The Kennedy Center

The World Children's Choir


The World Children's Choir serves as a voice for children worldwide—giving voice to the interests of all children, celebrating cultural diversity through music, promoting positive international relations, and asking people to work together to create a peaceful, healthy world for children. Through singing, WCC members explore musical content, and use music, art, and special activities to mediate cross-cultural differences and become peacemakers. The children learn how music and art expresses emotion, creates shared experiences, bridges differences, tells stories, produces beauty, and enriches others.
The World 
Children’s Choir is concerned about the children of the world and the future they face. By pursuing our mission we believe that we contribute to building a world of peaceful respect, friendship, cooperation, and prosperity among nations. We believe that working together to produce beautiful music and other kinds of art enables the children to create friendships based on mutual understanding and respect. By bringing children from many cultures and nations together in song today, we can sow the seeds of a more peaceful world tomorrow.

Performances have been given for former U.S. presidents George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and George H. W. Bush and for President Barack Obama; Queen Noor of Jordan, Queen Sofia of Spain; Justices of the United States Supreme Court; on numerous other occasions at the White House, the Kennedy Center, on Capitol Hill; for national and international television broadcasts; and in international concert tours and cultural exchanges.

World Children’s Choir, a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organization, was founded in 1990 by its current artistic directors, Sondra Harnes and James Selway. The choir offers rehearsal and performance training in voice, opera, and African drumming, and performance opportunities for children and teens ages 4–18 who live in the Washington, DC metropolitan area.
World Children’s Choir singers’ 2013/14 season high-profile appearances include two performances of The Lord of the Rings at Wolf Trap, the National Vigil for Victims of Gun Violence at the Washington National Cathedral, the Inauguration of Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, and for America’s greatest heroes, Recipients of the Congressional Medal of Honor, at the annual dinner given in honor.

Watch Past Performances

Video 6/12/2014: Target Family Night: New Voices

The World Children’s Choir, whose current members (ages 4 - 18) include vocalists representing 14 countries and cultural heritages, offers a program of beautiful operatic selections by Bizet, Girodano, Handel, and Puccini; a group of inspirational pieces from "Songs of Love and Hope" by James Selway; the US premiere of “Peace” by British singer-songwriter Anna Taylor, and well-known tunes accompanied by an audience sing-along. Truly a delightful concert for all ages. Part of Voices of Our Nation: Celebrating the Choral Tradition.

The World Children's Choir