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A CELEBRATION OF COMPOSER YEHUDI WYNER, 
updated 3/27/2017

As a part of Jewish Arts Collaborative’s Michael B. Runkin concert series, VOICES Boston’s Copland and Bernstein ensembles had the honor of performing at “A Celebration of Composer Yehudi Wyner” on Wednesday, March 22nd at New England Concervatory’s Jordan Hall for Wyner’s 88th birthday. Conducted by Susan Davenny Wyner, VOICES sung Yehudi Wyner’s “O to Be a Dragon.” This opened a set of treble pieces set to the work of poet Marianne Moore. The singers were excited to honor this Pulitzer-Prize-winning and Grammy-winning composer, and performed Wyner’s intricate rhythms and playful style with enthusiasm and charm. This exciting and eclectic concert also involved traditional paper dragon dancers and ended with an on-stage interview with Yehudi Wyner and Lloyd Schwartz. VOICES Boston is very grateful to have been involved.

A BOHEMIAN CHRISTMAS WITH BACH, BEETHOVEN AND BRAHMS
bohemian-xmas
updated 1/5/2017

This holiday concert ended with a rousing sing-along led by VOICES Boston Bernstein, Copland and Gershwin ensembles along with the Apollo Club singing holiday favorites.  In honor of the season, BB&B offered a spirited gift to area music-lovers with “A Bohemian Christmas” at Faneuil Hall on Monday evening, December 19th featuring Mozart’s delightful Serenade for Winds as well as Dvorak’s Slavonic-style Serenade for Winds, ‘Cello & Double Bass in D minor.  As Music Director of Bach, Beethoven, and Brahms Society, our Artistic Director, Steven Lipsitt, brought three VOICES Boston ensembles together to lead popular carols such as “Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow,” “Silent Night,” and of course, “Jingle Bell Rock,” choreographed by our own Kerry Glennon.   This concert was the FIRST annual “Bohemian Christmas” for BB&B.  We look forward to caroling with them next year!

 

DECEMBER 18TH MASS AT HARVARD MEMORIAL CHURCH
updated 1/5/2017

After the incredible Sounds of the Season Concert, 11 enthusiastic singers from our Copland and Bernstein ensembles sang the very next morning for Sunday Mass at the congregation of Memorial Church in Cambridge. They sang movements from Benjamin Britten’s A Ceremony of Carols, an encore from the day before.  It was a beautifully moving accompaniment to a powerful mass.

 

SOUNDS OF THE SEASON, VOICES BOSTON Concert
updated 12/18/2016

gershwinYesterday, a snowy Saturday afternoon, VOICES Boston, Brookline’s Premier Children’s Chorus, entertained a sold out audience at First Parish in Brookline.  All 5 ensembles performed a spectacular concert with seasonal repertoire including Benjamin Britten’s “A Ceremony of Carols.”   Steven Lipsitt conducted his second Sounds of the Season concert as Artistic Director, and  he has established some wonderful new traditions, including beginning the concert with “Shalom Chaverim” with all 5 ensembles surrounding the audience.  Dan Ryan, Associate Conductor, impressively conducted the 3 younger ensembles, including an American Folk Song entitled “Fill the Basket,” with the choristers all holding a fresh vegetable! The audience was awed by Mr. Ryan and the quality of singing he to coaxed from the younger choirs. Copland and Bernstein ensembles dramatically began their set singing the Procession from “A Ceremony of Carols”copsteinprocessing to the stage each holding a candle, their ethereal voices sounding  filling the church accompanied by harpist Franziska Huhn.  After the Britten, they returned to their seats in the transept, performed an arrangement by Mr. Lipsitt of “Some Nights” by FUN and returned to the stage to complete the concert . In another tradition, the concert ended with all 5 ensembles singing “Jingle Bell Rock,” this year including our recent alumni.  One of the many highlights of the concert was the dancing the choristers incorporated while singing some of the songs, choreography by our own talented Kerry Glennon.  In addition to the harpist, the singers were accompanied by Mr. Lipsitt on Clarinet, Katie Barr and Anat Hochberg on piano. The concert was received with a Standing Ovation!  It was a wonderful afternoon of impressive music from all 5 of our ensembles followed by a  festive reception.

 

FIRST LIGHT BROOKLINE, VOICES BOSTON PERFORMANCE
updated 12/2/2016
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Last night, singers from Bernstein and Copland ensembles entertained crowds in the Arcade Building in Coolidge corner. Assembled on the steps leading up to the second floor, VOICES Boston singers performed with the professionalism they have become known for and were received with great applause from the audience on the first and second floors. First Light started eighteen years ago when several businesses came together to spread some holiday cheer by hanging snowflakes in their storefront windows. These glowing flakes illuminated the area, signaling the start of the holiday season. Over the years, First Light has grown into the Town’s annual winter festival, showcasing the talents of local artists, musicians and performers at businesses and other venues throughout town.  It has been many years since our singers participated in this event and we were thrilled to be back performing in this wonderful event. We are now preparing and looking forward to our Sounds of the Season Concert on December 17th.

 

DER ROSENKAVALIER WITH THE BOSTON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
updated 10/3/2016

21223571-largeOn Thursday, September 29th and Saturday, October 1st, members of Copland and Bernstein sang at Symphony Hall with the BSO, the Tanglewood Festival Chorus and renowned soloists in Richard Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier conducted by Andris Nelson.  The evening was received with glowing reviews like The Boston Music Intelligencer’s article:  “Rosenkavalier Shimmers at Symphony Hall” in which the reviewer described it as “an impressively played and sung semi-staged concert performance of this unique operatic confection.”  The same reviewer also said of our singers: “The young members of VOICES Boston, under the direction of Steven Lipsitt, were charming, intrusive, and adept as required by the composer. It was quite evident that all onstage were enjoying the performance.” In the Boston Classical Review, Aaron Keebaugh wrote: “Members of VOICES Boston, trained by Steven Lipsitt, sang with power and refinement.”  There were many long rehearsals and our singers represented VOICES Boston proudly.  And we are so proud of them!
Other reviews can be seen here, here, here, and here.

 

CARMEN WITH BOSTON LYRIC OPERA
updated 10/26/2016
Carmen
VOICES Boston was thrilled to be a part of the Boston Lyric Opera’s season opening production of Georges Bizet’s Carmen, performed on September 25 & 30 and Oct. 2 at the Boston Opera House. Our singers loved working with the Boston Lyric Opera’s largest ever cast and had a fantastic time singing, acting, and getting dirty with help from the make-up team. This was VOICES Boston’s largest staged outside collaboration ever with 30 of our new and returning Copland and Bernstein singers filling the stage during scenes in Act 1 and 4. Fuse Opera reviewer, Jonathan Blumhofer, described their scenes saying “The BLO Chorus sang crisply and were joined to excellent effect by the children of Voices Boston. The latter’s short scenes in Acts 1 and 4 were among the afternoon’s freshest and best.” Our staff could not be more proud of all of the hard work our singers have put into this ambitious production and we can’t wait to see them bring all that they learned back to regular rehearsals as we start our 27th season!


THE PULITZER CENTENNIAL: FINALE: ON THE TRANSMIGRATION OF SOULS
 WITH HARVARD-RADCLIFFE ORCHESTRA AND TANGLEWOOD FESTIVAL CHORUS
updated 6/17/2016unnamed-1

This past Sunday evening, September 11, 2016 at 8:30pm the members of Copland and Bernstein ensembles performed “On the Transmigration of Souls” by John Adams in Sanders Theatre in a concert presented by: Nieman Foundation at Harvard to mark the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. Adams was commissioned by the New York Philharmonic to compose “On the Transmigration of Souls” to commemorate the first anniversary of the terrorist attacks. He was the winner of the 2003 Pulitzer for Music for the composition and has described it as a “memory space.” It incorporates phrases from missing-persons signs that families of victims posted near Ground Zero. Conducted by Federico Cortese of the Harvard-Radcliffe Orchestra with Tanglewood Festival Chorus, guest chorus conductor Lidiya Yankovskaya, and Voices Boston, artistic director Steven Lipsitt.
John Adams is a composer and conductor whose works are among the most performed of all contemporary classical music. His stage works include the operas “Nixon in China” and “The Death of Klinghoffer.”  He is author of the autobiography “Hallelujah Junction” and creative chair of the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

 

PLAQUE DEDICATION FOR ROLAND HAYES
updated 6/17/2016
roland hayes
The Hidden Brookline Committee honored the late Roland Hayes with a plaque dedication at Hayes’ former Brookline residence at 58 Allerton Street on June 12. VOICES Boston graduating 8th graders were the first featured performers, having the opportunity to sing Wade in the Water and How Can I Keep From Singing to the appreciative crowd. The Hidden Brookline Committee was established in 2006 to bring to light hidden histories of slavery and freedom in Brookline.
Roland Hayes was born on a Georgia plantation in 1887, where his mother had once been a slave. Hayes, once known as the “Black Caruso,” went on to become one of the world’s most important and celebrated concert performers of the twentieth century. Hayes performed at a sold-out concert with the Boston Symphony, making him the first African American to perform with a major symphony orchestra. Hayes was also a pioneer who paved the way for other African Americans. He transcended cultural, geographical and musical boundaries.
Hayes was a Brookline resident for 50 years at a time when, as former Massachusetts Governor and Brookline resident Michael Dukakis pointed out at Sunday’s celebration, African Americans were not always welcomed to live communities like Brookline.
Sunday’s event drew a large and appreciative crowd in the hundreds. The event featured performances by VOICES Boston, Hayes’ grandson Wenceslas Ostasenko and former Warner-Reprise artist Donna McElroy.  The featured speakers were Rev. Liz Walker, Brookline Selectmen Chair Neil Wishinsky, Virginia Commonwealth University anthropology professor Christopher Brooks, Michael and Kitty Dukakis, Event Chair’s Barbara Brown and Rob Daves, Haye’s daughter Afrika Hayes Lamb and Tanglewood Festival Chorus Manager Erik Johnson.

 

HMS PINAFORE
updated 6/17/2016
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Blending VOICES Boston’s history of performing both operas and musicals, our year end performance was the operetta, HMS Pinafore on June 4th & 5th at the Brimmer and May School in Chestnut Hill.  An operetta is defined as a short opera, usually  a light or humorous theme and typically having spoken dialogue. This format has allowed us to reinforce our identity as the go-to chorus for excellence in music and music making, while also showcasing the acting skills our singers have developed throughout our many collaborative opportunities this year.   HMS Pinafore is a comic operetta replete a beauteous maiden, “sisters, cousins and aunts,” and babies switched at birth. The ship’s captain never swears (well, hardly ever). With most leads double cast, both performances were fantastic and the audience received it with laughter and cheers.  The singers and staff all worked many devoted hours to produce this musical and dramatic success.  Due to its many comedic and melodramatic characters, large featured chorus, and fun but challenging music, this operetta was a perfect way to feature all 70 of our talented Gershwin, Copland, and Bernstein singers.  And our Prep and Circle singers performed a nautical themed preshow, warming up our audiences and giving our youngest singers the opportunity to watch and learn from our older singers.

 

A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM WITH BOSTON UNIVERSITY OPERA INSTITUTE midsummer enl
updated 4/19/2016

A Midsummer Night’s Dream, performed at Boston University Theater for 4 shows,   included twelve VOICES Boston singers as the Fairy Chorus.  What a treat to see them “all outfitted in white suits with black polka dots, and blue flapper wigs!”  Congratulations to the fairies,  who “served as much more than a standard opera chorus,” the Boston Music Intelligencer.
What amazing experiences our choristers had in this first collaboration with the Boston University Opera Institute.  We hope to continue this relationship for many seasons to come.

 

 

MAGIC FLUTE WITH BOSTON BAROQUE
updated 4/18/2016

photo by Kathy WIttman

This weekend, the sold out audience at Jordan Hall was treated to “eminently enjoyable singing from top to bottom of the cast list, from Nicholas Phan’s sturdy Tamino and Leah Partridge’s radiant Pamina to three ethereal boy singers as the Three Spirits who led the pair through their trials.”  Our three VOICES Boston singers were mentioned in the rave Boston Classical Review:  “One was also grateful for every return of young singers Charlie Purdue, Dhruva Schlondorff, and Kevin Liao as the Three Spirits. Members of the children’s chorus VOICES Boston, the three tuned up exquisitely with a smooth, otherworldly sound, and neatly executed some tricky chromatic counterpoint in their last scene.”  The Boston Globe Review also enjoyed VOICES Boston’s singers and wrote: “The youthful Three Spirits — VOICES Boston members Charlie Purdue, Dhruva Schlondorff, and Kevin Liao — made an impressive and ethereal trio, aiding the questing characters in their moments of need.”
Congratulations to our choristers!  They worked tirelessly and earned their accolades.  We couldn’t be more proud!

 

SOUNDS OF SPRING, VOICES BOSTON Concert
updated 4/13/2016Sounds of Spring - Otello

Sounds of Spring younger ensembleOur Spring concert was received with a Standing Ovation!  It was a wonderful afternoon of impressive music from all 5 of our ensembles, including excerpts from many of our outside collaborations. Our new Associate Conductor, Daniel P. Ryan, conducted the three youngest ensembles, Prep, Circle and Gershwin. The Gershwin choristers impressed the audience with their  voices and their instrumental skills on  flute, recorder, triangle and piano. Steven Lipsitt, our talented Artistic Director and conductor of our older ensembles, Copland and Bernstein, composed an arrangement of “Some Nights” by FUN and accompanied them in the church Transept, as they surprised those in attendance and impressively sang with their backs to the audience.   After which, they turned to the audience and proceeded to take the stage for the remainder of the concert. All  enjoyed the concert and partook in a festive reception following.

 

WERTHER WITH BOSTON LYRIC OPERA
updated 3/14/201610603248_968855893191921_598322305438296575_n

This past weekend VOICES Boston sang with Boston Lyric Opera for the second time this season, this time in Jules Massenet’s Werther.  As Aaron Keebaugh wrote in the Boston Classical Review our singers sang “with  fine tone and pristine blend” at the Shubert Theatre. Based on the German novel by Goethe published in the late 1700s, this is a rather bleak, romantic tale of unrequited love. Stage Director Crystal Manich staged the entire opera through the subjective lens of Werther’s memory and fantasy. Ten VOICES Boston singers served as a motif throughout Werther’s flashbacks, adding to the adoration and idealization of young Werther’s beloved, Charlotte. VOICES Boston is especially grateful to the cast and crew of the production who took the children under their wing and gave them a profound and unforgettable experience.  Please read the reviews here and here.

 

TE DEUM WITH THE BOSTON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
updated 3/8/2016Symphony hall

The audience cheered “Bravo!” at last weekend’s performance of Berlioz’s Te Deum with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Tanglewood Festival Chorus. Copland and Bernstein ensembles held their own amongst the volume and intensity of the TFC.  David Wright of the Boston Classical Review wrote, “the young singers’ skill in intonation and articulation enabled them to mesh seamlessly with their adult colleagues.” CLICK HERE for the full review! Conductor Charles Dutoit’s conducting style emulated clarity and trust, communicating the timbre and mood of important moments while allowing VOICES Boston to take responsibility for both their musical performance and stage presence. Our incredible Artistic Director, Steven Lipsitt, showcased precision, dedication, and skilled musician ship in his preparation of the VOICES Boston singers for these three wonderful performances.
Other great reviews can be found here,here and here

 

OTELLO WITH THE BOSTON YOUTH SYMPHONY ORCHESTRAS
updated 3/8/2016
Otello with VB

On Sunday, January 24th, our singers had the incredible experience of performing in Giuseppe Verdi’s Otello with the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras. Conductor Federico Cortese extracted a confident vocal performance, and stage director Edward Berkeley set a convincing scene on the stage of Sanders Theater while allowing the musical performance to speak for itself. It was a delight to observe the students singing alongside the BYSO Opera Chorus and Convivium Musicum under the compelling leadership of Lidiya Yankovskaya. According to Geoffrey Wieting of The Boston Musical Intelligencer, “The bright spot of the Act occurs when the Cypriot women, sailors, and children serenade Desdemona and offer her flowers and various precious gifts. The choruses sang individually before combining, to charming effect.” Visit the full review here.

 

LA BOHEME WITH BOSTON LYRIC OPERA
updated 10/15/2015

Members of the Copland and Bernstein ensembles sang with the Boston Lyric  Opera on October 2, 4,  7,  9 and 11 , 2015, the full run of Puccini’s La Boheme.  They were amazing performances and the kids were FANTASTIC!

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Puccini’s poetic masterpiece La Bohème, was reimagined against the electrifying backdrop of the 1968 Paris student revolution and performed on the stage of the Shubert Theater.  Inspired by the films of the French New Wave, this theatrically and musically vivid new production transports one of the world’s greatest love stories to a mythological Paris.  VOICES Boston choristers appeared in the first and second act and had a wonderful time working with and getting to know professional opera singers: Jonathan Beyer as Marcello, Jesus Garcia as Rodolfo, Brandon Cedel as Colline, Andrew Garland as Schaunard, James Maddalena as Benoit, Kelly Kaduce  as Mimì, and Emily Birsan as Musetta.

Glowing reviews can be read here, here, here, and here

 

THE JOURNEY OF LITTLE PRINCE 
updated 5/20/2015

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The Journey of the Little Prince, composed Gerald Wirth, was inspired by the much loved allegorical novella Le Petit Prince written by French aviator Antoine de Saint-Expéry.   The Opera was premiered on May 30, 1997, in Calgary, Alberta. Subsequent performances at Vienna’s Musikverein, the Vienna State Opera and Grazer Stadtstheater were received with great success.

All members of Prep, Circle, Gershwin, Copland, and Bernstein sang in the VOICES Boston production of The Little Prince a few weeks ago, and they did a fantastic job! All of the kids worked very hard, and it showed in the professional and beautiful shows they put on. The ensemble parts unified and polished, the choreography was clean and unique, and the soloists brought their characters to life and transported the audience to the Little Prince’s world.

Photo: Maria Barletta

 

KING ROGER WITH THE BSO
updated 3/13/2015

photo1(1)Members of the Copland, Bernstein, and HSE ensembles sang with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Tanglewood Festival Chorus on March 5 and 7, 2015, in two unique and fantastic performances!

Karol Szymanowski’s King Roger, a Polish opera in three acts, was performed in concert version on the stage of Symphony Hall. Our students sang in the first act with adult singers from the Tanglewood Festival Chorus and the amazing instrumentalists in the Boston Symphony Orchestra, along with soloists Mariusz Kwiecien, Olga Pasichnyk, Yvonne Naef, Edgaras Montvidas, Rafal Majzner, Alex Richardson, and Raymond Aceto. Under the baton of Charles Dutoit, all of the musicians produced a beautiful and moving performance.

Glowing reviews can be read here, here, and here.

Photo: Winslow Townson

 

COPLAND SINGS FOR THE SWEARING-IN OF MA ATTORNEY GENERAL MAURA HEALEY
updated 1/22/2015

photo1(1)We at VOICES Boston had the great honor of being asked to perform at the swearing-in of new Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey on Wednesday, January 21.

 

Twenty-two of our Copland singers assembled at Faneuil Hall to perform two songs during the ceremony. Artistic Director Andy Icochea Icochea led them in singing Mendelssohn’s “Hebe deine Augen auf” along with his own composition, “Hope.” The audience remained standing for their performance, which was moving and well-sung.

It was a great privilege to sing in such an historic place for this historic occasion. Many Massachusetts officials were in attendance, Attorney General Healey gave a moving and profound address on her goals, and hundreds of other lawyers were sworn in. All of our students were appreciative of the momentous occasion they were able to witness and were abuzz as we left Faneuil Hall.

 

 

COLLABORATION WITH BOSTON LYRIC OPERA AT TANGLEWOOD
updated 08/1/2014

photo1(1)We are excited to announce that our Tanglewood group had a wonderful show! JULY 31, 15 VOICES Boston children sang in a truly triumphant performance of Lizzie Borden at Ozawa Hall in the first ever collaboration between the Boston Symphony and the Boston Lyric Opera at Tanglewood. Staff conductor, Carey Shunskis, prepared the children well and they had a rigorous choral experience with the BLO, including work with Music Director, David Angus.

Here’s the review from the Albany Times Union:
http://blog.timesunion.com/localarts/lizzie-borden-ozawa-hall-73114/34267/

Here’s the review from the Berkshire Eagle:
http://www.berkshireeagle.com/Entertainment/ci_26263261/Tanglewood:-lsquo;Lizzie-Bordenrsquo/

 

FINAL CONCERTS of 2014
updated 06/11/2014

The final concerts of the season have become a special tradition at VOICES Boston. The individual ensembles have  all reached their peak through a full season of rehearsing, performing and touring together, and they perform their favorite pieces for family and friends in concerts that are filled with love and joy, before saying goodbye to their friends and instructors for the summer.

Jill CarrierThis year’s concerts were especially dedicated to celebrate the work and accomplishments of Jill Carrier, as she finishes her tenure as Executive Director. The children, instructors and Board of Directors had the chance to show their appreciation for Jill and all the work she has done for the past five years at PALS/VOICES Boston. She was presented with words and gifts that – we hope – will begin to express how much we love her. In honor of her and her commitment to making the VOICES Boston experience accessible to all, the Board of Directors announced the creation of the Jill Carrier Scholarship Fund (to make a donation, click here). Thank you, Jill, for all you’ve done.

Prep, Circle and Gershwin: June 5, 2014, Lincoln School’s auditorium.

Copland and Bernstein: June 11, 2014, First Parish of Brookline.

To listen to an excerpt of this concert, please click here.

 

THE LUMINOUS MOON
updated 05/11/2014

DSC_0061On May 3 and 10, 2014, all 185 children of VOICES Boston acted, sang and danced in the production of Marco Pontini’s opera, “The Luminous Moon”. Based on a fairy tale about the origin of the moon, this opera tells the story of two very different towns that learn to work together for the common good. Produced by an outstanding team of VOICES Boston staff and parent volunteers, the opera was directed by Christian O’Neill, together with co-directors Molly Quinlan and Carey Shunskis.  Ms. Quinlan and Ms. Shunskis also adapted the original Italian text into English. Costumes were designed by Cynthia Bell, and sets and lights were designed by Thomas Robinson. In the pit was the VOICES Boston orchestra under the direction of Andy Icochea Icochea.

In attendance for this American premiere was the composer himself,  Marco Pontini, and his wife Beatrice. Also present were Boston’s Italian Consul General Giuseppe Pastorelli and his family. VOICES Boston’s four performances at Ellsworth Theater on the campus of Pine Manor College in Chestnut Hill broke all of its previous records in terms of numbers of singers on stage, parent involvement and ticket sales.

VOICES Boston IN CHINA

IMG_2488VOICES Boston artistic director Andy Icochea Icochea and six VOICES Boston members took off for Beijing in the People’s Republic of China in December 2012, to participate in the World Peace Choir Festival, a cross-cultural choir project whose mission is to unite and inspire youth around the world through the beauty and joy of music.

Icochea Icochea was the conductor of the massed choir, made up of children from China, Austria, Estonia, Romania and Spain, as well as the United States, represented by VOICES Boston. After days of rehearsing and sight-seeing, the choir performed in a concert on December 21 that aired on Central China Television’s New Year’s Gala, in a broadcast that reached 700 million viewers in China alone.