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Colorado Children’s Chorale performs internationally 2

By Lisa Nicklanovich; photos courtesy of Colorado Children’s Chorale

Group in front of the Jaromerice Chateau, Trebic, Czech Republic. From Castle Pines are Jack Barton (2nd row, sixth from right), and Hayden Arnold (2nd row, fourth from right). From Castle Rock are Emily Keely (front row, third from left) and Leah Doogan (front row, fifth from right).

Castle Pines residents Jack Barton (top left) and Hayden Arnold (top right) sang with the Colorado Children’s Chorale in Europe this summer.

Jack Barton performed in the opera “Carmen” when he was in fourth grade and his interest in singing blossomed. His mom had encouraged him – well, “bribed” was the word Barton used – to audition for Denver’s award winning Colorado Children’s Chorale (CCC). Now a seventh grader at American Academy, Barton said “singing is his thing” and he was recently invited to travel with the festival singers group to the 8th Annual Summa Cum Laude International Youth Music Festival in Vienna, Austria. The CCC group also performed in Bratislava, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic.

The group sang in St. Stephen’s Cathedral and learned about the composer Franz Joseph Haydn. Barton said, “Singing in Vienna I thought oh my gosh, I’m performing on the same ground as Mozart and Beethoven.” In Bratislava, the CCC sang in the famous Hall of Mirrors in Primate’s Palace and in the Czech Republic, the CCC performed in the Hall of Ancestors in the Jaromerice Chateau, a Baroque castle. The group also performed in the Basilica of St. Margaret, next door to the chateau. Barton said, “We performed in cathedrals where the domes absorbed the sound. It was pretty cool hearing our voices when we stopped singing.”

The CCC sang “On Top Of The World” from the bottom of the Macocha Abyss in the Punkva caves in the Czech Republic to onlookers 425 feet above and they even took the opportunity to sing “Do-Re-Mi” from The Sound of Music in a big grassy field.

The festival was a cultural exchange, attended by 1,400 performers from 16 nations with some groups competing. Barton, along with roommate Charlie Trask of Highlands Ranch and other performers from all over the front range, learned and performed songs in Czech, German and French. Barton said, “The choir directors helped us learn the songs and we also learned important phrases like ‘please’, ‘thank you’, and ‘where’s the bathroom’?” Barton added, “It was good to meet people from other countries and learn about what they like to do for a hobby and what sports they play.”

Barton said that when he came home after the trip, he “just wanted a hamburger.” He liked some of the unusual and “fancy” food he tried, like a sausage meat spread, but wasn’t crazy about the beet ravioli with blue cheese. Overall, it was a trip of a lifetime, but Barton is hoping to continue singing and traveling with the CCC, that is until his voice changes. Barton turned 12 on the day he returned from Vienna but said, “Finger’s crossed, I can participate another year or two.”

Barton added, “Enroll your children in the Chorale, they will love it.” For more information, visit


The Colorado Children’s Chorale festival singers in Stadtpark, Vienna, Austria in front of the Johann Strauss Monument.



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