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LOS ANGELES CHILDREN’S CHORUS, LED BY ARTISTIC DIRECTOR ANNE TOMLINSON, ANNOUNCES 2011-12 SEASON

Los Angeles Children's Chorus
Acclaimed for its pure, agile, bel canto sound that has made it one of the most in-demand children’s choirs in the county – during the 2011-12 season makes a number of high profile appearances locally and abroad, including its first performances on African soil and concerts with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, LA Opera, Pasadena Symphony and POPs, American Youth Symphony and Australian Girls Choir, with repertoire ranging from Mahler and Puccini to Philip Glass and a world premiere by Icelandic composer Daníel Bjarnason, requiring tremendous vocal versatility and technical skill from LACC’s phenomenal young choristers. Among the famed conductors working with them are Gustavo Dudamel, James Conlon, Michael Riesman and Patrick Summers.

Led by Artistic Director Anne Tomlinson, the chorus presents its signature Spring and Winter concerts, performs in two installments of the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s highly anticipated “The Mahler Project,†conducted by Gustavo Dudamel at Walt Disney Concert Hall and the Shrine Auditorium, and appeared in the orchestra’s presentation of Philip Glass’ Powaqqatsi: Life in Transformation conducted by Michael Riesman at the Hollywood Bowl. Next spring, the chorus participates in LA Opera’s production of La Bohème under the baton of Patrick Summers at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion and collaborates with American Youth Symphony and conductor James Conlon as part of the LA Philharmonic’s prestigious “Sounds About Town†series at Disney Hall. Building upon its role as a key presenter of other world-class children’s choirs from around the globe, LACC showcases from Down Under the celebrated Australian Girls Choir and, next summer, expands its reach considerably when it undertakes a two-week tour to South Africa, its first to the African continent. Other special appearances include a return engagement with Pasadena Symphony and POPs at its popular holiday concert, and a performance with Metropolitan Opera star Julianna Di Giacomo, soprano, and rising opera phenom Christina Alexopoulos, mezzo-soprano, as well as workshops and masterclasses with some of the nation’s leading clinicians.

“LA is at the apex of the classical music scene,†says Tomlinson. “Not only is there a huge variety of offerings, but it’s where many of the music world’s most inventive projects are happening. It’s a pleasure and an honor to collaborate with so many of LA’s prestigious performing arts organizations on these amazing artistic ventures,†says Tomlinson, who begins her 16th season with the chorus.

Los Angeles Children’s Chorus – described by critics as “astonishingly polished,†“hauntingly beautiful,†and “one heck of a talented group of kids†– is widely regarded as one of the world’s foremost children’s choirs. Founded in 1986, LACC includes more than 350 choristers ages 6-18 from 60 communities across the Los Angeles region. It offers programs and choirs for boys and girls of all skill levels: “First Experiences in Singing†is an introductory class for six- and seven-year-olds, and its six progressive choirs are Preparatory Choir, Apprentice Choir, Intermediate Choir, Concert Choir and Chamber Singers and the Young Men’s Ensemble, for boys with changing voices. In addition to performing with Los Angeles’ leading music organizations, ranging from the LA Philharmonic and Hollywood Bowl Orchestra to the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and Calder Quartet, LACC has toured North and South America, China and Europe, and produced the world-premiere of Keepers of the Night, an opera by Peter Ash and Donald Sturrock.

The chorus sang on LA Master Chorale’s recently released Decca recording “A Good Understanding,†and Plácido Domingo’s Deutsche Grammophon recording “Amore Infinito” (“Infinite Love”). The subject of a trilogy of documentaries by Academy Award-winning filmmaker Freida Lee Mock, LACC is featured in the Academy Award-nominated Sing!, about a year in the life of the chorus; Sing Opera!, documenting the production of Keepers of the Night; and Sing China!, chronicling its groundbreaking tour to China just prior to the Beijing Olympics. LACC has performed with John Mayer on NBC’s “The Tonight Show,†and was featured on Public Radio International’s nationally syndicated show “From the Top,†among other notable credits.

PERFORMANCES DETAILED CHRONOLOGICALLY

Los Angeles Children’s Chorus launches its 26th season on August 30, 2011, at the Hollywood Bowl, with the first of three appearances with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Noted conductor Michael Riesman leads the orchestra, the chorus and the Philip Glass Ensemble in a performance of Glass’ Powaqqatsi: Life in Transformation, from the soundtrack of the 1988 sequel of the documentary film Powaqqatsi, which focuses on the conflict between traditional ways and industrialization in developing countries. Glass’ compelling soundtrack uses children’s voices in an extremely effective manner to reflect the film’s message and images.

Continuing its role as a key presenter of other world-class children’s choirs, on October 4, 2011, LACC showcases from Down Under the internationally acclaimed Australian Girls Choir at Holy Redeemer Church in Montrose. Noted for its role in the stunning “I Still Call Australia Home†Qantas advertising campaign, the Australian Girls Choir has grown since its inception 27 years ago from 150 girls in a single choir to 3,500 girls in 19 choirs located throughout Australia. LACC previously hosted the Australian Girls Choir in 2007.

LACC makes its fourth guest appearance with the Pasadena Symphony and POPS in “Holiday Candlelight†Saturday, December 3, 2011, 7 PM, at Pasadena’s All Saints Church. Conducted by Grant Cooper, the program features soprano Lisa Vroman, the beloved Donald Brinegar Singers and the handbell ensemble LA Brass, ringing in the holidays by candlelight in the church’s exquisite and acoustically sonorous setting.

December 4 and 11, 2011, 7 PM, LACC presents its popular annual Winter Concert at Pasadena Presbyterian Church. Reflecting the chorus’ upcoming South African tour, the repertoire includes such South African pieces as the holiday song He Came Down; Amabhayesikili a lively work taught to LACC choristers by South Africa’s Drakensberg Boy’s Choir tour during its U.S. tour last May; and Amavolovolo, a traditional and compelling South African call and response song. The chorus also performs works by Sir David Willcocks and other British composers inspired by Shakespeare; such folk songs as the rhythmic Who is Sylvia?, the solemn Full Fathom Five, and Under the Greenwood Tree; sacred and secular works from Hungary, England, Germany, France; lullabies from Holland and Philippines; lively carols from France, England and Catalonia; and the moving Hebrew prayer setting of L’dor vador.

For its second Los Angeles Philharmonic appearance this season, LACC joins conductor Gustavo Dudamel, the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela, mezzo-soprano Christianne Stotijn and the Women of the Los Angeles Master Chorale in its epic The Mahler Project: Mahler 3 on Tuesday, January 24, 2012, 8 p.m., at Walt Disney Concert Hall.

Eleven days later, on February 4, 2012, 8 p.m., LACC participates in the LA Philharmonic’s companion concert – The Mahler Project: Mahler 8 (“Symphony of a Thousand†), conducted by Dudamel and staged at the Shrine Auditorium. In addition to LACC, the massive “cast of a thousand†includes the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela, Los Angeles Master Chorale, Pacific Chorale, Angel City Chorale, The Angeles Chorale, Choir of All Saints Church, Chorus of the Inner City Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles, Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles, Los Angeles Chamber Choir, Los Robles Master Chorale, Pasadena Pro Musica, Pasadena Master Chorale, Philippine Chamber Singers – Los Angeles, Vox Femina Los Angeles, and the National Children’s Chorus.

The season continues when the LA Philharmonic presents in its prestigious “Sounds About Town†series LACC in collaboration with the American Youth Symphony performing the world premiere of a new work by Icelandic composer Daníel Bjarnason conducted by James Conlon on Sunday, March 4, 2012, 7:30 p.m., at Walt Disney Concert Hall.

Los Angeles Children’s Chorus hosts its annual gala, which draws supporters from across the Southland and spotlights the remarkable talents of LACC’s choristers, Friday, March 9, 2012. This year’s esteemed honorees include famed conductor James Conlon and exquisite soprano and LACC alumna Anna Christy. Proceeds from the event benefit the chorus’ artistic, educational and scholarship programs.

Angela Broeker, a nationally renowned clinician specializing in treble choirs and director of Choral Activities at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota, conducts a treble choir masterclass for music educators hosted by LACC on Saturday, March 17, 2012, at the Neighborhood Unitarian Universal Church in Pasadena.

LACC’s popular Spring Concert, with a vibrant mix of music both contemporary and traditional, is slated for Saturday, May 12, and Sunday, May 13, 2012, at Pasadena Presbyterian Church.

Returning to LA Opera’s stage, LACC members are featured in its highly anticipated production of Puccini’s La Bohème, conducted by Patrick Summers and directed by Gregory A. Fortner in his LA Opera debut. The opera runs May 12, 20, 23, 26, 31 and June 2, 2012, at Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, and the cast includes Ailyn Perez (Mimi) and Stephen Costello (Rodolfo).

Additionally this spring (date/location to be announced), Metropolitan Opera star Julianna Di Giacomo, soprano, and rising opera singer Christina Alexopoulos, mezzo-soprano, guest star with LACC for a special concert. Di Giacomo, hailed by the New York Times for her “passionate intensity†and “bright, elegant tone,†has earned the reputation as one of the most exciting lyrica-spinto sopranos on the classical music scene today. Last season, Di Giacomo returned to the Metropolitan Opera as Leonora in Il trovatore and to the Caramoor International Music Festival as Mathilde in Guillaume Tell. She also made her debuts at the Teatro Real de Madrid, Pittsburgh Opera and the Cincinnati May Festival. Alexopoulos, a Southern California native (as is Di Giacomo) whose recent recital was described by the Beverly Hills Courier as “magical,†has performed in Petersburg, Russia, Helsinki, Finland, the Baltic States, and Florence, Italy. Among recent engagements, she was featured as the alto soloist in Bach’s Magnificat at New York’s Merkin Hall and has taught voice in New York City public high schools through the Metropolitan Opera Guild’s prestigious Outreach Program.

Continuing its proud tradition of touring nationally and internationally to share its artistry with broader audiences, LACC tours to South Africa ¬– its first time performing on the African continent – in June and July 2012.

Reaching New Singers
The public is invited to learn more about LACC with a behind-the-scenes peek at the chorus when LACC hosts its annual free Open House April 28, 2012 at Pasadena Presbyterian Church. Designed to introduce families to its highly regarded choirs and acclaimed choral training program for youth, 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 chorus’ 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 May 31 – June 3, 2012, at Pasadena Presbyterian Church. No previous training or audition preparations are required.

LACC, once again, offers its popular program “First Experiences in Singing,†eight- to 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, expose them to general music and rhythmic concepts, and introduce them to bel canto singing, the vocal style for which LACC is noted. Fall classes are held at Pasadena Presbyterian Church September 28 – November 16, 2011.

Graduates of Level I of “First Experiences in Singing†are eligible to participate in Level II and Level III classes, which are ten weeks in length. Children completing Level III may then join LACC’s newest ensemble, First Experiences in Choral Singing, which debuts in the 2011-12 Season. The ensemble is designed to assist children in developing their vocal, aural, musical and choral skills in preparation for advancement to the Preparatory Choir. The curriculum and repertoire focuses on developing the upper range of the treble voice, introducing acute listening skills, creating an awareness of musical phrasing, reading from an octavo, continuing to experience the joy of singing and learning extended rehearsal decorum. The ensemble, conducted by Lissie Quishenberry, will perform for parents twice a year.

LACC Supporters
LACC’s 2011-2012 concert season and core educational program are made possible, in part, by the National Endowment for the Arts, 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, and Nestlé USA. 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: www.lachildrenschorus.org or 626-793-4321

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