Tag: Academy of Music

Academy of Music Girl Choir focuses on concept of listening

The concept of learning to listen with ear, eye, mind and heart as a lens will be explored in a pair of performances by the Lawrence Academy of Music’s Girl Choir during its annual fall concert.Chinese character "Ting"

The concert, entitled “Ting,” which is the Chinese character for “listen,” will be performed Saturday, Dec. 9 with performances at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel.

Tickets, at $12 for adults, $8 for seniors/students, are available online or at the Lawrence Box Office the day of the concert from 12:30 p.m. – 4 p.m. and one hour prior to the evening performance. 920-832-6749.

“Given the deep social divide into which our current singers are coming of age, I felt strongly that a focus on learning to listen—‘in music and in life,’ as we say—would be an asset to them well beyond our rehearsal walls,” said Karen Bruno, director of the Academy of Music, who employed various aspects of the concept of listening into the repertoire and rehearsal process this fall.

Girl Choir singers performingThe concert will feature more than 300 singers in grades 3-12 from all over the Fox Valley performing a wide range of music by significant composers, including Mozart, Bach, Benjamin Britten, Antonín Dvorák and Ralph Vaughan Williams, among others, as well as Brazilian and Norwegian folk songs.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

Celebration Concert: Lawrence Academy of Music Girl Choir marks 25th anniversary

The Lawrence Academy of Music’s Girl Choir program celebrates its 25th anniversary Saturday, March 19 with a pair of performances in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.

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The Lawrence Academy of Music Girl Choir program celebrates its 25th anniversary in song March 19.

The Academy Girl Choir program comprises seven choirs, with singers in grades 3-12 from the greater Fox Valley region. The anniversary concert also features a choir of 101 Girl Choir alumnae visiting from 13 states.

Tickets, at $12 for adults, $8 for seniors and students, are available at the Lawrence Box Office, 920-832-6749, or online.

The anniversary concerts feature some of the Girl Choir singers’ most beloved repertoire from its 25-year history, including art songs, folk songs from around the world and contemporary compositions, including one written specifically for the Girl Choir.  The concert will close with the Martin Sirvatka arrangement of Walter Hawkins’ I’m Goin’ Up A Yonder,” conducted by teacher-conductor, Cheryl Meyer, who has been with the program for 24 of its 25 years.

From California to Massachusetts, Minnesota to Texas, former members will return to Appleton to celebrate the program’s silver anniversary.  Sisters Jennifer Brown and Elizabeth Everson, both Chilton natives, now living in Colorado and Maryland, respectively, will sing with the Alumnae Choir.

“I’m so excited to be going home to sing with my first choir friends for a reunion concert,” said Everson. “Plus I’ll be singing again with my sister, my first best friend.”

Recent graduates are similarly well-represented in the Alumnae Choir. College student Catherine Backer is “thrilled to have the opportunity to come back to a place where girls from all over grow together.”

Anna Benz, whose younger sisters are currently enrolled in the Girl Choir program, is “so glad to share the tradition with them, and to see their love of music growing.”

Local women also will be part of the celebration. Fox Valley resident Sarah Felhofer sang with the program more than 12 years ago.

“I feel like it’s concert day all over again! I’m nervous, excited, and can’t wait to be on the big chapel stage again.”

Chelsey Burke, who recently returned to Appleton, remarked, “It’s such a unique opportunity to reunite with my sisters in song after all these years. To come together not only to sing our most loved pieces of the past, but to sing them with the young girls we now see ourselves in is, in a word, inspiring!”

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Allison Shinnick (left) and Claire Powling (third from left) will be among the singers performing with the Alumnae Choir for the Girl Choir’s 25th anniversary concert, which was organized by Karen Bruno (second from left), director of the Lawrence Academy of Music and conductor of the Bel Canto choir, and Cheryl Meyer, conductor of the Allegretto choir.

Nearly 1,800 singers have participated in the program during its 25 years. There have been 15 teacher-conductors, 36 collaborative pianists and 54 choir managers, many of whom were Lawrence Conservatory of Music education students. Each will be listed in the Girl Choir History pages of the concert program.

In addition to its semiannual concerts, Girl Choirs have been selected to perform at Carnegie Hall four times, represented Wisconsin at the 400th anniversary of the Jamestown colony, sang for state and regional music education conventions and performed in several international children’s choir festivals and women’s choir festivals.

They have collaborated with local arts organizations such as the Fox Valley Symphony, newVoices, Mile of Music, Makaroff Youth Ballet, Fox Cities Performing Arts Center, Appleton Boychoir and Monteverdi Master Chorale, and have a performance permanently linked on Wisconsin Public Television’s website. In 2012, Bel Canto won second place in the nation within the youth and high school choral division of The American Prize competition.

More than 300 girls typically are enrolled in the Girl Choir program, representing more than 50 schools throughout Northeast Wisconsin. Current teacher-conductors are Patty Merrifield, Karrie Been, Cheryl Meyer, Toni Weijola, Jaclyn Kottman, Debbie Lind and Karen Bruno.

The Lawrence Academy of Music Girl Choir program provides quality choral opportunities for girls in the Fox Valley region. Through the study and performance of the highest quality music, the girls develop vocal technique, musical skills, creativity, expressive artistry, and an awareness of various cultures. The program encourages girls to respect the uniqueness of others, to take risks that foster individual growth and to continue their development into self-assured young women.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College” and Fiske’s Guide to Colleges 2016. Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.

Values, Customs, Beliefs Explored in Academy of Music Girl Choir Concert

This year’s Lawrence Academy of Music Girl Choir’s annual December concert will have a personalized meaning for the more than 300 young voices in the program.

Two performances of “I Believe” will be staged Saturday, Dec. 8 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 Academy, 100 W. Water St., Appleton or 920-832-6632.

Using choral music as the lens through which to explore individual and community values, beliefs or customs, five choirs will sing a variety of sacred and secular repertoire. Program notes will explain how each selection was used within the rehearsal process to explore the concert’s “I Believe” theme.

“As we move into the darker months of the year, people tend to be more reflective and introspective,” said Karen Bruno, director of the Academy of Music and conductor of the Bel Canto choir. “Preparing for this concert gave the girls an opportunity to explore what they stand for, what they hold dear and how the compositions they sing connect to those ideas.

“We look forward to sharing the emotions, ideas, and values expressed within the repertoire and within our community of singers with our audience,” Bruno added.

The concert features girls in grades 3-12 in five different choirs, including the high school component Bel Canto Girl Choir (grades 9-12), which earned second-place honors in the 2012 national American Prize in Choral Performance competition and the Cantabile Choir (grades 7-9) which performed at New York City’s Carnegie Hall in 2011 as part of the National Youth Choir.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a world-class conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2013 and the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,450 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries. Follow Lawrence on Facebook.

Lawrence University Named to National Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll

For the sixth consecutive year, Lawrence University has been named to the 2012 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll.

Lawrence is one of only two Wisconsin institutions that has been recognized every year by the Washington, D.C.-based Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) since it launched the program in 2006.

The honor roll recognizes higher education institutions that reflect the values of exemplary community service and achieve meaningful outcomes in their communities on issues ranging from supporting at-risk youth to neighborhood revitalization.

During the 2010-11 academic year, 967 Lawrence students provided more than 27,400 service hours to community volunteer and service-learning programs, including completion of student-teaching requirements for certification.

Honorees are chosen on the basis of several factors, including the scope and innovation of service projects, the extent to which service-learning is embedded in the curriculum, the school’s commitment to long-term campus-community partnerships and measurable community outcomes as a result of the service.

Lawrence was among 642 colleges and universities honored for their impact on issues of literacy and neighborhood revitalization to supporting at-risk youth.

“Community engagement and service is a distinguishable characteristic of the Lawrence educational experience and it speaks to the dedication of our students to once again be nationally recognized for their efforts,” said Lawrence President Jill Beck.

Among the initiatives for which Lawrence was cited:

A research initiative supported by the Mielke Foundation that evaluated the effects of after-school programming on confidence, problem-solving and creativity. Professor of Psychology Beth Haines collaborated with UW Fox Valley, the Boys and Girls Club of the Fox Valley and the Building for Kids Children’s Museum. Lawrence students provide the enrichment at the BFK, assess the children’s development and assist in the analysis of the data, which will be used to develop more effective after-school programming and make better use of volunteer resources.

The Volunteers in Tutoring at Lawrence (VITAL) Program, a student-run initiative providing free tutoring services to area K-12 students, with a priority placed on disadvantaged students who may not have the financial means for other tutoring services. Lawrence volunteers work with students in need of help in academic subjects ranging from basic math to linguistics. VITAL is the area’s only free tutoring program that accepts all applicants.

The Lawrence Academy of Music, which strengthens children’s creativity, self-esteem, teamwork and leadership skills through comprehensive music instruction and performance opportunities for K-12 students. Last year the Academy’s Young Band Program, which provides free regular band instruction at Appleton’s Lincoln Elementary School, was expanded to also include band instruction at Edison Elementary School.

“This honor belongs to everyone at Lawrence who goes that extra step to reach out to the community and meet our neighbors’ needs,” said Monica Rico, Lawrence’s Pieper Family Professor of Servant Leadership and director of the college’s Office for Engaged Learning. “I’m grateful to all of our inspiring students, faculty and staff, especially the Director of Volunteer and Community Service, Kristi Hill. The leadership that she has provided, along with the commitment of my faculty colleagues and our outstanding students, has once again earned us this important recognition.”

According to the CNCS, a federal agency, 3.1 million students performed more than 312 million hours of service across the country, providing services valued at $6.6 billion.

The CNCS compiles the President’s Community Service Honor Roll in collaboration with the Department of Education, Department of Housing and Urban Development, Campus Compact and the American Council on Education.

About Lawrence University

Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a world-class conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. Ranked among America’s best colleges by Forbes, it was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,445 students from 44 states and 35 countries.

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Academy of Music Bel Canto Girl Choir Performing at Regional Choral Director’s Conference

Bel Canto, the 60-member high school component of the Lawrence Academy of Music Girl Choir program, will perform this week at the North Central Division “Beyond the Notes” conference of the American Choral Directors Association in Madison.

Under the direction of Karen Bruno, Bel Canto was the only school-aged ensemble from Wisconsin selected to sing at the four-day (Feb.8-11) convention, which features choirs and choral directors from six states. Only 14 choirs total were chosen to sing at the conference.

Bel Canto will perform a 25-minute program Thursday, Feb. 9 at 9:30 a.m. at the Overture Center for the Arts in Madison. The choir will be accompanied by Lawrence conservatory students on piano and percussion, with guest student instrumentalists from the Lawrence Academy of Music and Fox Valley Youth Symphony. Performances at the ACDA conference are open to the public with a $5 charge.

“It is a tremendous honor to be selected to perform for this convention,” said Bruno. “We are thrilled to represent the Lawrence community as well as the Fox Valley. Our conference program represents what we do well: a broad range of music for women’s choirs, in a variety of languages, from a wide range of historical periods and countries.”

The choir will sing a premiere arrangement from Monteverdi’s opera “L’Orfeo,” standard repertoire including “Salut, Printemps!” by Claude Debussy and “Nigra Sum” by Pablo Casals and close with an exciting dance-like composition from Peru.

Bel Canto offers a sneak preview of its conference program in a performance tonight (Feb. 7) in a “send-off” concert at 7:30 pm in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel. Admission is free, with free-will donations accepted to help cover convention costs.

The girl choir was selected for the ACDA conference based upon three years’ worth of recordings that passed two rigorous blind audition processes.

About Lawrence University

Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a world-class conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. Ranked among America’s best colleges, it was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,445 students from 44 states and 35 countries.