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Cleveland Orchestra Children's Chorus

Ann Usher, Director - read bio
Suzanne Walters, Assistant Director - read bio

The Cleveland Orchestra Children’s Chorus was formed in 1967 to provide a high-quality choral group for the many orchestral works written for children’s voices, and to offer choral training to schoolchildren in the Cleveland area. Today, the Children’s Chorus performs annually with The Cleveland Orchestra and Cleveland Orchestra Chorus at Severance Hall. Over the decades, the extensive performance history has included such major works as Bach’s St. Matthew Passion, Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel, Britten’s War Requiem, Berlioz’s Te Deum, Orff’s Carmina Burana, Berlioz’s Damnation of Faust, and Mahler’s Symphony No. 3. The children also sing at the Holiday CircleFest each December and perform at the Orchestra’s annual Christmas Concerts. The Children’s Chorus presents an independent concert each spring featuring a diverse repertoire of children’s chorus literature and has also sung the national anthem for Cleveland Indians, Cleveland City Stars, and Cleveland Browns home games.


The Cleveland Orchestra Children’s Chorus is open to boys and girls entering 6th-8th grade while the Children’s Preparatory Chorus is open to 5th-8th graders. All boys must have unchanged treble voices, however 8th grade boys whose voices have completely changed are eligible to audition for the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Chorus at the director’s invitation. The Children’s Preparatory Chorus focuses on establishing a foundation of vocal technique, musical literacy, and musicianship through quality children’s choir literature. Members in both groups will strengthen their vocal production and choral performance skills, and learn sight-reading using movable “do” solfège and Kodály/Curwen hand signs. Students will also develop leadership skills that will help them strengthen the other choirs in which they participate. Both choruses rehearse on Monday evenings in the greater Cleveland area. The Children’s Preparatory Chorus rehearses on Mondays from 6-7 p.m. and the Children’s Chorus generally rehearses on Mondays from 7-9 p.m. There is a nominal cost for participation, plus the cost of concert attire. Need-based financial assistance is available by application.


Auditions for the Cleveland Orchestra Children’s Choruses are held each spring. For audition dates and requirements, please call the Chorus office at 216-231-7374, send an email to, or click here for the most current audition information.

Cleveland Orchestra Children’s Chorus 2014-2015 Concert Schedule

Wednesday, November 26 at 7:00 p.m.
Friday, November 28 at 2:00 p.m. & 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, November 29 at 2:00 p.m. & 7:00 p.m.
Sunday, November 30 at 2:00 p.m. & 7:00 p.m.
The Nutcracker
with the Joffrey Ballet
and The Cleveland Orchestra
conducted by Tito Muñoz
Cleveland Orchestra Children’s Chorus
     State Theatre, Playhouse Square
This is a ticketed event.
click here to buy tickets

Saturday, December 7, 2014 at  4:00 p.m.
Holiday CircleFest
Ann Usher, conductor
Suzanne Walters, conductor
     University Circle United Methodist Church
     1919 East 107th Street
     Cleveland, Ohio
This is a free event.

Sunday, December 14, 2014 at 2:30 p.m.
Saturday, December 20, 2014 at 2:30 p.m.
Sunday, December 21, 2014 at 2:30 p.m.
Christmas Concerts with The Cleveland Orchestra
The Cleveland Orchestra
Robert Porco, conductor
      Severance Hall
Christmas Concert ticket required.

click here to buy tickets

Thursday, May 7, 2015 at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, May 9, 2015 at 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, May 10, 2015 at 3:00 p.m.
The Damnation of Faust
The Cleveland Orchestra
Charles Dutoit, conductor
Cleveland Orchestra Chorus
Cleveland Orchestra Children’s Chorus
      Severance Hall
This is a ticketed event.
click here to buy tickets

Monday, May 18, 2015 at 7:30 p.m.
Children's Choruses Spring Concert
Cleveland Orchestra Children's Chorus
Ann Usher, conductor
Cleveland Orchestra Children's Preparatory Chorus
Suzanne Walters, conductor
     University School, Shaker Campus
     20701 Brantley Road
     Shaker Heights, OH 44122
Free event, no tickets are required.


Suzanne Walters, Assistant Director

Suzanne Walters serves as assistant director of the Cleveland Orchestra Children's Choruses and director of the Cleveland Orchestra Children's Preparatory Chorus.  She is a public school teacher and is currently a faculty member of the Jackson Local School District, where she is responsible for general music education for students in kindergarten through grade five, and also directs an elementary choir of 95 students.  In addition, Ms. Walters is a special lecturer for music education at the University of Akron School of Music. She serves as the Elementary Repertoire and Standards Chair for the Ohio Choral Directors Association (OCDA) and the General Music Chair for Ohio Music Education Association (OMEA).  Ms. Walters holds a bachelors of music education degree from the College of Wooster and a master of music degree in music education from the University of Akron.