Live, youthful voices accompany Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker performances in Baltimore, Little Rock, Minneapolis, San Antonio, Spokane and Wichita
Shatkovskaya & Tkachenko Minneapolis Youth Chorus
Interviews:Sally Michael Keyes 413-499-1733 x21 JLIB_HTML_CLOAKING
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(BERKSHIRES, Mass.) Oct 9, 2013 – New in 2013 six Youth Choirs are invited to perform live in Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcrackeras part of the ballet’s “Musical Wunderkind” arts enrichment program. Moscow Ballet continues to develop its mission to provide art enrichment for the local communities it performs in by including Youth Choirs as vocal accompaniment to the melodic “Waltz of the Snowflakes.” Youth Choirs welcome patrons by performing their repertoire in the lobby before the curtain rises and then, faithful to Tchaikovsky’s score, sing “Waltz of the Snowflakes” at the end of Act I. The children range in age from 7 to 18 years and study with experienced and award-winning music directors. Moscow Ballet will feature children’s choirs from Baltimore to Spokane as “Musical Wunderkind – Choirs” on the 2013 annual North American tour including: Baltimore’s American Kodaly Children’s Chorus is led by Dr. Alison Shirk on December 21 at the Hippodrome; Little Rock’s Central Arkansas Children’s Choir is led by Director Sheri Cook-Cunningham on November 24 at Robinson Center Music Hall; Minneapolis’ Minneapolis Youth Chorusis led by Kathy Saltzman Romey on December 6 and 7 at the Orpheum Theatre; San Antonio’s Texas Children’s Choir is led by Artistic Director Thomas Hardaway on December 23 at the Majestic Theatre; Spokane’s Crescendo Community Chorus is led by Artistic Director Sharon Rodkey Smith on November 13 and 14 at the Bing Crosby Theater and Wichita Children’s Community Choir is led by Artistic Director Jennifer Crowley Johnson on December 1 at the Orpheum Theatre. For more information about the choir in each city and for tickets go to www.nutcracker.com/your-city .
Baltimore’s newly formed American Kodály Children’s Chorus is dedicated to offering high quality music training, in a nurturing environment. Choristers range from age 8 to 18 and many recently traveled to Hungary where they performed at the International Kodály Symposium. Jointly founded by The Bryn Mawr School and Loyola University’s American Kodály Institute, the chorus is in residence at the Bryn Mawr School and is administered by Dr. Alyson Shirk. In addition to her work at Bryn Mawr, Shirk is a frequent choral clinician, adjudicator, and master class teacher.
Little Rock’s Central Arkansas Children's Choir (CACC) is an award-winning, auditioned choral program for 4th-12th grade students. The Choir performs at Branson's Music in the Parks Festival and they received First Place/Gold Award at the Windy City Music Festival in Chicago. The 2012-2013 season garnered rave reviews from performances with the Conway Symphony Orchestra and Arkansas Symphony Orchestra. CACC Choral Director Dr. Ryan Fisher is also UCA Vocal Music Education Professor and previous teaching experiences include elementary music, middle school chorus, and high school chorus in Texas where he received numerous teaching awards.
Minneapolis’ Minneapolis Youth Chorus (MYC) is an auditioned ensemble open to public school students, is offered at no charge to participants and is led by Founding Conductor Patrice Arasim, who taught a generation of students at Field School, creating a virtual conservatory of music. In 2012 MYC recorded with Owl City's Adam Youngand "Call Me Maybe" Carly Rae Jepsen on the 2012 international #1 hit song "Good Time.” MYC also performs with the Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra.
San Antonio’s Texas Children’s Choir is recognized for providing high quality choral music and having received multiple awards of “Best in Class” and “Best in Festival” in regional choral music competitions. Over the past 10 years 61 dedicated boys and girls, ages 8-17 years, have inspired their community by dedicating hundreds of hours of their time to present performances of classical, patriotic, sacred, and show music each season. The choir sang at official White House ceremonies for presidents and first ladies of the United States and in France on the beaches of Normandy to commemorate the 60th anniversary of D-Day and more. Dr. Thomas G. Hardaway, II, is founder, artistic director, and conductor of the Texas Children’s Choir which he started in 1989.
Spokane’s Crescendo Community Chorus (formerly known as Kinderchor of Spokane) is a youth choral program established to create an opportunity for children of all ages to access a quality choral experience, regardless of personal circumstance. Through rehearsal and performance, each young singer gains accomplishment by growing in musical understanding and in sharing that knowledge. In so doing, the youth have an opportunity to build his/her self esteem. The chorus is led by Artistic Director Sharon Rodkey Smith, past President of Nebraska Choral Directors Association and recipient of Alice Buffett Award for Outstanding Teachers through the Omaha Public Schools.
Wichita Community Children’s Choir (WCCC) is a select vocal ensemble comprised of elementary school students who exhibit the ability to achieve the highest level of choral music performance. WCCC creates an opportunity for children to develop an understanding of and love of choral music. Director Jennifer Crowley Johnson holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and K-12 Vocal Music and a master’s degree in Vocal Performance. She has taught choral music, general music, and voice in four states and in all grades from kindergarten through college seniors, including directing the Women's Choir at WSU. Many members of the choir have been selected to participate in regional, state, and national ACDA Honor Choirs.
Moscow Ballet Education Programs – Moscow Ballet’s three distinct education programs engaged over 9000 children in 2012. President Obama visited Sasha who performed as a mouse in the ‘Dance with Us’ program; and 6,000 elementary schoolkids spent a week of immersion in‘New Horizons: A Children’s Program for Life’. Sasha Obama participated in MB’s ‘Dance with Us’ program in which student dancers in 50 tour cities audition for MB soloists, rehearse and perform in ancillary roles in the professional performances. Since 1993, ‘Dance with Us’ has provided a generation of once-in-a-lifetime experiences for tens of thousands of North American student dancers, a program unparalleled by other professional touring ballet companies. A second education project, ‘New Horizons – a Children’s Program for Life,’ offers cultural immersion developing children’s confidence, coordination, and creativity while working one-on-one with Moscow Ballet soloists for a week, or a day, at a time. District School Board of Pasco County Supervisor Mary Grey states, “Exposure to acclaimed…Moscow Ballet [dancers]…helps PLACE bring the highest quality experiences to our children.” New in 2012, ‘Musical Wunderkind’ features accomplished student musicians accompanying the principal dancer in Saint- Saën’s famous “Dying Swan” at the opening of the Great Russian Nutcracker in tour cities, providing a sought after performance experience for the student musicians and bringing a snippet of classic ballet to thousands of audience members. In addition to that, “Honored Artist of Ukraine” Olga Kifyak and Musical Wunderkind Fedor Ouspensky were invited to present at a National Press Club Newsmaker event December 14 in Washington D.C.
Moscow Ballet - In addition to the Great Russian Nutcracker, company repertory includes time-honored Russian ballets Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, Romeo and Juliet, Cinderella and more. For over twenty years the company has performed 100 engagements annually in North America in a majority of the top twenty demographic markets. The company’s mission and national platform enables it to share the renowned Vaganova training with over 5000 local dance students annually in the “Dance with Us” program. “New Horizons - A Children’s Program for Life” is an intensive cultural immersion project that benefits school children and on-going programs Musical Wunderkind, Master Classes and Summer Intensives also touch the lives of many children and young adults. Moscow Ballet’s partnership with corporations and not-for-profit organizations over the past 20 years has raised awareness of and revenue for their significant missions and causes. Akiva Talmi Presents Inc. (ATP) is the exclusive North American representation for Moscow Ballet which performs annually in seventy cities across the US and Canada. www.moscowballet.com.