Friday, December 14, 2012

Carnegie Hall Program Inspires Campanella Kids

Campanella Kids Perform Inside Carnegie Hall
 It was an opportunity of a lifetime. On November 2012, the Campanella Children’s Choir was able to travel to New York City, where they received instruction from renowned conductor and composer John Rutter and got to perform at the iconic Carnegie Hall. None of this would’ve been possible without the hall’s residency program and a lot of very generous donations.  

Campanella was one of the several children’s choirs chosen to participate in the Carnegie Hall Choral Residency programs. For three days, the choirs would rehearse under Rutter's direction, all to prepare them for a performance at Carnegie Hall itself, to the full orchestral accompaniment.

When the word came down that Campanella was chosen, the kids and the staff were thrilled. But they didn’t have much time to relish the news. They had to raise the money to cover the travel costs.

The choir and its supporters stepped up to the challenge. Campanella kids printed their own plea letters and appealed to their friends and neighbors, Parents, neighbors, members of the public and local businesses pitched in. The choir organized a Kickstarter fundraiser, which ultimately pulled in $3,465, $165 above the $3,300 goal. Together, everyone managed to raise over $8,000.

According to Campanella director Marianna Kosaya, the results were well worth the effort.

“It was such a great experience,” she said. “The kids got a chance to perform under the guidance of a master conductor, with amazing orchestral accompaniment. It was great for their development.”

Kosaya said that kids had a great time learning under Ritter, whom she described as a warm, charismatic presence. The kids, she said, were really taken in by him.

Getting to perform in Carnegie Hall was a great experience in its own right.  

“The acoustics are great, and being in this great hall, being art of its great historical legacy really raised our spirits,” said Kosaya.

She said that, on the first rehearsal after the trip, she said that could already see that the experience would have a lasting effect.

“When they got back, they started taking their lessons more seriously,” Kosaya reflected. “They seem to strive more, to aspire to greater things. I hope that they will be able to hold on to this feeling for as long as they can.”

Campanella kids in front of Carnegie Hall

Friday, March 30, 2012

Campanella Children’s Choir at Zemer Am Festival of Jewish Choral Music in Chicago

An all-day event, culminating in a joint concert featuring synagogue choirs and Jewish singers from the greater Chicago area and beyond. This year’s festival was dedicated to the music of Max Janowski in his home synagogue Kam Isaiah Israel, on the occasion of his 100th birthday.

Zemer Am Festival was a spectacular event. The festive spirit of all participants, and their collaboration was amazing: it was hard to tell where one group ended and the other began. The organization of the festival was superb and the idea to collaborate by switching conductors truly aided in the feeling of togetherness.

Campanella's performance, teamed with Pavel Roytman, was an added bonus, fresh and boisterous. There was a distinctive 'gasp' in the audience in response to Campanella’s plans for Carnegie Hall. Marianna Kosaya was given the special honor of conducting the encore song, with Campanella Children’s Choir soloing.