SVCC History

Now in its twenty-eighth year, the Shenandoah Valley Children’s Choir (SVCC) of Harrisonburg, VA includes more than 230 youth in three classes, three choirs, and a staff of ten under the artistic direction of Janet M. Hostetter. 

The beauty and reputation of SVCC have afforded Concert Choir the honor of performing for Archbishop Desmond Tutu ('07), then President and Mrs. Clinton, and former President Carter ('09). Performing choirs frequently collaborate with professional musicians and have presented at conferences of the American Choral Directors Association Southern Division conferences (’00, ’02, ’06, ’12, '18), the Virginia Music Educators Association conferences (‘96, ‘98, ’04, ‘08), and the Organization of Kodály Educators national conference (’01 as headline choir, ‘09) and have performed with the American Boychoir seven times ('94, '94, '01, '03, '07, '10, '17), four times with The Washington Symphonic Brass Quintet (’03, ’06, ’09, ‘11), and one time each with the One Voice Chorus ('14), the Virginia Children's Chorus ('14) and the Maryland State Boychoir ('16).  Appearances have also occurred with the James Madison University (JMU) Percussion Ensemble (’11), the JMU Symphony Orchestra ('13), the JMU Chorale ('13) and the JMU Madison Singers ('13). 

Under the leadership of Janet Hostetter, SVCC choristers have participated in music video projects, including America the Beautiful on Pikes Peak and areas around Colorado Springs (‘19), in Peru, with Peruvian children's choir Los K'ana Wawakuna ('17), and in Virginia. During the summer of 2016, SVCC and the Shenandoah National Park Service generated a video of choristers singing Mark Patterson's arrangement of "Shenandoah" while surrounded by the beauty of the Park. This signature video, released on September 12, 2016, was shared extensively on Facebook and on other media platforms, quickly attaining "viral" status. 

The SVCC regularly participates in choral festivals in an effort to learn from and stay connected with other excellent children's choirs and renown choral directors. Members of Concert Choir have sung in the Carnegie Hall Children’s Choir Festival (’98, ’07, ’12), the Tuscany International Children’s Choir Festival in Italy (‘01), the Pacific Rim Children’s Chorus Festival in Hawaii (’05, ’09), the Crescent City Choral Festival in New Orleans ('15) and the Sing a Mile High International Children's Choral Festival in Denver, Colorado (‘19). 

Artistic and executive director Janet M. Hostetter has lead the organization since 2014, with Joy Anderson as assistant director since 2003. Dr. Jo-Anne van der Vat-Chromy served as interim director from 2012-2014. The Shenandoah Valley Children's Choir was founded in 1991 at Eastern Mennonite University by Julia J. White.