Congratulations to the Class of 2024!

BCC News
Congratulations to the Class of 2024! thumbnail Photo

As our outgoing seniors graduate, take a peek at what's next for some of this year's 12 graduating young artists and reflections on their BCC experience! 

Jean-Caleb Belizaire

When I was three years old, I vividly remember our whole family being excited to see my older brother, who was seven years old, singing with BCC. When I turned four, my sister joined BCC, and I felt left out and was so jealous! I remember asking my mom why I couldn't be a part of the choir. However, I was still too young to join. I frequently visited my siblings' rehearsals to watch them through the separation glass. I listened and hung onto every word the conductor said. Finally, when I turned seven, I was able to audition. I was extremely nervous initially, but the conductor encouraged me to take a deep breath to relax. Thankfully, I passed my audition and was able to start singing. I still remember my first day; my dad dropped me off at my first rehearsal in Villa Victoria. I walked in early and saw Ms. Howe and Ms. Simmons setting things up. I said bye to my dad, grabbed a chair, and waited for my first rehearsal to start. Fast forward 11 years later, and I am proud to say that my years with Boston Children's Chorus have truly been the best years of my life!

I've also had the pleasure of forming deep connections with numerous friends while navigating various experiences. From the exhilarating highs of the Three Trebles Festival in Washington DC with Mr. Holmes and our participation in the opera, "I Am a Dreamer Who No Longer Dreams" by White Snake Projects to the challenging lows of the pandemic, during which we could only connect through online platforms like ZOOM. Despite the obstacles, many of us remained friends.

I am incredibly thankful for the extraordinary choral instructors who have guided and deeply inspired me. I am incredibly fortunate to have received music education from such exceptional teachers and conductors. Their endless patience, compassion, and dedication to teaching choral music have left me an indelible mark on my peers and me. Their role modeling and encouragement have instilled in us a profound love for music and empowered us to challenge conventions, using music as a powerful tool for advocating what is just and right.

My time at the Boston Children's Chorus (BCC) has sparked a profound passion for diverse musical expressions, languages, and cultures. This invaluable experience has solidified my decision to continue singing and pursue a degree in Viola Performance at Boston University. I am eager to continue delving into and celebrating the rich tapestry of musical traditions as I pursue my studies.

What is one piece of advice you have for younger singers?

It’s tough to give one piece of advice, but my advice for younger singers is that I was in your shoes. I encourage you not to hesitate in reaching out and building friendships with everyone in your choir and beyond. These connections will become an invaluable support system and community as you progress in your choral journey at BCC. Lastly, always remember to learn your music and put forth your best effort; the younger choir members will see you as a role model and a source of inspiration.

What is your favorite BCC memory?

There are so many but if I could only pick a few it would be when we had the extraordinary opportunity to perform in the musical theater performance of "WILD: A Musical Becoming". It was so fun to be on stage with so many professional performers playing a part in such an important story about environmental activism. 

Also, I had the opportunity to have my radio debut when I was interviewed along with Mara Stein. We were interviewed and sang on NPR's Boston Public Radio show with host Jim Braude and Margery Eagan, which showcased Becoming King, BCC's 20th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Tribute Concert. 

Lastly, traveling to Canada to participate in the Pro Musica International Choral Festival. Traveling with my choir mates and conductors, creating deeper bonds, and forming new friendships with people from other choirs across the country. This was an amazing experience that I will cherish for a lifetime. 


Laury Anabelle Darius

My name is Laury and I have been a part of BCC for four years. Joining BCC in my first year of high school was one of the highlights of my journey. I've met many people and sing without the fear of being judged. I would like to thank my amazing conductors Ms. I, Ms. Cooper, Ms. Storm, my fellow choir singers who have made each rehearsal and concert memorable, and my family and friends for supporting me during those best four years of my life That being said I will be attending the University of Massachusetts Amherst this upcoming fall. Thank you, BCC. BCC will always hold a special place in my heart.

What is one piece of advice you have for younger singers?

Don't be afraid to make mistakes, have fun, and make each rehearsal memorable.

What is your favorite BCC memory?

My favorite BCC memory was the trip to Camp Hale because it was my first overnight trip and first time camping.

Lauren Farelli

BCC has made such an impact on my life. Having been in the organization for ten years, the best way to describe BCC is as a second home. I grew up in this choir, starting in West End House with Ms. Howe (shout-out to Ms Howe!) when I was 8 and ending in Premier Choir at 18. I have made so many incredible memories, like the potlucks hosted in the First Parish Church in Dorchester while I was in Dorchester Advanced Training (DAT) and Dorchester Intermediate (DI) where I met some of my closest friends to this day, and taking part in the music videos during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. There are so many wonderful people in this organization and I can't thank them enough.

I started BCC as a very shy and awkward elementary schooler, not knowing how to really connect with anyone besides my younger sister who joined at the same time as I did. At some points, coming to BCC was a chore due to my inability to put myself out there, meet new people, and sing loud and proud. But, I remember my first friend group that formed when I was in DI, and they really welcomed me into their community. I started to grow into someone that little 8-year-old me would be in awe of- she wouldn't believe that I was the same person as her but 10 years into the future. In contrast to my training and intermediate choir days, I love talking with people, lending a helping hand if someone needs one, and generally putting myself out there. I also sing incredibly loud, which you can confirm with anyone in the alto section of PC if you need to.

I will miss BCC a lot after graduating, and there will be many tears shed after the finale concert, but I am so grateful to have so many amazing memories and experiences to look back on. I am extremely grateful for all of the people who supported me through my time at BCC. Next year, I will be studying neuroscience at Emmanuel College (in Boston, not Georgia). I will also hopefully be participating in any choral organizations offered while in college.

What is one piece of advice you have for younger singers?

Try to put yourself out there and meet new people! It will be hard, but the lasting friendships you make will be so worth it.

What is your favorite BCC memory?

There are so many I could choose from, but going to Canada for the Pro Musica International Choral Festival with Premier Choir last summer is a memory I will never forget.

Parker Hastings

Jordan Herring

When I first joined BCC, I was 12 years old and somewhat under the impression that choir was lame. I didn't expect much - only joined because I had to play an instrument and vocals technically counted - but it turned out to be one of the best decisions I've ever made. I've learned so much about the world, both by traveling with BCC and through my friends and through the backgrounds of the songs we perform. This place has permanently changed my life for the better, as it has for so many other graduates, and I know it will do the same for others in the years to come.

What is one piece of advice you have for younger singers?

Don't forget to reach out to people in other voice parts, alright? I almost missed out on incredible friendships because I stuck to my side of the room.

What is your favorite BCC memory?

A few years ago, Central Intermediate Advanced went to DC for the Three Trebles Music Festival. Mr. Holmes, a conductor who has since moved on to Cincinnati, spent the bus rides giving us a grand tour of an area he knew little about, making up hilarious stories and "fun facts" about the nearby trees and an abandoned picnic blanket.

Sarah Lawrence

In my first year of BCC, I was 10 years old, and I've been told that it was impossible to get me to focus. I would come to Dorchester Advanced Training (DAT) every Saturday just to sit on the floor, draw on my score, and stare at the clock, waiting for rehearsal to end.

If I went back in time and talked to my 5th-grade self, I still don't think she'd understand what BCC would come to mean to me. This choir has seen people that I rehearsed with in DAT grow up together through concerts, festivals, potlucks, and so many other events. I've built countless lifelong friendships through BCC with people I never would have met anywhere else. BCC has also provided unique opportunities for each of us to express our opinions through song, teaching us to view art in a new light. In my time here, I have grown as a person, singer, friend, and a young voice whose power can be limitless. Next year, I will be attending Carleton University in Ottawa, but I'll still be doing as much choir as I can.

What is one piece of advice you have for younger singers?

In a choir, more than you think is decided by the directors' personal preferences. If you didn't get that big solo, or a spot in that ensemble that you've dreamed about, that says more about what the people in charge want than it does about your skill. Don't take it personally, and keep working towards your goals!

What is your favorite BCC memory?

Going on tour in Canada, and eating dinner on Lake Ontario.

Graciela Rodriguez

I joined BCC in 2016, at the age of ten. I had moved from New Jersey the year prior, and though I participated in a local choir during my first year in Massachusetts, this choir did not click with me. My mom searched for another choir that would be a better match and found BCC. The only problem was that I lived a bit over an hour away from Boston, but with a strong passion for singing and a reasonable schedule of weekend rehearsals, I joined BCC and found my second home.

My eight years in BCC have been the best years of my life. I have made many amazing friends and had so many great opportunities, from operas, to a musical, to even an Amazon photoshoot! But most importantly, BCC has taught me how powerful music is in social justice. BCC opened my eyes to this when I was 12, with the opera “I Am A Dreamer Who No Longer Dreams”. Through every concert, gig, performance, and show, the power of music to fight for social justice became clearer to me. Every time I sing with BCC, I feel so proud and honored to be part of such a talented, bright, passionate group of people, joining together to sing about topics and issues that matter, from racism to climate change. BCC has taught me that it is never just about the music, but what we can achieve through the music. If I had never joined, if I had never spent countless late nights in Boston whether or not I had school the next day, I would have never realized.

This fall, I will be continuing my education and musical journey at Berklee College of Music, with an intended major in performance for voice. With Berklee’s proximity to rehearsals, I will definitely visit every now and then to see the immensely talented and hardworking singers and staff whom I have shared my time with. I am truly excited for this next chapter in my life that my experience BCC has prepared me for.

What is one piece of advice you have for younger singers?

Try to connect with the music. I used to sing stiff all the time, but singing is more meaningful and comes more naturally when you can feel it! Show emotion in your face, do hand gestures, look at people around you, and let yourself be a vessel of the music and its message.

What is your favorite BCC memory?

“Wild: A Musical Becoming” at American Repertory Theater. I was part of the core group. Not only did I get to hear Idina Menzel’s lovely voice almost every day, but I also got to perform in a thought-provoking and powerful musical with my friends at BCC! This show also debuted during BCC’s first year back in person since COVID, so it helped reconnect me with the rest of the choir after being stuck at home for a year.

Allie Sanders-Salerno

Although I joined BCC two years ago, it has changed my life forever. My first day was terrifying for me because I knew no one. However, that feeling of loneliness quickly passed as I was greeted by the most friendly and welcoming people. Looking back, I think that initial feeling of loneliness made me more open to talking to others. Since then, I've made such good friends who I'll hopefully continue to keep in touch with. Now, a year later, Tuesdays and Thursdays are my favorite days because I get to be with such an uplifting community. I'm so thankful for this incredible opportunity because I've grown into a more outgoing person, a leader, and an activist. Next year, I plan to major in molecular genetics with a minor in religion at the University of Rochester. BCC has encouraged me to take advantage of the partnership the school has with the Eastman School of Music, where I plan to take voice lessons. To top it all off, I plan on joining a chorus or two just for good measure. Thank you, BCC!

What is one piece of advice you have for younger singers?

Talk to others and make friends! I promise they won't bite wink

What is your favorite BCC memory?

Singing at Tanglewood

Julia Sax

I have been a part of BCC for the past eight years and the organization has had an immense impact on my life. I have grown not only as a musician, but also as a person who has a better grasp of social justice, a higher appreciation for diversity, and I have made unbreakable friendships along the way. From singing for a room that isn't overly paying attention to performing on stage with Idina Menzel, BCC has given me every experience a musician, and a person, needs. Everything will not always be perfect or the best thing ever, but when those moments do come, they mean so much more. I started my BCC career in Central Intermediate Advanced and am ending it in Premier Choir and BCC has helped me flourish every step of the way. Next year, I plan to study audio engineering with the hope of going into concert work in the near future. BCC has changed my life for the better and I will never forget the experiences, memories, and friendships I have because of it.

What is one piece of advice you have for younger singers?

Take advantage of the resources around you! BCC, the conductors, and the staff are so willing to help you with whatever you need. It can be help with a song, help with your mental health, literally anything. Just always be ready for what BCC has to offer!

What is your favorite BCC memory?

Waiting for "WILD: A Musical Becoming" to start one night, we were all singing Let it Go in the holding room and Justin Tranter (songwriter) came in and ran to get Idina Menzel. She couldn't come to listen, but it was such a genuine and kind moment and everyone in that room was so happy.

Mara Stein

Hello! My name is Mara Stein and I have been in BCC for seven and a half years. Being able to be a part of such an amazing community has been such a privilege. I don’t know where I would be without BCC helping me each step of the way to become a stronger artist. I have had the opportunities to not just perform, but tell a story, stand up for issues I believe in, lead as president, and be a role model to our younger choirs bringing the mission of BCC and my own to many performance venues. In the fall I will be attending the CAP21 Musical Theatre Conservatory at Molloy University in New York. I would like to thank Mr. Griffith and Mr. Glassman for helping me grow my confidence along the way, Mom and Dad for always opening new doors for me, and most of all my sister for standing by my side through it all. I truly don’t know what I would do without any of these amazing people in my life. Thank you, BCC for providing me with a lifetime of new beginnings.

What is one piece of advice you have for younger singers?

One piece of advice that I have for young singers is to try your best to always stay in the moment. Time flies by so just have fun!

What is your favorite BCC memory?

My favorite BCC memory was being a part of "WILD: A Musical Becoming" at the American Repertory Theater!

Ella Vargas

As someone who's been in BCC for more than half my life, I will certainly miss it dearly. I've cultivated relationships that will last a lifetime, and I've had the privilege of advancing my musical ability, confidence, and social awareness, all while performing at prestigious venues and traveling abroad. Thank you to each and every member of the BCC community who has helped me grow into the person I am today. Although I leave BCC with a heavy heart, I am excited to attend Smith College next fall to pursue a major in Engineering. I also look forward to supporting the BCC community as an audience member, volunteer, and alumni singer. See you all at MLK '25!

What is one piece of advice you have for younger singers?

When you can, sing loudly! And don't be afraid of change.

What is your favorite BCC memory?

My favorite BCC memory is performing Scene 7 of I Am a Dreamer Who No Longer Dreams. Never before has reciting the Pledge of Allegiance been so thrilling.

Luke Zermani