The South Shore Children’s Chorus
The South Shore Children’s Chorus consists of 40 students, aged nine to sixteen years, who represent ten schools in the Riverside School Board and other South Shore schools. Founded in 1984, by Music Director Betty-Jo Christiani, the South Shore Children’s Chorus has achieved a high standard of performance and has become widely known on the South Shore of Montreal.
In 1990, the Children’s Chorus toured Japan, at the invitation of the Hiroshima Broadcasting Children’s Choir, presenting the musical “Anne of Green Gables” and performing in four cities. The choir has also participated in exchanges with the Newfoundland Symphony Youth Choir of St. John’s, Newfoundland, the Southend Girls’ Choir from England and with the White Rock Children’s Choir from British Columbia. The choir has participated in major international choral festivals including Unisong 1996 and 2006 in Ottawa, in 1999 in Niagara Falls Ontario, and in the 2007 Coastal Sound Festival in Vancouver.
2008 marked the 25thAnniversary of the SSCC. The choir was invited to participate in a children’s choir concert at Carnegie Hall in May 2009. In June 2012, the choir is proud to participate in the “Sing a Mile High Children’s Choir Festival” in Denver, Colorado.
Betty-Jo Christiani, Founder and Director
Betty-Jo Christiani graduated from McGill University with a degree in Music Education and has pursued special studies in the Kodaly Concept of Music Education in Wellesley, Massachusetts, and in Kecskemet, Hungary. She was a music specialist with the Riverside School Board for 35 years.
Betty-Jo was the studio teacher for “Making Music Two”, a series of educational broadcasts produced by the Québec Department of Education and Radio- Québec. In March 2007, Betty-Jo was guest conductor for the Vermont Children’s Honour Choir Festival sponsored by the Vermont chapter of ACDA. She has given workshops and demonstrations on Kodàly methodology, choral techniques and early childhood music in Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, Québec and Saskatchewan and has taught summer courses at the University of Ottawa. In addition, she has mentored McGill student teachers for many years.
In 2011, Betty-Jo was honoured with the Teacher of the Year Award of the Quebec Music Educators Association for her lifetime contribution to Music Education.
Ron Bourne, Accompanist
A graduate of McGill University with a Bachelor of Music degree (1978) and a Diploma in Music Education (1981), Ron Bourne is recognized for his talent as a piano accompanist for choirs, singers and instrumentalists. Deeply involved in church music, Ron was the organist and choir director at All Saints’ Anglican Church in Verdun from 1978-1994; Director of Music at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, St. Lambert from 1994-1999 and organist and choir director at St. Lambert United Church since 1999. For over 30 years, Ron has been accompanist, music arranger and production coordinator for Danse Westmount.
Committed to music education, Ron has been part of the music team of the South Shore Children’s Chorus since its inception in 1894. He has accompanied the choirs and drama programmes at the Study School in Westmount and the choirs of several schools of the Riverside School Board.