Friday, May 31, 2013

National Children's Chorus in LA June 8 and 14

 America's leading youth choral institution, the National Children’s Chorus (NCC) has two performances in Los Angeles in June. One of the most highly anticipated shows of the year and the season finale is Americana at the Broad Stage June 14 at 7 p.m.  The Spring Showcase, featuring the NCC's junior division, is June 8 at 2 p.m. at St. Paul the Apostle Church.

Americana, which the NCC is fittingly staging on Flag Day, celebrates the greatest music of Americans, tracing the influence of American compositional technique from the start of the last century into the present day.  The evening will feature the rousing music of Copland, Gershwin, and Ives paired with contemporary works by some of the late 20th-century's most renowned composers.  The NCC is also presenting a world premiere by the Grand Prize Winner of the 2012/13 NCC Broad Stage Composition Competition.

Featuring the NCC's junior division, the Spring Showcase is one of two each year and highlights the students ages 5 - 12 from beginner to advanced level.  Appearing in six ensembles, the showcase gives these younger performers, relatively new to the stage, an opportunity to demonstrate their skills. 

Referencing the final two performances of the season, NCC's artistic director Luke McEndarfer said, "Each June our students wow the audience with their talent and showmanship. While audiences are often surprised at the high performance levels of each group, parents watch the progress throughout the year. They witness their children blossoming under the full spectrum of the NCC's educational structure builds skill AND confidence.  We pride ourselves on having a loving and supportive environment designed to develop the child as a person as well as an artist.  Our year-end shows are terrific showcases for this."  

Tickets for the "Americana" performance are sold out. Tickets may become available via waitlist by calling the Broad Stage box office at 310-434-3200.  Tickets for The Spring Showcase are $25, $45 and $65 and are available through the NCC site. 
McEndarfer and associate artistic director Dr. Pamela Blackstone will conduct "Americana" and will be joined by guest conductors for The Spring Showcase.

With a set of ensembles in Los Angeles and New York, the NCC trains students from more than 60 schools in each city who meet weekly for rehearsal and musicianship study. In residence at The Broad Stage in Santa Monica, the NCC is one of a few youth arts organizations in the world to have its entire concert season presented by a professional concert hall.  This is the fourth season at The Broad Stage and the second in New York.  The 2012/2013 season is entitled “Traditions,” presenting an eclectic array of musical styles, drawing on American cultural roots. 

The NCC provides musically talented children with first-rate vocal training and an unparalleled musicianship curriculum.  Each child, regardless of educational or financial background, has the possible opportunity to develop vocal skills from the most basic concepts through the college level.  Expert instructors work to cultivate tone quality, breath support and musical expression in each student while collaborating as an ensemble culminates in world-class performances at The Broad Stage in Santa Monica, St. Paul the Apostle Church in West Los Angeles, and The Church of St. Paul the Apostle in New York

A pianist, conductor and voice coach, McEndarfer has been artistic director since 2004 and is integral to all facets of the chorus’ development from spearheading auditions and vocal training, to choosing material, to fostering relationships and securing collaborations with artists and organizations. 
McEndarfer oversees NCC’s extensive curriculum which includes college-level conducting, composition, music theory, sight-singing in the Kodály Method, and individual voice training in the bel canto style under the guidance of Michael Dean, department chair at the UCLA School of Music. He is recognized for establishing the organization’s reputation for excellence and adventurous programming including numerous critically acclaimed interpretations of Poulenc’s Gloria, Mozart’s Requiem, and Lauridsen’sLux Aeterna.  Forging unique performance relationships, he has also orchestrated concert appearances with a long list of artists and performing arts organizations that include the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Los Angeles Opera Company, the Los Angeles Master Chorale, the Joffrey Ballet, Josh Groban, James Smith, Lucinda Carver, and soon, Grammy-winning soprano Jessica Rivera.

His work includes several motion picture soundtracks; most recently on Paramount Pictures’ 2009 feature film Imagine That, starring Eddie Murphy.  For the film, McEndarfer selected, arranged and conducted sections of the score and also appeared as the Music Teacher on screen. Television and radio credits include conducting performances in the musical act on Jay Leno’s former Tonight Show, and a live performance on KLSX as part of a 2005 Christmas special.

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