In 2012, Travis Branam started a group that has redefined Denver’s dynamic choral scene. The non-auditioned community choir comprised of 6th-12th grade students is part of the Colorado Children’s Chorale program. The name of the choir incorporates Denver’s area code. According to the group’s Facebook page, “303 Choir celebrates the Mile High City’s diverse musical community by providing students opportunities to collaborate with local artists along with other youth from the Denver Metro area. As youth meet, learn from, and perform with contemporary and community-minded musicians, they are inspired to connect with the world around them and empowered to find their own creative, artistic, and social voice through locally created songs and experiences.”
The group embraces the best of a variety of genres, including hip-hop, bluegrass, punk rock, classical and R&B, and performs in a variety of venues with local artists. Travis has been successful in breaking down barriers to singing because his model relies on the connection that students have with the songs they sing. When the choir collaborates with local songwriters, they rely on the expertise of the guest artists to inform their understanding of stylistic elements specific to the genre. The choir attracts singers from the Colorado Children’s Chorale program that has served over 15,500 students since 1994 as well as singers who have never sung in an ensemble.
The group continues to redefine the notion of what it means to sing in a chorus, to create an inclusive community of singers who are eager to experience music from different genres that are meaningful to them, and to collaborate with local Denver artists to enrich the cultural fabric of the Denver metro area.