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Cincinnati Choral Academy


A collaborative program brought to you by: The Cincinnati Children’s Choir,  Cincinnati May Festival , and Vocal Arts Ensemble (VAE). With generous support provided by: Ohio Arts Council, The Corbett May Festival Fund, The Andrew Jergens Foundation, The Ladislas and Vilma Segoe Family Foundation, The Nellie Leaman Taft Foundation, & The Louise Dieterle Nippert Musical Arts Fund. 

The Cincinnati Choral Academy is a free after-school program offering a comprehensive music literacy and choral education to third-grade students twice per week during two-hour sessions. Currently CCA has three participating CPS Schools: Carson Elementary,  Pleasant Hill, &  Roberts Paideia Academies. Participants who would benefit most from the Choral Academy are recommended by school staff members. Recommended students are not required to have prior musical experience, but a commitment to attending all weekly rehearsals and performances is essential.

Programs Mission

The Cincinnati Choral Academy’s mission is to enrich and educate the community by building outstanding young leaders in a safe environment, while providing musical excellence to all youth regardless of their background.


Sarah Grogan, a Cincinnati native, proud Cincinnati Children’s Choir alumni, and current May Festival Chorus singer, joins CCC again as the Director of the Cincinnati Choral Academy, after having been the assistant director of the Miami Choral Academy. This program was an El Sistema inspired choral program for underprivileged elementary students in Miami-Dade Public Schools. She has also taught elementary music in the Clark County School District in Las Vegas.  Sarah holds a Bachelor of Music in music education from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. While at CCM she received the John Leman Award for Choral Excellence, the Presser Award, and the Outstanding Academic Achievement Award.  Ms. Grogan is the program director and conducts both the Carson Elementary & Pleasant Hill Academy choirs.


Rebecca Castillo, a native of Houston, Texas, is a master’s student at the University of Cincinnati – College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) studying 
music education. As a graduate assistant she interned for Cincinnati Children’s Choir Allegro under the direction of Sandra Thornton during the 2015 – 2016 season. She serves as Assistant Children’s Director for Jubilate Deo at Church of the Redeemer, Hyde Park. Rebecca previously taught choir and orchestra in Texas at South Houston High School in the Pasadena Independent School District. During that time, she performed in the chorus of Houston’s Bach Society and was an educational outreach artist for the Houston Grand Opera program Storybook Opera. She received a bachelor’s degree in music education from Sam Houston State University. While at SHSU she was awarded the student teacher scholarship from the Texas Music Educators Association. Rebecca is the CCA conductor for the Roberts Paideia Academy choir.


Winter/Spring Session:

Pleasant Hill Academy: Rehearsals begin January 4th – Click here for full list of Winter/Spring rehearsal & performance dates

Carson Elementary: Rehearsals begin January 3rd-  Click here for full list of Winter/Spring rehearsal & performance dates

Roberts Paideia Academy: Rehearsals begin February 13th- Click here for full list of Winter/Spring rehearsal & performance dates

Registration and emergency medical form are due back to the conductor at the singers first rehearsal.

May 7th: CCA performs at the Cincinnati Children’s Choir 4-6pm Spring Concert – Full details to be provided once finalized.

Rehearsals and Attendance

Pleasant Hill Academy: Rehearse each Monday and Wednesday, 2:30-4:30pm

Carson Elementary: Rehearse each Tuesday and Thursday, 2:30-4:30pm

Roberts Paideia Academy: Rehearse each Monday and Wednesday – 4:00-6:00pm

It is an honor to be a member of the CCA. Each child (and their family) is expected to demonstrate commitment by being punctual and consistently attending all rehearsals and performances. Every single child is important to the success of the program. Just as with any other team effort, the success of the choir is reliant on the attendance of all of its members. Therefore, the child and family should make participation a priority. All rehearsals and performances are mandatory for all singers.

A choir member may be considered excused for:

• Illness requiring absence from school

• Death in the family

• Conflict with a school commitment: This will usually be handled jointly by school and CCA staff.

In order to be recorded as excused, parents must submit a written note/email/voicemail prior to the rehearsal. A written excuse should include the child’s name, reason for dismissal or tardiness, and the parent’s signature. Notes without a stated reason will be considered unexcused. Please notify us of your absences by contacting Rachel Breeden at Rbreeden@cincinnatichoir.org or by calling 513-556-0338.

Absences that occur for any reason other than those listed above will be considered on an individual basis by the director. Excessive absences – more than 3 in a semester – will result in a parent conference to discuss the child’s future in the program.

As much as CCC supports a child’s need to maintain good grades and receive a good education, we cannot regularly accept homework as an excused absence from rehearsals and NEVER from performances. Singers should plan ahead.

Performances are mandatory for all singers. If a singer has a conflict with a performance date (see schedules above), notify the director as soon as possible.


If CPS closes schools, CCA is cancelled. If schools are delayed, CCA will run as normal.


The uniform for all concerts consists of the CCA T-shirt (provided), black pants or floor-length black skirts for girls, black socks or hose, and black dress shoes.