Category: Performances

Spirited Songs Airing in June on WPT

Wisconsin Public Television (WPT) will feature the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center 10th-Anniversary concert, Spirited Songs: A Choral Celebration in several broadcasts in June. The concert, recorded in February, showcases performances by the Appleton-area’s leading choral organizations — the Lawrence Academy Girl Choir, the Appleton Boychoir, and the White Heron Chorale — as well as combo performances and a finale of all 260 voices on stage with an audience sing-along.

The Bel Canto and Allegretto choirs of the Girl Choir program participated in the choral extravaganza. “As WPT shines a spotlight on our programs and programs like ours in other communities, it celebrates the ways in which the arts remain a vital part of our human experience,” says Karen Bruno, conductor of Bel Canto, artistic director of the Girl Choir program, and director of the Academy of Music.

WPT also will provide songs, not included in the broadcast, and interviews with some of the young choir members at on the Web.

Spirited Songs: A Choral Celebration is part of WPT’s multiyear Young Performers Initiative that celebrates Wisconsin’s young artists.



On air

8 p.m. June 3, WPT

4 p.m. June 8, WPT

9 p.m. June 26, Wisconsin Channel

12 a.m. June 27, Wisconsin Channel

12 p.m. June 29, Wisconsin Channel



Streamed live at:

9 p.m. June 26

12 a.m. June 27

12 p.m. June 29


Visit for special web extras not seen in the broadcast.

Piano Masterclass with Maggie Charnon

Maggie Charnon, Green Bay piano instructor and clinician, held a master class with Lawrence Academy of Music students on Friday, May 3 at Harper Hall of the Lawrence Conservatory. Participating students Christopher Le Doux, Gabriel Smith,  Alicia Zhang, Gabrielle Medema, Tracy Wang,  Leyna Hahnke, and Colin Mayo were from the studios of Nell Buchman, Anna Reiser, Michael Rivers, Larisa Topolkaraeva, and Catherine Walby.


Piano Festival 2013

Over 140 students participated in the Lawrence Academy of Music Piano Festival on April 20, 2013.  Following performance auditions and theory tests, the winners were chosen to perform in Harper Hall at Lawrence University this Sunday, April 28 at 1 p.m.  Congratulations to these young people and their teachers for their outstanding effort!

Grades K-1 Winner
Caroline Jia

Grades K-1 Honorable Mention
Audra Jenike

Grades 2-3 Winners
Angelina Wang
Mateo Timm

Grades 2-3 Honorable Mentions
Jordan Powers
Liam Richards
Aditya Senthil

Grades 4-5 Winners
Asha Keck
Colin Mayo
Emily Hauer

Grades 4-5 Honorable Mentions
Leyna Hahnke
Karina Mose
Krithika Senthil
Gabriel Smith
Kaden Van De Loo

Grades 6-7 Winners
Kaylann Adler
Pierce Blohowiak

Grades 6-7 Honorable Mentions
Reagan Blohowiak
Kristina Jeng
Brian Zhou

Grades 8-9 Winners
Marc Padilla
Liam Mayo

Grades 8-9 Honorable Mentions
Evans Chen
Payton Fors
Daria Van De Loo
Charles Wu

Grades 10-11-12 Winners
Frankie Beach
Brandon Li

Grades 10-11-12 Honorable Mentions
Vanessa Beach
Grace Flaherty

Spring Concert Weekend

Had enough of Wisconsin’s never-ending winter weather? Venture out this weekend and attend an Academy concert in the warmth of the Lawrence Memorial Chapel!

The Academy will present four concerts this weekend.  Saturday’s concerts include the Academy String Orchestra (ASTRO) and the LAMP orchestra at 3 p.m., and the Symphonic Band and Wind Ensemble, at 7 p.m.  Sunday the Girl Choir program presents their spring concert Here’s to Song at 2 and 7 p.m.

ASTRO, an ensemble of fifth through eighth grade string students directed by Janet Bond Sutter, will perform a variety of pieces from the traditional Swing Low, Sweet Chariot, to Beethoven’s Allegretto from Symphony No. 7. The adult level LAMP orchestra, under the direction of Rachel Richards, will present a variety of folk songs and dances. Both orchestras join in a fiddling finale, Fiddles on Fire by Mark Williams.

The middle school level Symphonic Band directed by David Hamilton performs Tichelli’s Cajun Folk Songs and Copeland’s Down A Country Lane. Michael Ross, director of the Wind Ensemble, will lead the high school level ensemble in a series of dances, including Shostakovich’s Folk Dances, Danzon No. 2 by Marquez, and Part 1 of Alfred Reed’s Armenian Dances. The ensembles join on stage in Harold Walter’s  lively Instant Concert, a compilation of 30 separate well-known melodies from symphonies, operas, folk songs, spirituals, marches…all in the space of three minutes.

Sunday’s final concert of the Girl Choir season features 330 girls in six choirs, grades 3-12, who will perform music celebrating the joys of singing. Conductors of the program include Karrie Been, Karen Bruno, Amber Evey Schmidt, Patty Merrifield, Cheryl Meyer, and Debbie Lind.

Tickets for all weekend concerts are available at the Lawrence box office, 920-832-6749.

Making Time for Tutti!

Tutti. I’m a word geek and I just love this one. For those of us who are not musicians, it means: all voices working together.  I love it when the sounds of words echo their meaning. Just say it! The word bounces with excitement. Now, say it again. Doesn’t it also whisper with a warm sense of sharing? This word probably speaks to me because three years ago our family experienced this creativity and sharing when it was not expected.

A frigid February evening had settled in quickly and it was dark around five, but the weather outside the Warch Center at Lawrence was in sharp contrast to the energy and warmth inside. At one end of this complex, overlooking the river, thirty to forty 11-18 year olds were gathered to share their music with each other and their assembled audience. They were united by quiet pride in their ability and a palpable sense of excitement. Among them was my daughter, who had been asked to perform. That evening, she was nervous. She wanted to help teachers she cared about: she wanted to give back to a community that had inspired her and nurtured her. As my husband and I watched, we saw teachers, and students, encourage, guide and support each other. We watched young people glow in a sense of achievement and enjoyment. We saw poise, pride and a sense of self –worth. We were a small family of four but in that room we knew we had a much bigger unit supporting us in values we held dear: a love of the arts, a belief in self –realization, and deep desire to share these possibilities with the rest of the community. The event was Tutti; the purpose, to raise money for scholarships through combined creativity.

The huge irony was we would not have even considered attending if Claire had not been asked to sing.  With this opportunity came the gift of reduced tickets. We didn’t have a lot to give in a monetary sense and we thought that ruled us out.  However, that night, as these young people performed, we realized that we gave by sharing our talents, talents nurtured by the very place that we wanted to support and, in giving, we grew as individuals and a family.

We were not the only ones that had discovered this. The audience was mixed and many of the Academy’s strongest supporters were not there in person; instead they were represented through the beautiful baskets at the opposite end of the room. People had given talents as well as items. There was a baby-sitting basket, from  Bel Canto girls offering time and company; there were music lessons donated by teachers, and there was a beautiful basket of handmade cards for all occasions. That night my family had an important lesson reinforced; we all have something to offer.

This year my husband and I are both volunteering our time. As a family, we have created a bread- making basket. Each of us has helped with the cooking (and sampling!). Already, we have had fun on a limited budget and we’ve had a chance to be creative. On the night, it will be a desire to help, and a sense of what we have to offer that will be most important. We really want to share this evening with as many of you as we can, so please join us.

  • Can you volunteer on the night? If so please call on 832 6632 and talk to Cheryl or Sara about possibilities.
  •  Donate just a small item to a studio or an ensemble.
  • Be creative! Give of your talents and design a basket to represent these.

This is more about the size of your heart and imagination than the size of your donation. When our family came to Appleton, we recognized the Academy offered us a creative and generous home, and that is why we stayed. Please join us so we can share the magic that happens when all voices are working together.

By Anne Powling

Girl Choir to sing at Fox Cities PAC in Spirited Songs

In honor of the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center’s 10th Anniversary, voices of all ages will join together onstage to present an  an unprecedented salute to the human voice in Spirited Songs: A Celebration of Choral Music.
The concert will feature the Appleton Boychoir, the Bel Canto and Allegretto choirs of the Lawrence Academy Girl Choir, and the White Heron Chorale in a rare ensemble performance. Spirited Songs highlights the best of each group and combines their talents for a spectacular choral event. Tickets for the concert, to be held Saturday, February 9 at 7:00 p.m. at the Fox Cities PAC, are available through Center’s ticket office or by calling (920) 730-3760. Please mention “Girl Choir” when purchasing tickets so the Academy will receive credit for your ticket purchase.


Academy Student Performs in Master Class

Philip Buchman, sixth-grade student of Larisa Topolkaraeva, has been selected to play on a master class with Forrest Kinney this Saturday, October 27th during the Wisconsin Music Teachers Association (WMTA) annual conference.  This year’s conference is held in Appleton. The topic of the master class is “The Art of Improvisation.”  Congratulations to Philip and to Ms. Topolkaraeva on this honor!

LAMP Orchestra Performs at Convention

The Lawrence Adult Music Programs (LAMP) Orchestra has been selected by audition to perform at the Wisconsin Music Educators Association (WMEA) convention in Madison this Thursday, October 25th.  The adult orchestra will perform a varied program at the Monona Terrace to an audience of music educators and members of the public.  One of the selections the orchestra will play was composed by the Lead Teacher of the Academy String Project, Carrie Gray.  Congratulations to Rachel Richards, conductor, Olive Bopp, small group instructor, and to the orchestra members for their dedication and fine work!

Academy Students to Perform at PAC Open House

Lawrence Academy of Music students will perform at the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center on Saturday, August 18 as part of the PAC’s 10th Anniversary Open House for the community.  Performing on the Thrivent Stage at 10 a.m. are Academy pianists Harry Baldwin, Lydia Krueger and Christopher LeDoux; violinists Anne Schrieber and Alicia Mose; soprano Claire Powling; cellist Brandon Dosdos; and a chamber ensemble with Nathan Mose, Deanna Mose and Alicia Mose. Teachers of the students include Anna Reiser, Carol Jegen, Janet Bond Sutter, Catherine Walby, Roza Borisova, Carol Leybourn and Samantha George.

In addition to the Academy performances, the free event held August 17-18 will include backstage tours, theater workshops, presentations, and an instrument petting zoo. More information about the open house and a full schedule of events may be found at