VOENA: The A Capella Group That Has Been Reinventing the Children’s Choir Since 1994

“VOENA Children’s Choir is a professional program, unique because of its no-audition policy. VOENA teaches children ages 5-18 ethnically diverse music, instilling in them an appreciation and enthusiasm for different languages and cultures while cultivating, what director Annabelle Marie calls, the VOENA BIG 3: 1) accept the challenge, 2) be self-motivated, and 3) embrace an ethic for hard work. VOENA participants sing music from many countries, all in the native language, promoting peace through the exchange of culture.”

Voena is celebrating 25 years of performing before amazing audiences around the world, from the White House to the Summer Olympics, to Carnegie Hall, the Crown Price of Abu Dahbi, the South Africa Soweto Festival, Siracusa, Italy, Bali, and Nashville.

Annabelle Marie, founder of the renowned children’s choir, believes that “all children are born with the tools they need to be successful in music.”

Annabelle has always been a singer, and wanted to find or start a school to teach her young sons to use their voices. “It wasn’t ‘cool’ for boys to sing, and I wanted to start them early. If I couldn’t find a school, I decided that I’d start my own,” explains Annabelle…and Voena was born.

It’s been a wonderful journey. Voena’s 130 students are a melting pot of diversity and culture, as is the world, and Annabelle enhances that by traveling to distant countries with a small group of students to experience “music beyond borders.” The group learns two songs in the language of each of the countries they visit, to demonstrate their love of all music, and to broaden their horizons.

There are no auditions to gain entry into Voena. All are welcome, because Annabelle believes that anyone can learn to sing. It may not happen overnight, because learning pitch is not easy, but it will happen. “Every child is born with a voice. That gift is already inside. If you can talk,” explains Annabelle, “you’re already singing. Voice is the only instrument that crosses borders…you can take it anywhere, and it’s free.”

Most of the students stay at Voena an average of 9-10 years, and some have gotten college scholarships based on the school’s programs: Brown University, UCLA, College of the Pacific, to name a few. Annabelle believes that young people with a strong music background are better equipped to succeed.

If you’re interested in learning more, go to the Voena website, call them, or attend one of their concerts. Give your child the gift of singing.

Upcoming Events

VOENA Voices of the Season… 25th Anniversary

Sunday, December 1, 2019
4:00 PM 6:00 PM
Lincoln Theater

French Laundry Fundraiser

Thursday, December 12, 2019
11:00 AM 3:00 PM
The French Laundry

VOENA Concert Tour:
Voices of the Season…
25th Anniversary

Sunday, December 8, 2019
4:30 PM 6:00 PM
St. Andrew’s Presbyterian
Pleasant Hill

Voices of the Season…
25th Anniversary

Sunday, December 15, 2019
4:00 PM 6:00 PM
Empress Theatre

Voena Children‘s Choir

PO Box 1893,
Benicia, CA 94510