One of our New York students landed a role on Broadway, another student was cast to sing solo at the upcoming U.S. Open, and two others took title roles in both of LA Opera's summer productions.
LOS ANGELES/NEW YORK (PRWEB) September 06, 2013
America's leading youth choral institution, the National Children’s Chorus (NCC) is hosting two Fall 2013 auditions - Saturday, September 7 at St. Alban's Church in Los Angeles and Thursday, September 12 at The Church of St. Paul the Apostle in New York. Students selected for the program will perform in three concerts at The Broad Stage in Santa Monica or at The Church of St. Paul the Apostle in New York. The 2013/14 concert season, entitled "Roots," begins in December. To schedule an audition appointment, please visit http://www.nationalchildrenschorus.com.
The auditions come on the heels of a successful summer for the group. NCC’s artistic director Luke McEndarfer said, "We excitedly begin the 2013/14 season after a series of impressive student achievements over the summer months. One of our New York students landed a role on Broadway, another student was cast to sing solo at the upcoming U.S. Open, and two others took title roles in both of LA Opera's summer productions. Additionally, several of our singers participated in the advanced vocal programs at the celebrated Interlochen Center for the Arts in Michigan. We are simply thrilled with their inspiring enthusiasm and love for musical artistry."
Last week, 11-year-old New York student Emma Saccone from Essex Fall, New Jersey, performed America the Beautiful at the 2013 US Open. Saccone was one of hundreds of students who auditioned for the opportunity, and was chosen as part of a small group who would sing solo, a cappella, to open matches of the tournament inside Arthur Ashe Stadium. In preparation for the event, she spent many hours refining the piece with her voice coach, and delivered a stunning rendition that can be seen on YouTube.
Fellow New York student 11-year-old Ethan Khusidman appeared on Broadway playing the roles of Young Schlomo and Young Eli Chaim in Soul Doctor, the true-life tale of the folk-singing Rabbi Schlomo Carlebach. The Brooklyn resident continues in these roles in the musical now running at Circle in the Square. Prior to Soul Doctor, Khusidman played the role of Gavroche in the 2011 national tour of Les Misérables.
And, at the Los Angeles Opera Camp, 11-year-old Patrick Mayoral of Porter Ranch played a lead role in Brundibar and 16-year-old Madeline Bogert of Manhattan Beach played the title role in Friedl.
McEndarfer said students interested in the fall auditions can choose from two divisions -- the junior division for ages 5 through 12 with beginning or intermediate levels of experience, and the senior division for students ages 10 years and older with advanced levels of musical ability.
The junior division consists of the Prelude Level, the Minuet Level and the Sonata Level. Applicants for this division can audition with little or no preparation. If chosen, these students will have the opportunity to build their skills and gain confidence in encouraging, creative rehearsal environments as well as two performances per year at UCLA's Schoenberg Hall in West Los Angeles or The Church of St. Paul the Apostle near Columbus Circle in New York. Junior division students are evaluated on vocal scales, rhythmic exercises, pitch matching, and a question/answer session.
The senior division consists of the Debut Ensemble, the Premier Ensemble, and the Scholars. In this division, students with significant prior choral or vocal performance skills can refine their craft to the highest professional standards and perform in their own acclaimed concert series at The Broad Stage and beyond.
Selection for the senior division is based on an evaluation similar to that of the junior division, with the addition of a required solo piece. Here, the applicant may choose a song that best shows his or her vocal and expressive capability. The piece may be a cappella or with piano accompaniment. If accompanied, the student must bring music in the correct performance key.
The Los Angeles auditions also include a special focus on building the organization's Scholars Tenor / Bass program for junior and high school male students, as well as elementary school-age boys whose voices are changing. McEndarfer recently restructured the NCC's Scholars program to include instruction for voice-change students as another educational benefit that further distinguishes the organization. "Last year we had tremendous success working with transitioning male voices through the evolving Scholars program. Our students quickly excelled to sing literature in four parts, and performed several compelling works at The Broad Stage. In the 2013/14 Season, we look to build on that foundation and expand the program to include at least 20 new singers."
McEndarfer, who is credited with taking the group bi-coastal in 2010, emphasized the organization's growing appeal and value in light of reduced funding for music education. “The National Children's Chorus is a vital resource for students with vocal talent who may or may not have the means or access to music education. With school budget cuts currently a prevalent reality, our program is more important than ever. Many of our students would have missed the opportunity to explore their musical abilities had they not auditioned and taken advantage of our world-class training and performance experiences." The NCC's Scholarship Fund provides assistance to many of its families who qualify for financial aid, and those wishing to be considered may do so as part of the application process.
A pianist, conductor, and voice coach, McEndarfer has been artistic director since 2004 and is integral to all facets of the chorus’ development. On both costs, he oversees NCC’s extensive curriculum which includes college-level conducting, composition, music theory, sight-singing in the Kodály Method, and individual voice training in the bel canto style under the guidance of Michael Dean, department chair at the UCLA School of Music. Through a holistic approach to educating the total musician within each child, recent graduates from the program have gone on to be accepted at top schools around the country, such as USC’s Thornton School of Music, UCLA’s Herb Alpert School of Music, UC Berkeley, Northwestern University, the Curtis Institute of Music, Manhattan School of Music, and The Juilliard School.
McEndarfer is recognized for establishing the organization’s reputation for excellence and adventurous programming, including the presentation of several notable premieres. Forging unique performance relationships, he has also orchestrated concert appearances with a long list of artists and performing arts organizations that include the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Los Angeles Opera Company, the Los Angeles Master Chorale, the Joffrey Ballet, Josh Groban, Lisa Vroman, James Conlon, Gustavo Dudamel, the Kronos String Quartet, and Rufus Wainwright. His work includes several motion picture soundtracks; most recently on Paramount Pictures’ 2009 feature film Imagine That, starring Eddie Murphy. For the film, McEndarfer selected, arranged and conducted sections of the score and also appeared as the music teacher on screen. Television credits include multiple conducting performances on Jay Leno's former The Tonight Show, in addition to live radio appearances.
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