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    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.

    National Children\'s Chorus 511 Avenue of the Americas #28 New York, NY 10011 USA

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  • NCC Announces Season 2017/18: Building Bridges - October 2017
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    NCC Announces Season 2016/17: Metamorphosis        


    Upon returning from China, NCC Students Inspired to Change the World with "Peace" and "Love"   



    The 2016/17 Season of the National Children\'s Chorus (NCC) entitled Metamorphosis features the organization\'s most extraordinary repertoire selections to date, including music by Eric Whitacre, Leonard Bernstein, Ludwig van Beethoven, John Rutter, Paul Gibson, Giacomo Puccini, Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, Johann Sebastian Bach, Giuseppe Verdi and Gabriel Fauré, among others. Led by Luke McEndarfer and Dr. Pamela Blackstone, Metamorphosis highlights the NCC\'s superb musical artistry and celebrates the role of its talented students as agents of change in the world. Coming off the heels of a tremendously successful international collaboration with the Galaxy Children\'s Choir of the People\'s Republic of China, and debut performances at Walt Disney Concert Hall and the Hollywood Bowl, Metamorphosis ushers in for the NCC a new level of commitment to the choral art form as a life-changing and transformative experience, both for its performers and audience members alike. Venues of the season include Royce Hall and Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in Los Angeles, as well as Carnegie Hall in New York City. At its conclusion, Metamorphosis culminates in the NCC\'s 3rd major international tour to Italy, with visits and musical presentations in Milan, Venice, Florence and Rome.

    NCC makes debut at Walt Disney Concert Hall, 2016 

    In December, the NCC proudly presents a holiday concert entitled Peace at Carnegie Hall in Manhattan and Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in downtown Los Angeles. The inspiration for this moving program draws on the human desire for peace, examining its significance throughout the ages and calling for its perpetual sustenance in our global community. In Los Angeles, the NCC\'s acclaimed Scholars (an SATB, college-prep ensemble) will sing Leonard Bernstein\'s Chichester Psalms as an early installment towards Bernstein/100--a worldwide centennial festival commemorating the great American composer. The version performed shall be accompanied with harp, percussion and the Cathedral\'s majestic 6019-pipe Dobson organ. Other works of interest include Lux Aurumque by Eric Whitacre, Hallelujah (from Christ on the Mount of Olives) by Ludwig van Beethoven, and Do You Hear What I Hear, arranged by Artistic Director Luke McEndarfer (world and LA premieres). Additionally, Paul Gibson\'s intricate and haunting setting of Dona Nobis Pacem will grace performances on both coasts, making its Carnegie Hall debut.

    NCC sings at the Cathedral, 2014 

    In May, the NCC revels in timeless classics from across Western Europe which have long inspired men and women around the world. Entitled Love, this thrilling season finale is a feast for the senses, weaving operatic melodies, art songs and folk tunes into a rich tapestry of sound--all sung with the masterful vocal ability of the NCC\'s most advanced singers. Thematically designed to explore various meanings and concepts of love, this stunning and sophisticated program exhibits music\'s potential to touch the hardest of hearts, break down walls, and bring people closer together. With an emphasis on composers from Italy, France and Germany, featuring many of the greatest hits from the last several hundred years, audience members will surely reconnect with special memories, as well as dream of new moments to come. Giacomo Puccini, Johann Sebastian Bach and Gabriel Fauré are among the composers whose music will fill Royce Hall and Carnegie Hall as part of this bicoastal presentation. Additionally, both shows will highlight the premiere of a new piece commissioned by the NCC, written by LA Phil Composing Fellow Robby Good. As part of its ongoing collaboration with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the NCC\'s noted Composition Program, under the guidance of Dr. Ian Krouse, continues to produce rising young stars, with university acceptances at Stanford, Harvard, Yale, New England Conservatory, Brown, Northwestern, and London\'s Royal College of Music, just in the last year alone. This year\'s commission continues the NCC\'s strong pledge towards new music, mindfully investing in the advancement of the art form.

    NCC performs at Carnegie Hall, 2015 

    During 2016/17, the NCC\'s twelve Junior Division ensembles in Los Angeles, New York and Washington, D.C. take the stage in two seasonal 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 ages 5 and 6 to more advanced, the Junior Division reflects the building blocks and foundational training methods employed by the NCC\'s youngest vocalists, all of whom dedicate 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!

    Spring Showcase in Washington, D.C., 2014 

    In June and July, Senior Division students from Los Angeles, New York and Washington, D.C. will prepare for performances in Italy as part of the NCC\'s highly-anticipated return to Europe. Visits to many top tourist destinations are in store, such as the Vatican City in Rome, Uffizi Gallery in Florence, and the Grand Canal of Venice. Concert selections sung on tour will be drawn from repertoire throughout the 2016/17 season, with the tour activities reinforcing and expanding upon artistic, cultural and historical lessons covered during the year. As part of a new educational initiative at the NCC, designed to further enrich the international travel experience for its singers, students of the Premier Ensemble will now enjoy a dedicated class as part of their curriculum that focuses on the diction rules of foreign language, as well as insightful exploration of the country specific to the tour destination each year.

    Grand Canal in Venice, Italy 

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    Media Contact: Vanessa Butler | 213.446.0774


    A Stunning Gala

    Honoring Founder

    Sister Stella Maria Enright, DMJ


    Live Chinese Dragon Dancers, Gala 2016

    This spring, the NCC enjoyed a magical night under the stars at the home of Ms. Barbera Thornhill in Holmby Hills, California. Entitled An Evening on the Silk Road, the event, honoring founding member Sr. Stella Maria Enright,  had a Chinese theme, beautifully designed in anticipation of our chorus\' summer tour to Hong Kong and mainland China. Guests enjoyed a cocktail party at the main house accompanied with live jazz, followed by dinner and musical presentations at the garden house, with selections sung by members of the NCC Senior Division. Silent and live auctions featured many unique items and rare experiences for patrons, while raising much-needed funds for the NCC Scholarship Program. All in all, this was the organization\'s most successful gala to date, bringing together the NCC family in support of its educational mission! Thank you to all who contributed and made the gala possible. Stay tuned for our upcoming announcement regarding Gala 2017!

    An Evening on the Silk Road, Gala 2016 



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    The NCC Senior Division presents
    Exquisite Seasonal Music!


    Sunday, December 11th at 7:00 PM

    Carnegie Hall 

    New York


    Saturday, December 17th at 7:30 PM

    Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels 

    Los Angeles



    NCC Students Make Historic Debut in Xian and Beijing       


    Welcomed by the Mayor of Xian, NCC sang triumphantly in collaboration with CCTV\'s Galaxy Children\'s Choir  



    NCC presents music of the Silk Road at the Xian Ancient City Wall

    It\'s not every day that a children\'s chorus is asked to perform at the Ancient City Wall in Xian, China, let alone as part of a special artistic collaboration between two countries in a nationally-televised event. And yet, that is where the NCC\'s gifted singers found themselves upon arrival from Beijing in mid-July. Surrounded by more than 1,000 years of architectural history, they took the stage for their performance and looked into the eyes of the packed audience (mostly Chinese government officials and dignitaries). Several students mentioned afterwards at that moment they felt an unprecedented opportunity to make a difference--to show that music is indeed a bridge that brings all people together from across the world, regardless of race, religion or cultural differences. And with the audience comprised largely of those who govern and rule, how increasingly important their message was. 

    The prestigious Tang Dynasty Welcome was used to greet guests of the performance, several of whom were heads of state and international dignitaries


    As the music began, rain started to descend upon the stage, at first a light drizzle, and then with increasing intensity. The students sang from one piece to the next, building in excitement and power along with the rain, their joy unyielding. By the grand finale, written in Mandarin by one of the NCC\'s student composers Joss Saltzman and entitled Chinese Bridge, the rain was pouring down. Production staff were racing to brace umbrellas over the grand piano (pictured above), which was quickly filling up with water as the sound of the combined ranks of the NCC and China\'s state-run Galaxy Children\'s Choir soared through the stadium. Needless to say, it was a powerful moment for all who were there to remember--a moment where nothing else mattered or existed except peace, love and unity.

    Members of the NCC and Galaxy Children\'s Choir make friends at the Ancient City Wall of Xian 

    "Dr. Pamela Blackstone was leading the finale that night, and as I watched and experienced it, the rain unapologetically drenching us all, the only thought that came into my mind was \'I will never forget this moment so long as I live,\'" said Artistic Director Luke McEndarfer. "This is what music is all about. At the NCC, we work tirelessly on tone quality, breath support, intonation, phrasing, diction and dramatic communication of the text. But it\'s not enough. Only when excellent musical execution is then taken to the next level of transforming every person in the room, only then have we begun to reach our potential as artists."

    The trip for the NCC was the 2nd major international tour for the organization, featuring the combined students of Los Angles, New York and Washington, D.C. Traveling more than 8,000 miles from the United States, nearly 200 students, parents and staff had set out on a 5-city tour of China earlier in the month, with plans for sightseeing, performances and cultural exchange in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing, Xian and Guilin. Having just performed Tan Dun\'s stunning Heaven Earth Mankind (commissioned for the 1997 reunification of Hong Kong with mainland China) to a sold out crowd at Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, students were anxious to visit the actual sites referenced in the work. "It\'s amazing that the NCC coordinates the tour destination each year to reinforce the things we learn in the music," said New York student Kayla Judge. "I learn about it in class, I sing it, and then I get to see it. Both England and China were life-changing experiences for me."

    NCC sings Tan Dun at Walt Disney Concert Hall, presented by the LA Phil; NCC views Hong Kong by air just prior to arrival 

    In addition to the students\' stunning performance in Xian, they also appeared at the Great Wall of China, where they sang their concert literature in a free public performance at the site used by the Beijing Symphony. Locals and tour guests enjoyed an afternoon performance, followed by a beautiful sunset walk along the Great Wall. Repertoire included works from the NCC\'s spring season performances at Royce Hall in Los Angeles and Carnegie Hall in New York, which focused on music from cultures found along the ancient Silk Road. Selections from Armenia, Japan, Korea, Philippines, Kenya, India, and of course, China, thrilled the audience (pictured below). Another unforgettable moment for the NCC!

    NCC performs at the Great Wall of China 

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    Stay tuned for our official 2016 Tour Photo Album, which will be launched on our Facebook fan page later this month!

    For more information on the NCC, please visit  



      A Joyous Occasion
    Featuring all NCC Ensembles!


    Friday, December 9th at 7:30 PM

    The Church of Saint Paul the Apostle 

    New York 


    Saturday, December 10th at 4:00 PM

    National City Christian Church  

    Washington, D.C. 


    Sunday, December 18th at 2:00 & 4:00 PM

    Schoenberg Hall

    Los Angeles  



    AUDITION for the NCC


    The National Children\'s Chorus is currently accepting applications for membership in all of its levels for the 2017 Winter/Spring Season in Los Angeles, New York and Washington, D.C. If you are interested in becoming a member, or if you know someone who is, CLICK HERE to book an audition appointment.


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    The NCC hopes you had a restful and fun-filled summer! 


    September 2016  |  Issue No. 28     ind us on Facebookiew our videos on YouTubeollow us on Twitter

    ', 'nl_date' => '2016-09-01', ))
  • NCC Announces Season 2016/17: Metamorphosis - September 2016