LA Children's Chorus Announces 25th Season
Date: October 6, 2010
Location: California, USA
Choir type: Children's and Youth Choirs
Los Angeles Children's Chorus (LACC), considered one of the world's foremost children's choirs, honors its history of artistic excellence and embraces exciting new opportunities as it commemorates its milestone 25th Anniversary in 2010-11. The year-long celebration features a series of concerts and musical partnerships with some of the region's leading arts organizations on stage and screen - silver and small - and in recordings.
“For 25 years, Los Angeles Children's Chorus has played a vital role in LA's vibrant cultural scene,” says David Scheidemantle, Chair of LACC's Board of Directors. “The sound of children's voices raised in song is like no other. Because of the exceptional training provided by LACC's artistic staff and the tremendous talent and dedication of each child who sings in the choir, LACC has become a leader among its peers, performing at the highest echelon.”
“This anniversary season provides us an opportunity to reflect on LACC's strong roots and its considerable artistic arc over the past quarter of a century,” says LACC Artistic Director Anne Tomlinson, who this year celebrates her 15th season at the choir's helm. “We will continue our traditional focus of building LACC's signature bel cantotone through timeless repertoire and a new work for treble ensemble by multimedia composer and multimedia artist/LACC alumna Caroline Park.”
Reflecting its long and fruitful partnership with the preeminent LA Philharmonic, LACC opened the season on a particularly high note with an appearance on the orchestra’s critically acclaimed performance of the dramatic opera “Carmen” conducted by Gustavo Dudamel at the Hollywood Bowl on August 1. Other community partnerships this season include engagements with the Azusa Pacific University’s “Artists Concert Series,” November 15; Pasadena Symphony and POPs, December 4, 2010; and the Angeles Chorale, March 26, 2011. LACC’s Concert Choir also gives its first performance as a special guest at the Music Center’s highly regarded Spotlight Awards, April 30, 2011.
The choir presents its own traditional Winter Concert at Pasadena Presbyterian Church, December 5 and 12, 2010, and annual Spring Concert, which this year features a major anniversary musical celebration at Ambassador Auditorium, May 14, 2011. In addition, the choir stages a series of master classes for its members with the esteemed Chanticleer, the United States Army Chorus, Radcliffe Choral Society and LACC Founder Rebecca Thompson. A tour to the Mid-Atlantic region, with stops in Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and New Jersey, caps LACC’s season.
On the recording front, LACC is featured on the Los Angeles Master Chorale’s new all-Nico Muhly recording ‘A Good Understanding’ conducted by Grant Gershon that was released by Decca in September 2010. The chorus plans to self-produce a holiday album this season as well.
LACC hits the big screen later this season when Freida Lee Mock and Jessica Sander’s documentary film Sing China!, chronicling LACC’s 2008 tour to China just prior to the Beijing Olympics, is released commercially in selected theatres around the country. It was screened at the free “Family Flicks” series of new and classic family-friendly films from around the world co-presented by UCLA Film & Television Archive and Hammer Museum, September 19, 2010. Sing China!and two previous documentaries about LACC by Mock and Sanders, the Academy Award-nominated Sing!and Sing Opera!,will broadcast as a limited series on primetime PBS next year.
Described as “astonishingly polished,” “hauntingly beautiful,” and “one heck of a talented group of kids,” the Los Angeles Children’s Chorus is recognized for its exceptional artistic quality and technical ability. Founded in 1986 and led by Artistic Director Anne Tomlinson, LACC performs with such leading organizations as LA Opera, LA Phil, Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, LA Master Chorale, LACO, Pasadena Symphony and POPs and Calder Quartet. The chorus' roster includes more than 350 children aged 6-18 from 60 communities across Los Angeles in six choirs and “First Experiences in Singing” classes for young singers. Choir members receive intensive training that includes weekly or twice weekly rehearsals, individual vocal coaching and comprehensive musicianship classes. LACC has toured North and South America, China and Europe, and commissioned and produced the world-premiere ofKeepers of the Night, an opera by Peter Ash and Donald Sturrock. The chorus appears on Plácido Domingo’s Deutsche Grammophon recording "Amore Infinito" ("Infinite Love") and has been featured twice on NBC’s “The Tonight Show,” most recently with pop artist John Mayer, and Public Radio International's nationally syndicated show “From the Top.” LACC is also the subject of a trilogy of documentaries by Academy Award-winning filmmaker Freida Lee Mock, the Academy Award-nominatedSing!, about a year in the life of the choir;Sing Opera!,documenting the production of Keepers of the Night; andSing China!,chronicling its groundbreaking tour to China just prior to the Beijing Olympics.
The Los Angeles Children’s Chorus 25th Anniversary Season began auspiciously when it joined forces with the Los Angeles Philharmonicand the Los Angeles Master Choralefor a performance of Bizet’s dramatic opera Carmenconducted by Gustavo Dudamelat the Hollywood Bowl on August 1,2010. Critics proclaimed LACC “a delight” and “first-rate,” and hailed the performance as “dazzling” and “gripping.”
The UCLA Film & Television Archiveand the Hammer Museumteamed up to present “Family Flicks,” a free matinee screening series of new and classic family-friendly films from around the world that opened with the LACC documentary Sing China!September 19, 2010, at the Hammer Museum. Directed by Academy Award-winning filmmaker Frieda Lee Mock and Jessica Sanders, it follows LACC on the trip of a lifetime to perform in Beijing at the pre-Olympic International Youth Arts Festival. This inspiring and heartwarming film, packed with amazing musical performances, captures the adventurous spirit and personal stories of the Chorus' young singers as they explore a new culture and prepare for their big night. The directors, and representatives from the Los Angeles Children's Chorus made a personal appearance at the screening. Sing China!, the latest in a trio of documentaries about the acclaimed chorus that also includes Sing!and Sing Opera!, all of whichwill be shown as a series on primetime PBS next year, began a limited commercial run in Idaho and will continue to be shown commercially in cities around the country beginning this fall.
On September 26, 2010, LACC made a special appearance at the Los Angeles Master Chorale’s gala, “Bravo, Grant,” honoring the Chorale’s esteemed music director, Grant Gershon, on the occasion of his 10th Anniversary with the Disney Hall resident choir. A fundraiser for the Master Chorale, the event was held in Disney Hall’s BP Hall. Other artists paying tribute to Gershon that evening were leading sopranos Suzanna Guzmán and Elissa Johnston, and composer/pianist Ricky Ian Gordon.
Anne Tomlinson next leads LACC’s Chamber Singers in a concert for Azusa Pacific University’s prestigious “Artist Concert Series,” which features leading artists from across the county, on November 15, 2010.
LACC makes its third guest appearance with the Pasadena Symphony and POPS December 4, 2010, 7 PM, at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium. In addition to LACC, the holiday program, conducted by Grant Cooper, features vocalist Patrick Mason and the beloved Donald Brinegar Singers performing such classics as Jingle Bells, and Sleigh Ride, music from A Charlie Brown Christmas, Home Alone, The Polar Expressand a performance of The Night Before Christmasnarrated by actress, author and television host and LACC alumna Alison Sweeney.
On December 5 and 12, 2010, 7 PM, LACC presents its popular annual Winter Concertat Pasadena Presbyterian Church, a holiday tradition. The concert includes an eclectic range of classical, folk and contemporary works, such as Abbie Betinis' From Behind the Caravan: Song of Hâfez, sung in traditional Persian scansion; Personent Hodiearranged for treble choir by Rutter; J.S. Bach’s beautiful aria Bist du bei mir; the traditional Hebrew folk song S’vivon; James Gordon’s ethereal and oft-recorded Frobisher Bay, about whaling in the Canadian arctic; Nigra Sum(I Am Black) by Pablo Casals; the spiritual Goin’ Up Yonderby Walter Hawkins; Benjamin Britten’s Fancie, set to the text from Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice; Mark Sirett’s Tyrley, Tyrlow; and the holiday carol God Bless the Master of this House.
Additionally, LACC has announced plans to release a self-produced holiday CD featuring favorite archival recordings of live performances throughout the years.
The season continues with a series of four high profile master classes for LACC members at Pasadena Presbyterian Church. Chanticleer, called “the world's reigning male chorus,” by the New Yorkermagazine, and named 2008 Ensemble of the Year by Musical America, presents a private master class for LACC on January 28, 2011. LACC Founding Artistic Director Rebecca Thompson, who preceded Anne Tomlinson, returns to her roots to teach a master class on March 5, 2011. The acclaimed United States Army Chorusgives a master class for LACC’s Young Men’s Ensemble, which will then present a joint concert with the esteemed choir March 3, 2011. The Radcliffe Choral Society, founded in 1899 and one of the oldest and most preeminent collegiate women’s choirs in the nation, concludes the series on March 17, 2010, with a master class and performance with LACC’s all-female Chamber Singers.
On March 26, 2011, LACC collaborates with the Angeles Choraleon “For the Children,” a concert at First United Methodist Church in Pasadena featuring the Los Angeles debut of John Rutter’s Mass of the Childrenas well as selections from Vincent Persichetti, Dominic Argento, Joshua Shank and Irving Fine.
LACC’s Concert Choir, under Tomlinson’s direction, makes a guest appearance at the prestigious Music Center Spotlight AwardsApril 30, 2011. One of the nation's most acclaimed performing and visual arts education programs for teens, it offers distinctive learning opportunities in the arts for all participants and awards over $100,000 in scholarships annually. This marks LACC’s first performance at the Spotlight Awards.
LACC’s year-long celebration culminates with a special 25th Anniversary edition of its annual Spring Concert, showcasing choir members current and former at the spectacular Ambassador Auditorium, May 14, 2011, 7 PM. This moving performance will pay tribute to the thousands of children who have been a part of LACC since its inception. Composer Caroline Park, an LACC alumna, has crafted a new work for the occasion, a soundscape from her travels through the U.S. and abroad, with text by her sister, alumna Jennifer Park.
Reaching New Singers and Audiences
The public is invited to learn more about LACC with a behind-the-scenes peek at the choir when LACC hosts its annual Open Housethis spring at Pasadena Presbyterian Church. Designed to introduce families to its highly regarded choirs and acclaimed choral training program for youths, the Open House features a brief live performance by LACC’s Apprentice Choir and a demonstration of the numerous skills children learn through the program. Families will also enjoy group warm-ups and fun musicianship activities conducted by LACC staff that are part of the choir’s comprehensive training program. Additionally, there will be a short presentation and the opportunity for guests to meet some of LACC’s staff to ask questions about the program.
For children interested in joining LACC’s ranks, open auditions for the renowned chorus are slated June 2-4, 2011, at Pasadena Presbyterian Church. No previous training or audition preparations are required.
Continuing its proud tradition of touring nationally and internationally to share its artistry with broader audiences, LACC tours to the Mid-Atlantic region, in June and July with stops in Philadelphia, New Jersey and the nation’s capital, Washington, D.C.
LACC, once again, offers its popular program “First Experiences in Singing,”eight- and ten-week, non-auditioned, non-performing classes that introduce six- and seven-year-old children from diverse cultural and economic backgrounds to the wonders and excitement of singing and music. The 45-minute weekly classes are designed to assist budding singers with vocal and musical skill development, exposing them to general music and rhythmic concepts, and introducing them to bel cantosinging, the vocal style for which LACC is noted. Classes are set for two locations: First Presbyterian Church of Santa Monica, beginning October 2, 2011, and Pasadena Presbyterian Church, beginning October 5, 2011. (Graduates of Level I of “First Experiences in Singing” are eligible to participate in Level II and Level III, which are ten weeks in length.)
This fall, LACC also reaches deeper into the local San Gabriel Valley community by “adopting,” thanks to a generous grant from Nestlé USA, the Daniel Webster Elementary Schoolin Pasadena, where it is presenting “First Experiences in Singing,” a community concert and satellite auditions for the school’s young students during the fall and spring semesters.
LACC’s 25th Anniversary concert season 2010-2011 and core educational program are made possible, in part, by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission, the Pasadena Arts & Culture Commission and the City of Pasadena Cultural Affairs Division, Bank of New York Mellon, Mattel Children’s Foundation, Nestlé USA, Wells Fargo Foundation, the Pasadena Showcase House for the Arts, and the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Foundation. LACC is also deeply grateful to generous lead patrons Helen and Peter Bing and the hundreds of individual, foundation and corporate donors whose dedicated support sustains the Chorus’ annual choral music program for children.
For additional information on LACC, its auditions or programs, please call (626) 793-4321 or visit www.lachildrenschorus.org.
About Los Angeles Children’s Chorus
Los Angeles Children’s Chorus, under Artistic Director Anne Tomlinson, is recognized throughout the country for its exceptional artistic quality and technical ability. Founded in 1986, the choir performs frequently with leading music ensembles including the LA Phil, Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, Los Angeles Master Chorale, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Calder Quartet and Pasadena Symphony and POPs. LACC also assists Los Angeles Opera by training and providing children for opera productions that require children’s chorus or child soloists. The Chorus’ roster includes more than 350 children aged 6-18 from 60 communities across Los Angeles in six choirs and a program of “First Experiences in Singing” classes for young singers. LACC’s intensive training program includes weekly or twice weekly rehearsals, individual vocal coaching and comprehensive musicianship classes. LACC has toured Brazil, China, Great Britain, Italy, Australia, Germany, Austria, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Poland and Scandinavia, as well as many parts of the United States and Canada. Among its numerous accomplishments, LACC produced a commissioned world-premiere opera, Keepers of the Night, by composer Peter Ash and librettist Donald Sturrock in 2007 and appears on "Amore Infinito" ("Infinite Love"), a Deutsche Grammophon CD of songs based on poems by the late Pope John Paul II and performed by Plácido Domingo, which was released worldwide in March 2009. LACC is also featured in the Academy Award-nominated documentary, “Sing!” and sequel documentary “Sing Opera!” by award-winning Santa Monica filmmakers Freida Lee Mock and Jessica Sanders. “Sing!” documents a year in the life of the choir and is shown frequently on PBS stations nationwide. “Sing China!,” a third documentary that premiered in fall 2009, chronicles the choir’s groundbreaking tour to China. LACC has appeared twice on NBC’s “The Tonight Show,” including, in June 2009, with Grammy Award-winning pop artist John Mayer, and was featured on Public Radio International’s acclaimed nationally syndicated radio show “From the Top,” hosted by noted pianist Christopher O’Riley. On a local outreach level, LACC continues its long-standing commitment to the community by performing frequently in retirement homes, community centers and public schools, and for various civic organizations throughout the year.
About Artistic Director Anne Tomlinson
Anne Tomlinson, appointed artistic director of Los Angeles Children’s Chorus (LACC) in 1995, conducts the Concert Choir and the Chamber Singers and is responsible for the educational and artistic development of LACC. She also serves as Children’s Chorus Mistress for the Los Angeles Opera. During her tenure, she has prepared children for major operatic works including the world premiere of Tobias Picker’s opera Fantastic Mr. Foxbased upon the story by Roald Dahl, and has worked with Plácido Domingo, Andrew Litton, and Julius Rudel, among other renowned conductors. She has prepared children’s choirs for Esa-Pekka Salonen, Gustavo Dudamel, Carlos Rizzi, and Maren Alsop in Los Angeles Philharmonic performances of Bizet’s Carmen, Stravinsky’s Persephone, John Adams’ El Niño, Mahler’s Symphony No. 3, Orff’s Carmina Buranaand a fully staged production of Bernstein’s Massat the Hollywood Bowl, among many others. Los Angeles Master Chorale presentations include Christopher Rouse’s Requiem and Orff’s Carmina Buranawith Grant Gershon and Paul Salamunovich. Ms. Tomlinson is a frequent presenter at symposia, workshops and festivals. She holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Oberlin College Conservatory of Music and Master’s degree in conducting from Northwestern University where she studied with Margaret Hillis. She received in 2000 the Gold Crown Award for Music Education, given by the Pasadena Arts Council, the 2001Power of One Award, given by Facing History and Ourselves Foundation, and the 2006 Educator of the Year Award given by the Harvard-Radcliffe Club of Southern California.