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Princeton NJ Non-Profit Press Releases

Trenton Children’s Chorus Offering Digital, Technological, and Musical Resources at Reduced Price this Fall

Renowned musician Damien L. Sneed Named as TCC's inaugural Composer-In Residence

Trenton Children's Chorus' (TCC) cultural presence in and for the City of Trenton has historically leveled the playing field in artistic and academic opportunities for its members, and the upcoming 2020-2021 season is no exception. Coinciding with Governor Murphy's current three-pronged approach to address inequity for New Jersey's youth in regard to internet and technology, Trenton Children's Chorus is prioritizing bridging the educational gap for its members by offering a wealth of digital, technological, and musical resources at a significantly reduced price this fall.

Limited resources continue to prevent many Trenton-area schools from providing the important benefits that arts education offers students. During the COVID-19 crisis, these chronic limitations have come to the forefront of both academic and artistic discussions at the local, state, and national levels. TCC has long-provided this avenue to success for its members when it can only be found in extracurricular settings. After 30 years, TCC continues to be committed to providing youth in the Greater Trenton Area with a platform to be heard, inspired, and supported in their development as future contributors to the community.

The overall goal for the 2020-2021 season, especially during the ongoing pandemic, can be summed up in three words: "Engage, Create, and Thrive." TCC is committed to keeping Trenton-area youth engaged in learning, creating meaningful artistic projects that will stand the test of time, and not simply surviving, but thriving in their academic life, creativity, and expression. New Artistic Director, Vinroy D. Brown, Jr., is thrilled to provide these services to Trenton youth. "While we've had to close our physical doors, I am honored that our virtual door for programming allows communities in Trenton and abroad (as far as Texas) to access our programming this year. I could not be more pleased with our outstanding staff, our families and most importantly our choristers for their support of the new TCC vision!"

With the help of gracious supporters, staff, and donors, the challenges of the COVID-19 impact are being turned into opportunities TCC hopes will last after regular in-person programming can safely resume. Under the new Artistic Director Vinroy D. Brown Jr.'s vision, the traditional choral program has been adjusted to the following virtual offerings this fall: musical electives offered twice a week, a Composer-In-Residence program, and a special focus on the TCC Learning Academy as a crucial resource for Trenton students during this time.

The exciting music opportunities will consist of: piano, conducting, music theory, poetry, drumming, and musical theatre. The Musicians Forum listed for Chorale on Thursday evenings will bring in artists and professionals in music to speak to our choristers about their experiences. TCC will provide instruments and equipment for students enrolled in these electives. The Musicians Forum offered to high school students on Thursday evenings will bring in artists and professionals in music to speak to our choristers about their experiences. A capstone initiative available to all TCC members will include the Composer-In-Residence program – which will bring a composer to TCC to work through the creation of a choral work - from text to music- throughout the entire year. For this inaugural year, TCC has engaged renowned musician: Professor Damien L. Sneed.

Additionally, TCC is offering a free Kindle fire for every student enrolled in the Learning Academy, with hotpots provided to families without wi-fi access. Each enrolled student must complete an assessment, parents must attend a virtual orientation to the Academy, and students must complete an additional three sessions in the Learning Academy in order to keep their Kindle fire. Further, TCC is purchasing music and learning apps to install on the Kindle fires for every student.

As the situation with COVID-19 continues to develop, TCC will either continue this module for the spring term, a hybrid of this schedule and in-person offerings, or pivot to our traditional in-person offerings (if safe to do so).

To learn more, please visit trentonchildrenschorus.org.

About Damien Sneed

Damien Sneed is a multi-hyphenate performer whose skills cross musical genres from gospel to opera. Sneed is a talented pianist, organist, conductor, composer, producer, arranger, vocal coach, and educator, who has worked with several musical icons in pop, jazz, R&B, and classical. They include Diana Ross, Stevie Wonder, Wynton Marsalis, Aretha Franklin, Ashford &Simpson, Jessye Norman, Lawrence Brownlee, Wycliffe Gordon, Eric Reed and other legends. A Georgia native, Sneed started playing the piano when he was three years old. At the age of five, he began playing the piano at his family church and was tapped to become the music director for the senior choir at the age of eight. Sneed earned a bachelor of music degree in piano performance from Howard University, studied at the Peabody Conservatory at Johns Hopkins University and the Manhattan School of Music, and earned a master's degree in music from New York University. Sneed is projected to earn a doctoral degree in orchestral conducting from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles. He has worked with the Juilliard School, Jazz at Lincoln Center, the Boys Choir of Harlem, Carnegie Hall, the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, the Houston Grand Opera, and many other prestigious organizations. Sneed has also won the Sphinx Medal of Excellence, an award recognizing emerging black and Latinx talent in classical music.

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