Community Voices

Friends and Neighbors: The Children’s Voice Chorus seeks new members grades 3 to 12

The Children’s Voice Chorus recently put on a Broadway show. Getting into the act: Efe Fiallo, Chanda Richardson, Maria Pimenta, Victoria Middagh.
The Children’s Voice Chorus recently put on a Broadway show. Getting into the act: Efe Fiallo, Chanda Richardson, Maria Pimenta, Victoria Middagh.

It’s the fifth year of song for The Children’s Voice Chorus, and the growing group is holding auditions for even more kids to get involved.

“I am really excited to be embarking on a new season with CVC,” Jamie Perez Sutta, founder and artistic director of The Children’s Voice Chorus, writes in an email. “We have grown so much over the last four years, and I have loved watching our students mature, not only in their musical abilities, but in every aspect of their lives.”

Students in grades 3-12 are invited to audition. Singers are asked to prepare a short section of any song, like Happy Birthday. Based on their level of experience they might also be asked to do some vocal exercises, pitch matching, music theory and sight-reading.

To learn more and to make an appointment, call 786-216-7003 or write to

Rehearsals begin the second week of September and are held every Thursday from 5:15 to 6:30 p.m. for Prelude, the beginning chorus, and 5:30 to 7 p.m. for Harmony, the intermediate chorus. CVC is based at Old Cutler Presbyterian Church at 14401 Old Cutler Rd. in Palmetto Bay.

The children’s chorus has a mission to enhance the musical talents, personal development, and enrichment of youth in our community. Young singers of all cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds have benefited from CVC since 2011, and Perez Sutta promises this year will be even better.

“CVC is very proud to announce that it has won a grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, as part of its Knight Arts Challenge,” she said. “The grant will allow CVC the opportunity to bring the power of music to children living in underserved communities in South Dade and Homestead by providing free transportation.”

And most exciting, she said, CVC will be performing next June in the Crescent City Children’s Chorus Festival in New Orleans.

Perez Sutta wants young singers to acquire “the highest quality choral music education, through which they are exposed to unique experiences that promote diversity, musical development and personal growth.” The programs she and her staff develop aim to encourage cognitive and social development, essential life skills, and a sense of good citizenship.

CVC currently has more than 75 members, ranging in ages from 7 to 17. The group had its international television debut on Univision, in which it collaborated with some of the best musical organizations in Miami. In 2014, the young singers performed in prestigious Carnegie Hall in New York City.

To see videos, read testimonials, donate, and get more information, visit


Coral Gables attorney Julie Braman Kane, partner at Colson Hicks Eidson, is new president-elect of the American Association for Justice based in Washington, D.C. The group is the “world’s largest trial bar and leading defender of civil justice.”

For more than 65 years, members of AAJ, formerly known as the Association of Trial Lawyers of America, have worked to ensure that everyone “has access to the civil justice system when harmed by the negligence or misconduct of others.”

Kane will become president at the 2016 convention in Los Angeles. Her appointment is continuing a tradition at the Coral Gables-based law firm. Bill Colson, Colson Hicks Eidson co-founder, served as president of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America from 1964-’65, and partner, Lewis S. “Mike” Eidson, served as president from 2006-’07.

“I have had the honor to work with Julie for more than 20 years, and it has been a pleasure to watch her grow as both a trial lawyer and a leader with the American Association for Justice,” said Eidson in a release. “We are extremely proud that she will continue the firm’s tradition of supporting AAJ’s mission to protect the right to trial by jury.”

Kane, who previously served as AAJ vice president, was sworn in as president-elect at the organization’s annual convention in Montreal on July 13.

“I am honored to be elected by my peers as president-elect and to follow in the footsteps of my predecessors, including Bill Colson and Mike Eidson,” she said. “I have witnessed firsthand the impact of AAJ, having represented clients that otherwise would not have access to the civil justice system, and I look forward to advancing the organization’s mission in the coming two years.”

Kane has been active in AAJ for more than 20 years, serving as vice president, secretary, treasurer and parliamentarian. She also has been a member of the executive committee and the board of governors.

She was chair of the Products Liability Section and the women’s caucus. In 2012, she founded and chaired the voter protection action committee that works to protect the right to vote of American citizens across the nation.

Among her many awards, Kane received the University of Miami’s Law Alumni Leadership Award, given to attorneys who have distinguished themselves in careers and who serve as role models for the next generation of legal minds.

“Julie’s leadership will be essential as we fight to advance AAJ’s mission in Congress, the courts, and in the arena of public opinion,” said 2014-’15 AAJ President Larry Tawwater in a news release.

If you have news for this column, please send it to Christina Mayo at