administrative Director, and a Board of Directors that manage a high level of parental involvement which focuses on volunteerism and fundraising events.
Conductor: Peggy Crawford
Chamber / Bel Canto / Men's Choir
As the founding director of BCC, she is an internationally recognized teacher and conductor of children's voice. A graduate of Northwestern University School of Music, she received her Master's degree in Music Education and Conducting from Vandercook College. The founding of the Barrington Children's was the realization of a vision cherished throughout her career: uniting the purity and simplicity of children's voices with the finest traditional and contemporary choral music. As Director of the Barrington Children's Choir, Peggy continues to fulfill and expand her vision. The choir's artistic achievements have accorded her merited recognition and contact with some of the most prominent and respected choral conductors. These include composer John Rutter, Dr. James Litton of the American Boy Choir, Christoph Eschenbach of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, David Flood, Choir-master of Canterbury Cathedral and Henry Leck of the Indianapolis Children's Choir. Peggy's fundamental and primary motivation is to enrich children's lives through the love of music and the joy and fulfillment of artistic accomplishment. June of 2010 found Peggy making her final routes to the schools in District 220. She retired after 25 years of service in four different schools. When asked if she would retire from BCC as well, she replied, "Leave my birthchild? Never!"
Conductor: Carol Sesso
Intermediate Ensemble Choir
With over 30 years of musical experience, Carol has directed adult and children's choirs, children's musicals and has taught and coached piano and voice students. In District 220 she has taught music at all levels, elementary through high school. Carol recently retired from teaching in spring 2014. She is enjoying the rewards of being a grandparent, serving her church and is grateful for her continued role within BCC. Carol and her husband live in Barrington where they raised their four children, two of whom were BCC choristers. Carol graduated from the University of Michigan with a Bachelor's degree in music and pursued graduate studies at Vandercook College of Music.
Conductor: Joyce Haqq
Although Joyce is new to BCC as of July 2015, she has 20+ years of teaching and directing experience for all age levels, ranging from infants (Kindermusik) through community college. She currently teaches choir at the middle school and high school levels in Barrington 220. Prior to joining Barrington 220, Joyce taught at Stevenson High School for 8 years. Most recently she has also directed "Ladyjazz", a co-curricular ensemble at Stevenson High School. Joyce graduated from the University of Illinois with a Bachelor's degree in Choral Music Education. She is currently pursuing her master's from Concordia University of Chicago.