Category: Performances

Cantabile Girl Choir to Sing at Carnegie Hall

Cantabile, the middle school component of the Lawrence Academy Girl Choir program, has been invited to participate in the 2012 National Children’s Choir at Carnegie Hall.  On Friday, April 13th, they will depart for New York City to rehearse with internationally-acclaimed conductor Henry Leck.  They will perform on the main stage of Carnegie Hall, the Isaac Stern Auditorium, on Sunday, April 15th.  Cantabile singers represent the Lawrence Academy of Music, their schools, and the Fox Valley region as they live a performer’s dream!  In addition to working with a top-notch conductor, performing in the premiere American concert hall, and exploring some of New York City’s historic landmarks, Cantabile singers will have the opportunity to sing with and get to know other children’s choir members from across the country.  This experience is one they will not soon forget!

Photos and tour updates will be posted daily  to an online travel blog:

Be sure to check the site frequently and share in their adventure!

Let Wildness Sing

The Lawrence Academy of Music Girl Choir pays tribute to all things wild in two performances of its annual spring concert Saturday, March 24.

“Let Wildness Sing” will be performed at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel. Tickets, at $12 for adults and $8 for students/seniors, are available through the Lawrence University Box Office in the Music-Drama Center, 920-832-6749.

The program will explore nature, animals, emotions and fantasy in a repertoire ranging from Debussy’s “Salut, Printemps!” (“Welcome, Spring!”) to “Trolls,” based on Scandinavian folklore.

Featuring more than 300 individual voices, the concert will include an appearance by the Girl Choir’s youngest singers — 3rd through 5th-grade members of Ragazze, a non-auditioned training choir.

The concert’s theme is drawn from the program’s final song, which encourages children to be active participants in decisions that affect the future of the planet, and to reinforce the idea that one person can make a difference in the world.

Ensemble Concerts

Academy ensembles will present two concerts this weekend in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel.

The Academy String Orchestra (ASTRO), with members from throughout the Fox Valley in grades 5-8, will join with Fox Valley Symphony’s Philharmonia at 3 p.m. for their spring concert.

The Symphonic Band and Wind Ensemble will play at 7 p.m. in the chapel. The Symphonic Band includes wind and percussion students in grades 7-9, and the Wind Ensemble members are in grades 9-12.

Tickets for both concerts are $7, general admission, and available at the Lawrence box office, 920-832-6749.

For Love of Song and Nature

Brenda Rae, accompanied by Academy teacher Anna Reiser on the piano, will perform favorite arias this Sunday, February 12 at 2 p.m. in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel. Donations accepted at the free concert, For Love of Song and Nature, will benefit the Northeast Wisconsin Land Trust and the Lawrence Academy Girl Choir program.

Brenda Rae (Klinkert), born and raised in Appleton, developed her appreciation and respect for nature here. Her musical sensibilities and talents were richly nurtured in this community, including her experience in the Girl Choir.

Ms. Rae was awarded First Prize honors from the Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation, the Bel Canto Foundation, and Wisconsin NATS. In New York City, she has presented recitals as a winner of the Juilliard Vocal Arts Honor’s Recital, and at Carnegie Hall under the auspices of the Marilyn Horne Foundation.

Ms. Rae received her training at Juilliard after graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Now a soloist at Oper Frankfurt in Germany, she is described as “a young American soprano on the threshold of stardom” (Hugh Canning, Opera Magazine, August 2011). At Oper Frankfurt, Ms. Rae has thrilled audiences with numerous leading roles including Lucia in Lucia di Lammermoor, and Olympia in Les Contes d’Hoffmann, Pamina in Die Zauberflöte, and Musetta in La Bohème. Last season, she made her highly successful debut as Konstanze in Die Entführung aus dem Serail. Ms. Rae also made her debuts last season at L’Opéra National de Bordeaux (as Zerbinetta in Ariadne auf Naxos), and at the Glyndebourne Festival and the BBC Proms (as Armida in Handel’s Rinaldo). In Frankfurt this season, she gave her first, very successful, performances of Violetta in La Traviata. She made her debut at the Bayerische State Opera in Munich in January 2012, singing Konstanze.

A reception will follow the concert.

Piano Festival 2011

Over 180 students participated in the Lawrence Academy of Music Piano Festival on April 30, 2011.  Following performance auditions and theory tests, the winners were chosen to perform in Harper Hall at Lawrence University on May 8, 2011.  Congratulations to these young people and their teachers for their outstanding effort!

Winners, Grades K-1

Mateo Timm (Larisa Topolkaraeva, teacher)

Emma Song (Larisa Topolkaraeva, teacher)

Honorable Mention, Grades K-1

Drew Pollard (Barbara Froelich, teacher)

Winners, Grades 2-3

Alicia Zhang (Larisa Topolkaraeva, teacher)

Ryan Caracci (Catherine Walby, teacher)

Margaret Kuzin (Larisa Topolkaraeva, teacher)

Gabriel Smith (Melanie Richeson, teacher)

Honorable Mention, Grades 2-3

Ellie Dimmer (Barbara Froelich, teacher)

Katherine Jeng (Larisa Topolkaraeva, teacher)

Gabrielle Medema (Catherine Walby, teacher)

Oscar Pollard (Barbara Froelich, teacher)

Krithika Senthil (Larisa Topolkaraeva, teacher)

Tracy Wang (Michael Rivers, teacher)

Winners, Grades 4-5

Pierce Blohowiak (Larisa Topolkaraeva, teacher)

Kristina Jeng (Larisa Topolkaraeva, teacher)

Reagan Blohowiak (Larisa Topolkaraeva, teacher)

Honorable Mention, Grades 4-5

Kaylann Adler (Larisa Topolkaraeva, teacher)

Ximena Lazcano (Michael Rivers, teacher)

Rachel West (Larisa Topolkaraeva, teacher)

Winners, Grades 6-7

Luke Moss (Mary Van De Loo, teacher)

Marc Padilla (Larisa Topolkaraeva, teacher)

Charles Wu (Larisa Topolkaraeva, teacher)

Quinton Nenning (Nina Elworth, teacher)

Honorable Mention, Grades 6-7

Ben Bomier (Barbara Froelich, teacher)

Clare Christopher (Michael Rivers, teacher)

Valerie Newhouse (Mary Van De Loo, teacher)

Daria Van De Loo (Mary Van De Loo, teacher)

Winners, Grades 8-9

Bridget Flaherty (Larisa Topolkaraeva, teacher)

Tina Tsou (Larisa Topolkaraeva, teacher)

Anna Crosby (Larisa Topolkaraeva, teacher)

Honorable Mention, Grades 8-9

Charlotte Burton (Larisa Topolkaraeva, teacher)

Frankie Beach (Larisa Topolkaraeva, teacher)

Charlie Morley (Barbara Froelich, teacher)

Winners, Grades 10-12

Cody Goetz (Catherine Walby, teacher)

Joanne Zhou (Larisa Topolkaraeva, teacher)

Honorable Mention, Grades 10-12

Grace Flaherty (Larisa Topolkaraeva, teacher)

Alyssa Graves (Cheryl Davis, teacher)

Sarah Heywood (Karen Heywood, teacher)

Brandon Li (Mary Van De Loo, teacher)

Academy Piano Masterclass

Besalyan Masterclass

Dr. Raffi Besalyan, internationally renowned concert pianist and professor of piano at UW-Stevens Point, held a master class with select Lawrence Academy of Music piano students on Friday, May 7.

Pictured students are Joe Hauer, Anna Crosby, Grace Flaherty, Payton Fors. Lydia Martin, not pictured, also played.

Girl Choir presents “Folk Songs and Fairy Tales”

The Lawrence Memorial Chapel reverberated to the splendid sounds of 300 angelic voices of the 6 Girl Choirs performing on Saturday, April 4th. And what variety was jam-packed into an hour and a half of singing, storytelling, dancing and playing instruments expounding on the concert’s theme “Folk Songs and Fairy Tales.”

A new feature was the live webcast on WLFM which made the concert virtually accessible to anyone in the world with an Internet computer connection. A record 69 households from around the world tuned in to hear the evening performance from such places as Sweden and the UK. Here is a sampling of emails received:

My wife & I listened live from our home in the village of Outwell, Norfolk, England & we would like to thank all concerned for an incredible performance, so very professional. Isn’t it amazing that Daphne & I could sit here in England listening to the live concert in Appleton. We listened in to the recorded Pre-Concert too & it was nice to hear a couple of English Folk Songs, I Had a Little Nut Tree & She Shall Have Music. We learned them at school a lonnnnnnnnnng time ago. Our friend’s daughter, Mackenzie Harrmann, was performing in Bel Canto which was the reason we had ‘tuned in.’ Thank you for making us a part of it & we’re now off to bed as it’s 02.40 in the morning.

I am so glad that you webcast this event! I am currently deploying to Iraq

in just a few days and as I finish up the preparatory training I was

overjoyed to be able to listen to my daughter sing. It was a treat to not

miss yet another event in my child’s life. Thank you so much.

Thank you so much for the broadcast of the Lawrence Girls Choir Concert tonight. We attend when we can – but right now we are in Florida and we could enjoy hearing our granddaughter sing thanks to you! Thank you! It was great. We followed along in the program notes so no commentary was needed. Thanks again.

Congratulations all on another banner year providing quality choral opportunities for girls in the Fox Valley region. Auditions for next year are happening soon. Check the Academy website for audition registration details:


Fred Snyder

Director, Lawrence Academy of Music

Honors Recital

The Lawrence Memorial Chapel provided the gorgeous setting for our annual Honors Recital on Sunday, February 15, 2009. It was a grand day in the life of the Academy as 19 talented and dedicated students presented a wide variety of excellent musical selections for the appreciative audience. And what variety it was: instruments represented included everything from strings and piano to trombone, oboe and a first ever double bassist! Music from the Baroque period clear through to contemporary composers was performed by students as young as 7 years old through high school students. Congratulations to all who worked so hard in preparing for this event. Our judges listened to 37 applicants and deliberated hard to select the 19 winners as well as a slate of Honorable Mention performers.

Honorable Mention winners are:

Payton Bayer, piano

Grace Flaherty, violin

Payton Fors, piano

Luke Povolny, violin

Yen Thao, cello

Benjamin Thomas, violin

Honors Recital winners are:

Emily Hauer, violin

Ty Peterson, trombone

Gabriel Smith, piano

Joanna Kamps, oboe

Kaylann Adler, piano

John Kasper, cello

Daria Van De Loo, piano

David Chapman-Orr, double bass

Anna Crosby, piano

Alicia Mose, violin

Donnerstag String Quintet

Grace Crosby and Becky Johnson, violin; Karen Taylor, viola; John Kasper and Hana Pagel, cello

Philip Buchman, piano

Nathan Mose, cello

Bridget Flaherty, piano

Eva Knab, violin

Jonathan Kamps, viola

Tadhg Sauvey, cello

Brandon & Nathan Li, piano duet

Becky Johnson, violin

Fred Snyder

Director, Lawrence Academy of Music