Voices of Central Arkansas (VOCA)

Who are the Voices of Central Arkansas?

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 Fall will be September 8.  Go to http://centralarkansaschildrenschoir.weebly.com/ for additional information regarding the choir and our exciting new year of concerts and activities.  Last year our students had the opportunity to perform in Carnegie Hall, as part as an "by invitation only" music festival.  This was an optional trip for our members, but 36 students, along with a host of parents and our Concert Choir director and CSM director made the trip to NYC!

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 many VOCA members participated in the Heritage Music Festival in NYC and performed in Carnegie Hall!

Carnegie Hall performanceMembers and parents also visited Times Square, 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.  VOCA at Ellis Island March 2014

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.  Sheri took over direction of the Concert Choir and Youth Choir after our former director moved on to a position at the Univ. of Memphis.  Her efforts throughout 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.

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.

We are happy to announce that during the 2014-15 season, Carrie Martens, one of our choir coordinators last year and a graduate assistant in the Music Education program at UCA, will be directing the Chorister's Choir during Dr. Rose's tenure this year as Interim Department Chair.  Carrie directed the Choristers in the final concert of the season on May 12. Although notified only a few hours before the concert that she'd be needed to conduct part of the program, Carrie and the Choristers were fabulous and we are pleased to have her back this year as their director.  Congratulations Carrie and Paige in your new roles!

Bart Dooley, music specialist at Ida Burns Elementary School in Conway, is our accompanist.  He has assisted the choir with accompanying duties and sometimes fills in as director when needed, and we appreciate his dedication and hard work to our program.


August 19-21              VOCA Auditions         Voice Assessments for all new and returning members.  Call the CSM office at 501-450-5755 or 450-3672 to schedule a 10 minute audition or reassessment.

August 25                   Parent Meeting and Ice Cream Social      All new and returning VOCA members and families are invited to attend.

September 8               First Practice, 6pm, SFAC

Details on upcoming audition dates and additional information may be found on Central Arkansas Children’s Choir Facebook page or at centralarkansaschildrenschoir.weebly.com.


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!"