Columbus International Children's Choir


CICC's spotlight performance in Carnegie Hall, June 2015 photo by @groupphotos

About CICC

Columbus International Children's Choir, Winner of the 8th World Choir Games, offers premier children's and youth choirs and singing and voice lessons for kids of Columbus, Dublin, Powell and other Central Ohio communities. The choir performs in the most prestigious national and international venues and in concerts with leading American musicians.

Cool facts about Columbus International Children's Choir:

  • Performed in the White House for President Obama and First Lady.
  • Winner of the 8th World Choir Games.
  • Performed in Carnegie Hall twice.
  • Performed in St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican.
  • Performed on the Great Wall of China.
  • Performed in Twisted 2 in the Ohio Theatre with BalletMet, Columbus Symphony and Opera Columbus.
  • Our singers performed in leading roles in a variety of venues including school musicals and won numerous awards in local and national singing competitions including major national competition The American Prize.

Benefits of singing in the choir:

  • Acquire strong vocal skills
  • Develop ability to read and understand music
  • Learn music of various styles, time periods, and countries
  • Get exposure to foreign languages
  • Develop confidence to perform on stage
  • Meet and perform with outstanding musicians
  • Perform in top national and international venues
  • Develop self-discipline and responsibility
  • Make new friends
  • Visit new places

Each member of the choir receives personal attention from conductors. When necessary, the conductors and a voice teacher work with choir members individually or in small groups. We invite all children, who love music and want to become better singers, to join the Columbus International Children's Choir.

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CICC at the 2014 World Choir Games

Winning performance of "Funny Fugue" in Youth Choirs of Equal Voices category

Watch more CICC performances

Choirs

Creative Notes Grades PreK-2

The youngest children start singing in the Sunny Smiles Choir and the Creative Notes Choir. These children begin learning the basics of choral singing. The students explore their singing voices and gain confidence singing alone and with others. They learn breathing techniques, proper singing posture, and how to follow a conductor.

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Rainbow of Voices Grades 2-5

The Rainbow of Voices Choir is for advanced beginners. This ensemble is for children who are already comfortable with their singing voices and want to increase their musical knowledge. These children build their music reading skills and develop healthy singing habits. They learn proper breathing techniques, singing posture and tone production and develop basic musical artistry using dynamics and articulation. This group focuses on building a beautiful unison sound and begins developing part-singing skills.

This choir sings in a variety of languages. The Rainbow of Voices Choir performs in at least two concerts per year.

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Swallow Grades 4-8

The Swallow Choir is an intermediate choir. Singers become comfortable using their singing voices and singing in parts. They also learn healthy vocal technique, sight-reading skills, and musicianship skills. The Swallow Choir members have an opportunity to travel and meet with other choirs in a yearly tour.

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Vocalise Grades 8-12

The Vocalise Choir is an advanced, select choir. Only the finest singers are admitted to this group. These singers develop strong vocal skills by work with a vocal coach and by singing advanced repertoire. This group demonstrates outstanding music abilities and responsible behavior. The Vocalise Choir travels on yearly national and international concert tours.

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Staff

Tatiana Kats

Tatiana Kats - Founder, Executive Director, Artistic Director, Conductor

Tatiana Kats is the founder of Columbus Music and Art Academy, Columbus International Children's Choir, and Central Ohio Singing Competition. She is the Executive Director of the academy and Artistic Director of the choir. Mrs. Kats conducts the Swallow (intermediate) and Vocalise (advanced) Choirs. Under her guidance the academy's annual enrollment has grown to just under 300 kids, the choir won 1st place at the 8th World Choir Games and performed in the White House, Carnegie Hall, and St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican. Hundreds of kids participated in Central Ohio Singing Competition.

Tatiana earned a Master of Arts degree in choral conducting and a Master of Music degree in piano pedagogy from The Ohio State University where she studied under Dr. Hilary Apfelstadt and Mr. James Gallagher. She is a member of American Choral Directors Association and Columbus Music Teachers Association. Before coming to the United States, she worked as a director of a music school and a conductor of youth and mixed choirs in Moscow, Russia.

Tatiana received Music Educator Award from Columbus Symphony Orchestra. She won 3rd place in the Chorus Conductors category of the major national competition The American Prize. She was recognized by National Music Certificate Program as "Founding Teacher ... instrumental in establishing a national standard for developing musicians in the United States of America."

Megan Alston

Megan Alston - Conductor of the Creative Notes and Rainbow of Voices Choirs

Megan Alston grew up in a music-loving family who regularly and spontaneously gathered around the piano to sing. She graduated from BYU—Idaho in Music Education, emphasis in choral education in 2014. As a student she accompanied university class, group, and private voice lessons semesters for hundreds of students. She has conducting experience in both educational and church capacities such as choir conductor, pianist, music chairman, as well as teaching music appreciation classes.

Megan is currently a private instructor of voice and piano for Piano Lessons in Your Home, Inc as well as in her own private studio. Apart from lessons she holds regular music workshops, recitals, and camps for children in Dublin and Lewis center. She is excited to share her love and joy of music with Creative Notes and Rainbow of Voices.
Cary Criss

Cary Criss - Assistant Conductor and Voice Teacher

Cary Criss received a MM in Vocal Performance from New England Conservatory of Music and a BA from Rollins College in Music Education. She has served on the voice faculty at Cedarville, Sinclair and Antioch Universities. Her professional credits include acting with the Human Race Theatre Company and Mad River Theatre Works, as well as singing in Michael Bashaw’s Sound Sculpture. During her many Yellow Springs’ Gilbert and Sullivan productions, Ms. Criss performed with cellist Evelyn Elsing, in the Antioch Shakespeare Festival, and in Peter Ekstrom’s own The Gift of the Magi. In her years with Dayton Public Schools, she taught vocal music, choirs, “orffestra”, piano and drama K - 8. Many of her students were accepted into Dayton’s award-winning Stivers School for the Arts.

Cary teaches private voice and piano lessons in Dublin. She performs with Capriccio Columbus and sings in the choir at New Hope Church. Her daughter, puppy, ballroom dance and gardening bring her much joy. She enjoys working with the CICC singers.
Miljan Krunic

Miljan Krunic - Rainbow of Voices Choir Conductor and Voice Teacher

Miljan Krunic, a graduate of the University of Music and Performing Arts in Graz, Austria, studied classical voice under Univ.Prof. Mag.art. Dr.phil. (University Professor, Magister of Arts, Doctoral in Philosophy) Ulf Bästlein, receiving vocal performance instruction from Stacey Bartsch and Julius Drake. Miljan has been fortunate to take part in numerous master courses taught by world renown artists such as Robert Holl, Rudolf Jansen, Emma Kirkby and many more. His collegiate repertoire includes L’enfant et les sortilèges (Ravel), Die Lustigen Weiber von Windsor (Nikolai), Le convenienze ed inconvenienze teatrali (Donizetti), King Arthur (Purcell), and Asteroid 62 (Kourliandski).

Miljan has over ten years of professional experience as a choral singer, including performing with the company of Opera House Graz, mixed choir “Unser Klangraum” in Austria, and mixed youth choir “luventus Cantat” in Serbia. He is a trained, classical singer in the Bel Canto technique, which he teaches to his students.
Lisa Springer

Lisa Springer - Voice Teacher

Lisa D. Springer received her education at Heidelberg University and The Cleveland Institute of Music. As a mezzo-soprano, she has enjoyed solo performances with The Pittsburgh Opera Theater, sharing the stage with Placido Domingo; The Cleveland Orchestra at Severance Hall, Blossom Music Center, Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center, and Carnegie Hall; The Cleveland Opera Company, Robert Page Singers, The Cleveland Fine Arts Program and The Lancaster Festival Orchestra. She has appeared as a member of The Cleveland Orchestra Chorus, Blossom Music Center Chorus, Cleveland Opera Chorus, Cincinnati Opera Chorus, Cantari Singers of Columbus and The Lancaster Chorale. She currently performs with the St. Joseph Cathedral Choir and Temple Israel Choir. Her choral conducting experiences include the position of Artistic Director of The Columbus Women’s Chorus, Director of the vocal music program at The Wellington School, and past director of vocal music at Lancaster High School. Additionally, she served as co-director of the Lancaster-Fairfield Youth Choir. She also maintains a private voice studio. Her students have performed internationally in Belgium and The Netherlands, and domestically in New York City, Chicago, LA, Detroit, Cincinnati and Washington, DC. She is a member of The American Choral Directors Association, Music Educators National Conference, NATS, and Chorus America. She is the proud mother of two adult children and two grandchildren.
Irina Utkina

Irina Utkina - Conductor of the Sunny Smiles Choir and Principal Accompanist

Irina Utkina graduated from the Saint Petersburg Music Conservatory in Russia as choral conductor. Before coming to the United States, she worked as a director of adult and children's choirs and as accompanist in Moscow, Russia.

She has been working as conductor and principal accompanist of the Columbus International Children's Choir since 1998. Mrs. Utkina also arranges music for the choir.