Friday, March 22, 2013

Campanella Children's Choir Performs, Learns at 2013 Youth Choral Festival Concert

Courtesy of Chicago a capella

For the last two years, Chicago a capella [sic] ensemble brought together singers from across the Chicago area. And, as we wrote last month, Campanella Choir was one of the choirs invited to participate. Other choirs included Downers Grove based South Madrigal Singers, Chicago's Hubbard High School Advanced Ensemble and a capella's own interns. 

The festival, which took place in Chicago's Hyde Park neighborhood, in churches along Woodlawn Avenue, was made up of two parts. First, the participating choirs attended workshops at the First Unitarian Church. The workshops dealt with improving performance and enhancing vocal techniques. The final workshop, “Music Beyond High School” talked about how the choir members could continue utilizing their talents once they graduate. The workshop tried to be realistic without being discouraging, emphasizing that, while most of them probably wouldn't be able to make a living from singing, there are other ways to stay involved in the field that could be just as fulfilling. 

After the workshops wrapped up, the choirs walked two blocks south, to the classically ornate Rockefeller Chapel, where they spent the next two hours preparing and rehearsing for the second part of the festival – the concert. At the concert, the choirs would take turns performing before coming together at the end as one single Festival Choir. Suffice to say, getting four different choirs who never worked together before to come together as one was no mean feat – but a capella artistic director Jonathan Miller made it look effortless. 

The concert took place at the Rockefeller Chapel's main hall. Like the classical European cathedrals, it featured excellent acoustics that carried the performers' voices all across the long, tall space. Campanella's portion of the concert highlighted two recurring features of the choir's repertoire – it performed “Vere Languores Nostros,”a Eouropen classical piece by Antonio Lotti, and “Veniki,” a Russian folk song.  

Campanella Artistic Director Marianna Kosaya was impressed with festival workshops. 

“[a capella members] offered support, which helped [the kids'] musical development and their development as growing people,” she said. 

The entire festival experience also helped them emotionally.” 

“It increased their self-confidence,” said Kosaya. “They definitely got an emotional boost [from attending the festival]” 

The fact that festival  proved to be a great networking event didn't hurt, either.  

“Head of a capella said he'd help us with fundraising,” said Kosaya. “He also offered educational support.” 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Campanella Choir Delights Seniors at Covenant Village Retirement Community

Campanella Kids perform in front of attentive seniors
 On March 8, at 6:30 PM, the Campanella Choir came to Northbrook’s Covenant Village retirement community to perform for its residents. The performance was part of the choir’s ongoing efforts to lend its voices to worthwhile causes and to give back to the community. Some of the past events included a performance at the Northbrook Court for Deerfield-based Orphans from the Storm animal shelter's Holiday Music Series.

The choir was invited to perform at Covenant Village because some of the residents heard Campanella’s live performance on WFMT last May. The retirement home regularly hosts musical performances and other entertainment programs in an effort to make its residents’ lives more fulfilling and culturally enriched – and Campanella Choir was happy to be part of it.

The Campanella kids performed a variety of classical pieces created by some of Europe’s most distinguished composers, as well as the more modern pieces and popular Russian folk songs. Much of their repertoire was drawn from past performances. Covenant Village residents got a chance to hear pieces featured in the Legend of the Unicorn and Hansel and Gretel.

The response was overwhelmingly positive. After the performance was over, resident after resident approached choir director Marianna Kosaya to tell her how much they enjoyed it and how talented the Campanella kids were.

The response was so positive that some of the residents even wondered if Campanella Choir would come back.

“We’d love to,” said Kosaya, adding that she and Covenant management may be able to arrange something in the future. 

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

"Legend of the Unicorn" Event a Success

The Legend of the Unicorn performance, which we wrote about last month, went off without a hitch. Campanella director Marianna Kosaya said that she was pleased with everything – the singing, the audience reaction and the atmosphere the performance created. 

The response from the audience has been fairly positive.  

“Thank you for the great night,” Lora Kogan commented the event’s Facebook page. “It was a wonderful event, a celebration of talent, Light and Love!” 

“Great idea, great performance,” Chicago resident Tania Goldina joined in. “The connection between choir and choirmaster was amazing. My mother-in-law was crying - it was so touching.”

"I wanted to let you know that my mom and Sophia REALLY enjoyed Unicorn performance," commented Maria Sarkisyan  "My mom said she was surprised with style and quality. Thank you." 

The Campanella Choir is grateful for everyone who attended. We would like to remind you that our next major performance will take place this coming Saturday at 5:30 PM as Campanella Choir takes part in the 2013 Youth Choral Festival. We hope to see you there!