Voices of Central Arkansas (VOCA)

2014-15 Voices of Central Arkansas Choir

2014-15 Voices of Central Arkansas Choir

Voices of Central Arkansas (VOCA), began as the Central Arkansas Children's Choir in 1996, and is an award-winning, auditioned choral program for 3rd - 9th grade treble voices (Choristers and Concert Choir) and a small select inter-generational SATB choir for high school and college voices (Youth Choir).  We recently opened VOCA up to 3rd grade students and we invite students in grades 3-5 to audition for Choristers.   Students in grades 5-9 are invited to audition for Concert Choir.  We also invite all talented high school singers looking for exceptional vocal and performance opportunities to audition for Youth Choir.  Audition information is listed below, following the "Special Dates" information.

Rehearsals are held in the UCA Snow Fine Arts Center each Monday night of the school year, from 6:00 – 7:30 p.m. for Choristers and Concert Choir and 7:35-8:35pm for Youth Choir.  Our first rehearsal in the Fall will be September 8.  Go to vocasings.com for additional information regarding the choir and our exciting new year of concerts and activities or email vocasings@gmail.com.

Upcoming performances this fall include:

  • December 6- Conway Symphony Orchestra Performance 7:30pm, Location: Reynolds Performance Hall, UCA - Ticket required
  • December 7-  A Christmas Carol (Concert and Youth Choir), Performance 3:00pm, Location: Reynolds Performance Hall, UCA - Ticket required
  • December 8-  VOCA Christmas Concert Performance 7:30, Location: Snow Fine Arts, UCA - Free and open to the public

Tickets for the CSO and A Christmas Carol performances may be purchased through the UCA Box office or online at uca.edu/publicappearances/ or conwaysymphonyorchestra.org/.

Last year our students had the opportunity to perform in Carnegie Hall, as part of an "by invitation only" music festival.  The trip was optional for our members, but 36 students, along with a host of parents and two of our directors made the trip to NYC!

Featured performers at UCA's 2012 Night of Distinction.

Over the past seventeen years, CACC or VOCA 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. Other performances include 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 many VOCA members participated in the Heritage Music Festival in NYC and performed in Carnegie Hall!

Carnegie Hall performanceVOCA at Ellis Island March 2014

Members and parents also visited Times Square, the 9/11 Memorial, Wall Street, Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty.   Everyone had the opportunity to see Wicked at the Gershwin Theater as well.  It was an amazing trip and a beautiful concert.

OUR VOCA DIRECTORS

Director Sheri Cook-Cunningham was Visting Assistant Professor of Music Education at UCA  last year and after a national search, was named Assistant Professor of Music Education in May.  Dr. Cook-Cunningham 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, she taught undergraduate courses in Choral Methods, Conducting, Psychology and Acoustics of Music, Human Music, Learning and Development and supervised student teachers. Sheri 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.  She took over direction of the Concert Choir and Youth Choir in August 2013 and her efforts during the past year are greatly appreciated by all connected to the VOCA program. She has been instrumental in developing and growing all phases of the program, and along with Dr. Rose, reviewing our mission and purpose and developing a new name and logo to better describe what we are, Voices of Central Arkansas.  Congratulations!  We are so happy you are no longer 'Visiting' but indeed our full-time VOCA Director and Assistant Professor!

Dr. Paige Rose is Assistant Director of VOCA, but currently on sabbatical from choral duties this year as she serves as Interim Chair of the UCA Department of Music.   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.

We are very fortunate to have Graduate Assistant Carrie Martens as Director of the Chorister's Choir this year. Ms. Martens was one of our choir coordinators last year and is a graduate assistant in the Music Education program at UCA.  Carrie served as Director of the Choristers in their final concert of the season on May 12.

Congratulations to Ms. Martens and Dr. Rose in your new roles this year, and to Dr. Cook-Cunningham in your second year as Director!

SPECIAL DATES!!! (some dates have changed so check to make sure you have the right dates!)

August 19-21              VOCA Auditions for all new members and for Choristers who wish to try out for Concert Choir.  Schedule your 10 minute audition by contacting the CSM office at 501-450-5755 or 450-3672, or email tbumgarn@uca.edu or jannb@uca.edu.  Times:  4-6pm each day.     Location:  UCA, Snow Fine Arts Center (SFAC), 3rd Floor.

August 25-27              Dr. Cook-Cunningham would like to hear all returning students during this time.  These are not auditions, but rather an opportunity for the directors to talk to the singers and get a sense of their vocal development. Siblings and friends can schedule these together in small groups of 3-4.  Choristers may also audition at this time for Concert Choir and former Concert Choir members now in high school may audition for Youth Choir.    Times:  4-6pm each day.    Location:  UCA, 3rd Floor, SFAC.

September 8               Parent Meeting and Ice Cream Social.   Time:  6-6:30pm.        Location:  SFAC Music Lobby.                       All new and returning VOCA members and families are invited to this fun "welcome back" event!  Following the social, a parent/student meeting will be held in the Recital Hall.  Be sure to stay for the meeting!

September 15             First Rehearsal, 6pm, SFAC 107.

Details on upcoming audition dates and additional information may be found on the vocasings.com website.

 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?

It is not too late to join if you missed the Fall auditions and would like to join this spring.  A student's parent, or any student interested in joining, may call Teresa Bumgarner, CSM Assistant, at 501-450-3672 or email her at TBumgarn@uca.edu.  You may also contact the CSM Director, Jann Bryant, at 501-450-5755, or e-mail JannB@uca.edu.

What is the VOCA Audition like?

Choristers and Children's Choir:  Students will be asked to match pitches played on the piano, 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 or required.

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

Students and parents:  You don’t want to miss being a part of this incredible choral program!  Call or email TODAY to schedule a short 10-minute audition.   Aug. 19, 20 and 21, from 4-6pm for new students and re-assessments for current and former students:  Aug. 25, 26 and 27, 4-6pm!  Location: 3rd floor of the Snow Fine Arts Center, UCA.

To Make a Donation and Make a Difference in a Child's Life

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.  Your donation is 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-VOCA.  We are a non-profit, 501 (C)(3) organization.  Thank you!