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Trenton Children’s Chorus Names New Leadership

The Trenton Children’s Chorus (TCC), a 28-year old nonprofit organization that empowers the academic, social and spiritual lives of children through artistry in music, announced recently that Dr. D.A. Graham has been named President of the Board of Directors, and Dr. Rochelle Ellis has been named Music Director.

Dr. Graham joined the Trenton Children’s Chorus Board in 2013, serving on the Human Resources Committee, providing support for new policies around industry best practices. He is the Vice President, Global Integrity Leader at Nielsen Company, and responsible for overseeing, coordinating and facilitating the identification, documentation, reporting, investigation, and resolution of employee concerns. Dr. Graham is founder of DNA Consulting, LLC, an organization focusing on human performance improvement globally. He is also Founder, Master Facilitator and Mediator of the New Jersey Intergroup Dialogue Coalition in Trenton, NJ.
Dr. Graham is formerly the Director of Human Resources at the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia, the Ombuds Officer at Princeton University, and Ombudsman at California State University in San Diego. As a Navy Chaplain, he served in the Far East and deployed during Operation Iraqi Freedom. He is a resident of Trenton and member of the Trenton School District Board of Education. He steps into the leadership role at the Trenton Children’s Chorus as the organization successfully transitions from a part-time after school program to a thriving cultural destination that reaches more than 170 children in grades K through 12.

Dr. Rochelle Ellis joins Trenton Children’s Chorus as Music Director, having served for several years, first as a vocal consultant, then as the conductor of the Chorale, TCC’s high school choir.

Dr. Ellis is an Adjunct Associate Professor of Voice at Westminster Choir College of Rider University, and Lecturer of Voice at Princeton University. Active in community outreach in music, she teaches in the Westminster Conservatory Summer Vocal Institutes for middle school and high school students. She also is the Teaching Artist for The Princeton Festival Opera Guild “Music that Tells a Story” educational outreach program. She served as Governor for the New Jersey District of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) from 2008 to 2012, where she coordinated and ran the state vocal festivals for high school and university level students. She also served on the Board of Directors for NYSTA, the New York Singing Teachers Association from 2014-2017.

Dr. Ellis received her D. M. A. degree in Voice at Rutgers University Mason Gross School of the Arts, her Masters in Music Education degree at Westminster Choir College of Rider University and her Bachelor of Music Education – Choral degree at the University of Missouri – Kansas City Conservatory of Music. She has distinguished herself as a soloist in both the concert hall and opera stage, making her New York City Opera debut as “Serena” in Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess, and her Carnegie Hall debut in Schubert’s Mass in G and Bach’s Cantata 140. She has been a frequent soloist with the Berkshire Choral Festival in Massachusetts, as well as Princeton area performance groups VOICES, Princeton Pro Musica and Cantus Novus. Internationally, she has performed at the National Opera of China in Beijing, the Prague (Czech Republic) Autumn Music Festival, and has given solo recitals in Tokyo and Osaka, Japan.

“I’m excited to lead this wonderful organization that provides music arts education programs and services to underserved kids in Trenton, encouraging the development of self-identity and purpose through creative expression.” Dr. D.A. Graham

“Making music is about making connections to melody, harmony, rhythm and text. At TCC, we extend those connections to the Greater Trenton community to support, enlighten and motivate the young people who step through our doors.” Dr. Rochelle Ellis

“Times such as these, when hateful rhetoric and mistrust can erode the confidence of our youth, it’s important to remember that music is ubiquitous. It is the anecdote for hate. Singing has the power to heal, to shape minds, and change the way young people feel about themselves and the world they live in. TCC has a proven track record that’s decades long in using music education to raise academic and lifetime achievement for Trenton youth. The depth of experience that Drs. Graham and Ellis bring to Trenton Children’s Chorus is unmatched and will serve our mission well.” Linda Helm Krapf, Executive Director

TCC is an award-winning nonprofit organization with a mission to empower the academic, social, and spiritual lives of children through artistry in music. The program serves approximately 170 singers in grades K-12, and provides exceptional musical, academic, social, and personal opportunities for young people in the Greater Trenton Area. TCC offers choral rehearsals and performance opportunities, as well as drumming and keyboard instruction, music theory instruction, tutoring, homework assistance, SAT prep, college application help, and summer music, academic, and leadership enrichment programs. Financial support for college tuition is made available to choristers who are members of the chorus throughout their high school careers, graduate from high school, and attend college. Since its inception, 100% of choristers to remain with TCC through high school, have graduated and gone on to college.

TCC is known as one of the best children’s choruses in the country and has performed at the White House for President and Mrs. Obama, the United Nations, the National Cathedral, and Princeton University; for the swearing-in ceremony of former United States Representative Rush Holt at the Library of Congress and for the inauguration of Governor Chris Christie; with Boheme Opera NJ, the American Repertory Ballet, and Princeton Pro Musica; in concert with Bobby McFerrin and Dave Brubeck; and for corporate, community, church, and private events in the Greater Trenton area.

For more information visit the TCC website at trentonchildrenschorus.org.



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