The South Bay Children's Choir (SBCC) is a select group of talented young singers sponsored by El Camino College (ECC) in Torrance, California. Comprised of over 125 boys and girls ranging in age from 7 to 17, these young singers come from over 25 communities in the Los Angeles and South Bay areas, from Long Beach to the south and Santa Monica to the north.
Co-founded in 1996 by Artistic Director Diane Simons and the late Dr. Jane Hardester, the choir performs annually in the Marsee Auditorium at El Camino College, and has appeared at many other venues throughout the southland, including Royce Hall at UCLA, the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in the Los Angeles Music Center, Segerstrom Hall in Orange County, and the Armstrong Theater in Torrance.
Touring and discovering different cultures through their music is a big part of SBCC. Their travels have included performing in the Canterbury Cathedral in England, performing Mass of the Children under the baton of the composer John Rutter in Carnegie Hall, The Pacific Rim Festival in Hawaii, and the Appalachian Festival in West Virginia.
In February 2008, Bel Canto was selected to perform at the Western Division American Choral Directors Convention. In 2007 they traveled to Sacramento to present a workshop called Teaching Young Singers to Sing in Tune for the California Music Educators Association. SBCC was awarded the Award for Excellence in Music by the Torrance Cultural Arts Council in 2001.
Students interested in joining SBCC must audition and, if accepted, are carefully placed in one of six progressive levels: Monday Minnesingers, and the Saturday classes Meistersingers, Choristers, Choraliers, Concert Choir and Bel Canto. Choir members develop expertise in ensemble singing, voice production, music theory, sight-reading, and a varied choral repertoire. SBCC is fortunate to have its own composer-in-residence, Mr. B. Wayne Bisbee, whose works are premiered in its concerts.