Celebration Singers Adult and Children's Choir History
The Celebration Singers adult choir was founded in 1938 as the Esso Choristers, the company choir for the Standard Oil Company in Elizabeth. When Esso changed its name to Exxon, the singers became the Exxon Choristers, and membership in the choir was open to the general public. Sponsorship by Exxon ended in the late 70's when Exxon had a cutback in funding. In 1980, the choir became a nonprofit independent organization and adopted the name "The Celebration Singers." The choir has performed at the 1964 World's Fair, Liberty state Park, Ocean Grove's auditorium, Union County Arts Center, the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., at Symphony Hall in Chicago, IL, and Carnegie Hall in New York City. They traveled to Europe in 2008, performing in Austria, Germany, and Prague, toured Scotland and England during the summer of 2011, and most recently toured around Italy in the summer of 2017.
In September 1995, the Celebration Children's Choir was formed. Beginning with 30 children, mostly from the Cranford Public Schools, it was created to give children the opportunity to learn and perform music, ranging from the classics to Broadway show tunes. Though there are many individual adult and children choruses throughout New Jersey, the Celebration Children's Choir is unique in that it is tuition free and is sponsored by an adult choir. When the children perform it is usually with the adult choir and so the children have the adults as role models and see that singing can be a life long enjoyable activity. Many times parents singing in the adult choir have had children singing in the children's choir which gives an intergenerational warmth to the concerts. Over 300 young people have received a wonderful tuition free choral experience and the opportunity to sing with the adult choir. Several former children choir members have gone on to major in music education and even become music teachers. Many former children choir members have also sung in the adult choir.
The Children's Choir consists of boys and girls from Union, Middlesex, and Somerset Counties, representing more than twenty communities. Since the repertoire of the choir has traditionally been all treble music (for unchanged voices) and several of the boys in the choir's voices had changed, we strated a boys ensemble of older boys whose voices are in various stages of change. This group has since expanded to a group of young male and female adults, the advanced youth choir, known as the "Middle C."
The Celebration Singers in a non-profit musical entertainment organization. Although many outstanding choral groups exist in our state, there are few groups that bring the same rigorous and exacting musical standards to the performance of the variety of songs. Our mission is to bring before, as wide an audience as possible, the beauty, richness, and excitement of not only a valuable segment of American culture, but of songs of many styles and from other cultures. At the same time, we look to provide a more diverse musical education to our children and adult chorus members and audience alike.