Cincinnati Choral Academy


A collaborative program brought to you by: The Cincinnati Youth Choir, Cincinnati May Festival,  and Vocal Arts Ensemble (VAE). With generous support provided by: Ohio Arts Council, The Corbett May Festival Fund, the Wohlgemuth Herschede Foundation, the Louise Taft Semple Foundation, and 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.


Sandra Thornton serves as the Artistic Director of the Cincinnati Choral Academy and is a member of the Vocal Arts Ensemble. Thornton is the Assistant Artistic Director of the Cincinnati Youth Choir (CYC), Ensemble-in-Residence at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music Preparatory Department. She also serves as the Artistic Director of CYC’s ChoralQuest, and Educational Director for CYC. Thornton also conducts the Vivace and Allegro choirs and teaches Vocal Pedagogy during the annual CYC Children’s Choir Summer Festival.



Rehearsals and Attendance

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 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.