Season 2017/18 – Building Bridges

Official Release

Building Bridges, Season 2017/18 of the National Children’s Chorus, heralds a new era for the organization, as its gifted young singers joyfully embrace their role as international ambassadors of peace and unity. In an unprecedented line-up of extraordinary repertoire, Artistic Director Luke McEndarfer and Associate Artistic Director Dr. Pamela Blackstone lead more than 600 young voices across the nation, as "America’s leading choral institution for youth" continues its meteoric trajectory. Following stunning appearances this past summer at St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice, St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican, and St. Cecilia’s Music Conservatory in Rome, NCC students embody, more than ever, the organization’s mission of artistic excellence, cultural openness and social justice. In its 3rd major performance at New York’s Lincoln Center, NCC Senior Division ensembles from Los Angeles, New York and Washington, D.C. come together in December for Winter Dream, rejoicing in music by Randall Thompson, Eric Whitacre, Sarah Quartel, John Rutter and Sharon Farber. That same month, the NCC will perform with the Los Angeles Master Chorale at Walt Disney Concert Hall in two exhilarating holiday concerts, led by Grammy-award winning composer Eric Whitacre. Prism will be presented at New York’s Carnegie Hall in April, and Los Angeles’ Royce Hall in May, celebrating American heritage and the richness of our nation’s diversity. Selections include a tribute to Leonard Bernstein, as part of our partnership with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Bernstein at 100, as well as an on-stage collaboration in Los Angeles with Tonality, a professional chamber choir, led by Principal Assistant Conductor Alexander Lloyd Blake. Remembering the NCC's pledge to forge human connections and bring people together through music, Building Bridges will conclude in the summer of 2018, when NCC students begin their 4th international tour in Berlin, Germany, a city once divided by a wall until its 1989 reunification. The tour will continue with additional performances throughout other key European cities, including Vienna, Prague and Budapest.
In December, the NCC proudly presents Winter Dream at Royce Hall in Los Angeles, and also in its first official tri-city event in New York, with the combined ranks of Senior Division ensembles taking the stage together at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall. Led by Maestro Luke McEndarfer and Dr. Pamela Blackstone, the exquisite musical program pays homage to the beauty of rural America in romanticized wintry depictions, while modern composers set the tone for a future filled with hope, redemption and the eternal promise of light. Sophisticated, contemplative and stirring, the concert repertoire highlights some of the most ravishing works of living composers, including Sleep by Eric Whitacre, as well as the world and East Coast premieres of Yaldei Haor (Children of Light), by noted film and concert composer, Sharon Farber. The Scholars, NCC’s college-prep ensemble, give tribute to Randall Thompson in his classic setting of poems by Robert Frost, comprised of seven country songs, entitled Frostiana. The Premier Ensemble, NCC’s top-level treble group, “one of the finest children’s choirs in the world today," excitedly presents Sarah Quartel’s choral sensation, Snow Angel, with piano, cello obbligato and percussion. Having received performances at prestigious events this past year, such as the ACDA National Conference in Minneapolis, and across the world, Snow Angel makes its Lincoln Center debut with the NCC. Snow Angel's libretto thoughtfully explores the themes of love, rebirth and beauty through the eyes of children, and the heavenly army of angels that watch over them. The Debut Ensemble, NCC’s first level in the Senior Division, makes its mark with rousing holiday selections and arrangements by John Leavitt and Wayne Bisbee, as well as Ruth Morris’ striking piece, A Dream Within a Dream.
Additionally, in Los Angeles, the NCC will sing in two riveting performances with the Los Angeles Master Chorale at Walt Disney Concert Hall. Both concerts, entitled Festival of Carols, will feature music by Shawn Kirchner, Roger Wagner, John Rutter and Eric Whitacre, with Whitacre leading the music from the podium. The NCC will be featured in The Boy Who Laughed at Santa Claus, a piece in three movements composed by Whitacre, and arranged for SATB choir, children’s chorus and piano. Previous NCC engagements with the Master Chorale have included Carl Orff's Carmina Burana with Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl in 2015, and the boy soprano solo role in Felix Mendelssohn’s Elijah at Disney Hall in 2009.
In April and May, the NCC draws upon the rich history of our nation in a bicoastal concert production called Prism, singing the praises and virtues of human diversity—a concept, sometimes forgotten and admonished, but in truth, one that has uniquely defined our country from the days of our founding fathers. With Prism, the NCC explores its role as the "youthful voice of America"—a nation built of and by immigrants from around the world, unified by an unstoppable vision for a better life. Here we honor the powerfully heartfelt words inscribed on our Statue of Liberty, penned by Emma Lazarus in 1883: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free." Acclaimed British composer Thomas Hewitt Jones has been commissioned by the NCC to set this iconic text to new music, which will receive its world and West Coast premieres at Carnegie Hall in New York and Royce Hall in Los Angeles, respectively. At Prism, diversity will be celebrated in many forms, creating new musical connections and bringing forth a call for national and global unity. In Los Angeles, Prism features an on-stage collaboration with Tonality, led by Alexander Lloyd Blake, as his singers join our Scholars college-prep SATB ensemble. Music by Leonard Bernstein will be part of the evening’s musical offerings as the NCC commemorates the centennial of the great American composer’s birth.
During 2017/18, the NCC's eleven Junior Division ensembles in Los Angeles, New York and Washington, D.C. take the stage in two dedicated concert appearances. At the Fall Showcase in December and Spring Showcase in April and May, both taking place in each of the NCC's three cities, patrons are invited for an in-depth view of the educational process of the National Children's Chorus. From age 5 through more advanced, the Junior Division reflects the building blocks and foundational training methods employed by the NCC's youngest vocalists, all of whom commit themselves to the achievement of skills eventually required for promotion to the Senior Division ranks. The intimate and supportive atmosphere of these Showcases makes them heartfelt favorites within the NCC community and beyond!
In June and July, Senior Division students from Los Angeles, New York and Washington, D.C. will rehearse and perform in Germany, Austria, Czech Republic and Hungary. The international tour for Season 2017/18 Building Bridges begins its journey in Berlin, with the children sharing their heartwarming message of unity in multiple performances along the way to Budapest, their final stop. Exciting collaborations with local artists and concert details for the tour will be announced during the season.
Copyright © 2017 National Children's Chorus, All rights reserved.

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