Voices of Central Arkansas (VOCA)

Who are the Voices of Central Arkansas?

Choristers and Children's Choir members at Simon Park in downtown Conway.

Voices of Central Arkansas (VOCA), formerly the Central Arkansas Children's Choir (CACC), is an award-winning, auditioned choral program for 4th-9th grade treble voices (Choristers and Children's Choir) and a small mixed select choir for 10th-12th graders (Youth Choir).

Rehearsals are held each Monday night of the school year  from 6:00 – 7:30 p.m. (Choristers and Concert) and 7:35-8:35pm (CAYC) at UCA.  Our first rehearsal in the Spring semester will be January 13.  Go to http://centralarkansaschildrenschoir.weebly.com/ for additional information regarding the choir and our exciting new year of concerts and activities.  Students will have the opportunity to perform in a mass choir at Carnegie Hall in March.  This is an optional trip but we hope that as many as wish to attend will have the opportunity!

Featured performers at UCA's 2012 Night of Distinction.

Over the past seventeen years, the CACC has performed eleven times with the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra’s Christmas Celebration and Yuletide Spectacular;  in the Holiday Pops Concert and the Jingle Bell (Little) Rock program; in ASO performances of the operas La Bohème, Carmen, Carmina Burana and Turandot; with the Conway Symphony Orchestra; and in Christmas concerts at the Arkansas State Capitol.  More recently, the choir performed onstage with The American Boychoir and Pat Boone in separate concerts, and also with the U of A Children's Choir and as part of UCA's Night of Distinction. The choir has performed at the ArkMEA Conference, International Heifer Project Convention, Arkansas All-State Music Clinic, Midwest Horn Workshop, Arkansas Reading Council, United Way Carnival of Caring, Toad Suck Daze, Life Choices Banquet, and Philander Smith College’s Martin Luther King Day observances.  The choir has placed first numerous times in Musical Carousel and Music in the Park competitions at Frontier City Theme Park in Oklahoma City, Silver Dollar City in Branson, and Six Flags in Dallas.  The CACC participated in the Windy City Music Festival in Chicago in 2012, and March 28-31, 2014 VOCA members have the opportunity to participate in the Heritage Music Festival in NYC and Carnegie Hall!

Our Choral Directors:

Dr. Sheri Cook-Cunningham has been named the new Visiting Assistant Professor of Music Education at UCA and the director of the Voices of Central Arkansas. She earned her Ph.D. in Choral Pedagogy at The University of Kansas, and has taught General Music, grades Kindergarten-5, Junior High Music, and High School Choral Music. While pursuing her Ph.D. at the University of Kansas, Sheri taught undergraduate courses in Choral Methods, Conducting, Psychology and Acoustics of Music, Human Music, Learning and Development and supervised student teachers. She has been published twice in the International Journal of Research in Choral Singing, and her research interests include adolescent voices, hearing dosage and hearing conservation in choral settings, and historical choral diction practices.

Dr. Paige Rose, is Assistant Director of VOCA.   She completed her BME degree from Louisiana State University; the Master of Music Education degree from McNeese State University in Lake Charles, Louisiana; and received her doctorate in music education from Louisiana State University.  At UCA, Dr. Rose teaches elementary methods, secondary instrumental methods, music technology, and various internship and graduate courses.  Her research interests include the effects of music on students with autism and the relationship between music and motor skill development.  Dr. Rose's research has appeared in Update:  Applications of Research in Music Education, and she has authored lesson plans for VH1's Cable in the Classroom.  She has presented research at the 2004, 2006, and 2008 biennial meetings of MENC:  The National Association for Music Education, and currently serves as vice president of the Central Arkansas Orff Chapter and the site host and promotions chair of the Arkansas Music Educators Association.

Bart Dooley, music specialist at Ida Burns Elementary School in Conway, is our accompanist.

Fall 2013 Calendar* (all dates and times are tentative and subject to change; performances are in bold)

August 19         Auditions will be held beginning at 4pm until completed.  Call or email the CSM office to schedule an audition (501-450-5755 or 450-3672 or jannb@uca.edu or tbumgarn@uca.edu).

August 25        Auditions will be held beginning at 2pm until completed.  Call or email the CSM office to schedule an audition.

August 26         First rehearsal/meeting, Snow Fine Arts Center Recital Hall (SFAC RH), 6pm

September 2    Labor Day Holiday - No Rehearsal.

November 23    Extra Rehearsal:  3-4:30, CC and Choristers; 4-5:30 YC, SFAC Recital Hall

November 24   Moscow Ballet Performance,3pm,,  Robinson Center Music Hall, LR.  Choir will also perform in lobby prior to the concert from 2:30-2:55pm.

November 25    NO REHEARSAL MONDAY,  Enjoy your break!

December 7      Tour of Homes (Youth Choir Only), 3:00 pm at the Village at Hendrix.  2:00 pm meet at UCA to warm up and prepare.  CANCELED DUE TO INCLEMENT WEATHER

December 7      Conway Symphony Orchestra Concert – 7:30 pm  (Choristers, Children’s Choir, and women of YC).  Dress Rehearsal from 2 – 5 pm  Reynolds Performance Hall

December 9      VOCA Fall Semester Concert –  (ALL CHOIRS) 7:30pm, SFAC RH
6:00 Dress rehearsal

December 10    Conway Men’s Concert –  (ALL CHOIRS) 7:30pm, Reynolds Performance Hall.  5:30 pm Call


SPRING 2014 Calendar* (all dates and times are tentative and subject to change; performances are in bold)
January 13         First rehearsal of Spring and parent meeting.  6:00pm SFAC Recital Hall.

January 14 and 15   Auditions for Spring VOCA.  Call 501-450-5755 or email jannb@ucal.edu to schedule a 10-minute audition.  4-6pm, SFAC 316.

January 20           No Rehearsal - MLK Holiday

January 25           Saturday rehearsal from 3-4:30pm in Choir Room.   Only for those singers going to Carnegie Hall!

January 27          Regular practices resume.

March 24             Rehearsal for students who are going to NYC, 6-7:30pm.

March 28-30        Leave for NYC March 28.  Be at airport by 4am Friday morning!   Concert at Carnegie Hall March 30.

March 31            Youth Choir members rehearse from 7-8:30pm.  NYC member are not required to attend.  NO Choristers or Concert Choir rehearsal.

April 7                 Regular practices resume.

May                    Toad Suck Daze!

May 5, 2014       SPRING CONCERT, 7pm, SFAC Recital Hall



VOCA typically follows the Conway School break and holiday schedule.  Please call or check the VOCA website for an updated calendar.

What do I need to do to join VOCA:  Choristers, Children's Choir or Youth Choir?

Students interested in joining may call Jann Bryant, at 501-450-5755, or e-mail jannb@uca.edu to set up an audition. You may also contact Ms. Teresa at 501-450-3672.

What is the audition like?

Choristers and Children's Choir:  Students will need to match some pitches, demonstrate how high and low they can sing, and sing a familiar song such as “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” or "Happy Birthday."  A prepared piece is not necessary.

Youth Choir:  Students will sing a prepared piece of 2 minutes or less, match pitches and demonstrate sight-singing abilities.

You don’t want to miss being a part of this incredible choral program!!!  Call TODAY about our next auditions!

To make a donation:

Message from Jann Bryant, CSM director, “We are looking for students who love to sing and are committed to working hard, but also having fun.  We want all students who wish to participate to have an opportunity to do so.  Because tuition payments are harder for many families at this time, we are asking for donations for need-based scholarships.  For many of our former students, the training they received in the CACC gave them the skills to receive college vocal scholarships, so it can make a big difference in a young person’s life.  VOCA will continue to make a positive impact on the lives of our members.  These donations are tax deductible.  Anyone wishing to help a child participate in this wonderful ensemble should contact me at 501-450-5755 or email me at jannb@uca.edu for details about donating.  Please click on the Corporate Sponsor Form - VOCA for more information.  Donations of any amount will be gladly accepted.  Checks may be made out to UCA Foundation-CACC.  We are a non-profit, 501 (C)(3) organization.  Thank you!"