Grammy Award Winning Composer/Conductor Eric Whitacre returns to the DCINY stage for a holiday-themed concert of new arrangements and original works. Join Eric and the Distinguished Concerts Singers and Orchestra in a festive evening featuring new takes on classics such as Carol of the Bells, O Christmas Tree, Christmas Time is Here, Silent Night, Lux Aurumque and the world premiere orchestration of The Boy Who Laughed at Santa Claus with chamber orchestra - arranged by Jonathan Newman, part of the DCINY Premiere Project.
Artist's NameEric Whitacre
Participating Group Directors
Founded in 2009, the Avondale Children's Choir (ACC) is a community choir committed to excellence in musical artistry and expression. Under the leadership of Founding Director, R. Mark Green, the ACC has a membership of over 140 singers age six to eighteen in four ensembles. The ACC has performed in concerts with The Atlanta Opera Workshop, The DeKalb Choral Guild, The Mercer University Singers, The DeKalb School of the Arts, Decatur High School, and others. Twenty-three singers of the Avondale Children's Choir performed in the DCINY Concert for Treble Voices under the baton of Dr. Cristian Grases in June 2016.
The Douglas Dynamics is the select a cappella choir at Douglas High School in Minden, Nevada. They consistently receive superior ratings at all of the Nevada and California festivals in which they have attended. The Douglas Dynamics do an average of 20 community performances a year. Because of their popularity within the community it is often necessary to book their events a year in advance, particularly around the holiday season. They are all very excited to be making their first trip to New York City.
Washington Township HS is located 15 minutes southeast of Philadelphia in Sewell, NJ. With a population of 2300 students, WTHS offers a wide range of music courses including multiple levels of choir, band, orchestra, guitar, theory, and technology. TWP Choir has a membership of 180 students, with three large ensembles meeting daily and small ensembles after school. TWP Choir performs regularly at school, community, and regional festivals, including the annual NJACDA HS Festival. In addition, TWP Choir holds an annual Pops Concert which has raised funds for Mother’s Cupboard, Stomp Out Bullying, The National MS Society, and Alex’s Lemonade Stand.
Dedicated to academic and human excellence, the Brookfield East High School choral program is known nationally for having received a Grammy “Signature Gold” Award from the NARAS Foundation. Building upon this honor, the choral department continues to combine the strength of parental and administrative support with talented students and high artistic expectations to maintain its distinction as one the finest high school programs in the state of Wisconsin. Under the direction of Kari Doepke-Warnes, the Spartan choirs have performed in a variety of choral festivals, conventions, and college invitationals throughout the years that have taken them to such memorable locations as Washington D. C., New Orleans, and…New York City!
Christ Congregational Church Chancel Choir, an all-volunteer choir, sings 45 worship services a year and performs music of all genres by classical and contemporary composers. In its 75-year history, the choir has performed at the Kennedy Center, the National Cathedral and the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception; participated in concerts benefiting social justice causes; partnered with local choirs to perform major works with orchestra, most recently the Mozart Requiem; presented full-scale productions of musicals for the community; and traveled extensively throughout the United States and Europe. Under the direction of Sandra Wack, the choir plans to tour Ireland in 2020.
The Red Mountain High School Festival Choir, under the direction of Lindsay Decoste, is comprised of members of all five choirs from Red Mountain High School in Mesa, Arizona. The program boasts over 150 members, puts on five concerts a year, and has been going strong since 1988 when the school itself opened. Groups in Red Mountain’s history have performed at various state and regional level honor festivals, and they regularly send students to Regional and All-State choir. The RMHS Festival Choir is honored to be returning to the stage at Carnegie Hall.
The Westhampton Beach Chamber Singers are ecstatic to perform at Carnegie Hall with Eric Whitacre. This group is comprised of audition-only students who range from grade 9-12. The Chamber Singers perform collegiate-level repertoire and put in extensive hours of rehearsal time to improve their musicianship and love for singing. Previously, The Chamber Singers have performed at ACDA and community service events.
The Gasparilla Singers have been a vital part of the Crystal River High culture for 20 years. These singers have been the elite singing group to travel and sing for many local and regional events over the years. Lately they have been instrumental in being the feature group at the St. Anne's Episcopal Church Lessons and Carols service.
PHS chamber choir is the elite choir at Plainfield High School. We perform at various events and venues throughout the year. The ensemble performs music ranging from Madrigals to jazz and contemporary a cappella.
The Northwood High School Chamber Singers was established in the fall of 2016. This group of 20 singers performs annually at their Music Performance Assessment and the Carowinds Festival of Music in addition to 3 concerts held at the high school throughout the year. They frequently perform throughout the triangle community and were most recently invited to perform at the NC State Legislature in Raleigh, NC. Many of these singers are involved in the school's musical, contemporary a cappella group, Pitch Please, and marching band.
Mr. Eric Seiler has spent over 21 years in Military Bands between the USMC and California Army National Guard as an instrumentalist, vocalist, and director; performing in 27 countries. He earned his BA in Music Education and Clarinet performance in 2005, MA in Music with a certificate in Vocal Pedagogy in 2007 from CSU Chico, and Master of Education from National University in 2015.He has been the Performing Arts teacher and director at Yreka High School since Fall of 2012 and has been an adjunct professor at College of the Siskiyous in Weed, CA since 2013.
The Yreka High Vocal Ensemble is an auditioned group of sophomores through seniors, consisting of anywhere from 16-26 members depending on the year. They sing standard chamber choir repertoire as well as varied other styles to include modern pop Acapella arrangements and originals. The group typically performs the National Anthem at sporting and community events throughout the year as well as outreach type performances at the local schools. The group was founded in 1972. The group last sang at Carnegie Hall in 2017 with the King's Singers 50th Anniversary concert.
Shannon Thurston is proud to be the director of the Maine Arts Academy Chamber Singers. The only public arts charter in Maine, she is excited to bring these wonderful musicians to the stage. She has her performance certificate for the American Musical And Dramatic Academy and or MA in Musical Theatre Performance from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.
The Maine Arts Academy Chamber Singers is vibrant group, newly born into the world of arts education. The Maine Arts Academy Chamber singers will make their New York City debut as the first group from a Maine performing arts school. Their dedication and diversity speak volumes in the music they perform and the community they serve.
Carla Coffey is Head of Primary Performing Arts at GEMS WSO in Dubai, UAE. She received her BAMus from UCC, Ireland ('08) and her HDip in Primary Education from Hibernia College, Dublin (' 11). This is her fifth year in GEMS WSO where she teaches music and leads the academy's elite 'Resonance' choir.
GEMS WSO has recently been chosen as The Centre of Excellence for Performing Arts & Theatre Tech across the GEMS school network in the UAE. At GEMS WSO all students from the ages of 4 to 18 are exposed to Performing Arts lessons each week with a team of specialised Performing Arts teachers. In addition to Performing Arts curriculum lessons, annual auditions take place to identify talented students for our ‘WSO Performing Arts Academy’. This enables students to be selected at an early age to further develop their talent within Music, Dance or Drama. 'Resonance' is one of the elite teams of the WSO Performing Arts Academy which consists of talented singers. Resonance are an award-winning choir whose most recent success saw them perform at Dubai Opera in the finals of Choirfest Middle East 2018 winning the title of 'Best A Capella Performance'. Resonance have had a number of amazing performance opportunities this year with one of the highlights including being chosen to perform with Loren Allred and Hugh Jackman from 'The Greatest Showman' at the Global Teacher Prize Concert. Resonance also performed at the Special Olympics Opening Ceremony in Abu Dhabi. We are honored to be given the opportunity to perform at Carnegie Hall under the direction of Eric Whitacre.
Mariia Pechenova joined Cantare Chorale of the Sierra Foothills (California) as Artistic Director in 2014. Ms. Pechenova holds a Master’s degree in Conducting from St. Petersburg State University, Russia. Her conducting experience includes work with professional, university, college, youth and community choral groups and orchestras. Ms. Pechenova is Music Professor of Vocal and Choral Program at Folsom Lake College, CA, and pianist and organist for traditional and contemporary services at St. Stephen's Lutheran Church in El Dorado Hills, CA. Ms. Pechenova is a leading local authority in vocal and choral training and performing arts. Since 2017, Ms. Pechenova has served as a jury member and clinician at the Golden Empire Music Festival and Competition in Sacramento, CA. Cantare Chorale has thrived under her leadership which is evidenced by the several appearances on the legendary stage of Carnegie Hall, New York in 2016 and 2018. For over 15 years, Ms. Pechenova performed solo recitals and toured with St. Petersburg's Music Theater as soprano soloist in concert halls and theaters in Russia and Europe. Ms. Pechenova has worked internationally with renowned artists Vladimir Miller, Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Elena Obraztsova and symphony conductors Yuri Temirkanov, Symphony Orchestra of D.D. Shostakovich St. Petersburg Academic Philharmonic Concert Hall; Saulius Sondeckis, Lithuanian State Symphony Orchestra; Alexander Sladkovsky and Alexander Tchernushenko St. Petersburg’s Capella Symphony Orchestra; Andreas Spörri, Orchestra of the State Hermitage Museum "Saint Petersburg Camerata; Anatoly Rybalko, Symphony Orchestra of the Karelian State Philharmonic. She has been awarded the title of “Laureate”, and has been the winner of the “Grand Prix” and “First Prize” at numerous European and Russian competitions. Ms. Pechenova serves on Sacramento Valley Choral Coalition’s Board of Directors, is an active member of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA), Chorus America, League of American Orchestras (LAO), National Association for Music Education (NAfME), and a member of the International Federation for Choral Music (IFCM). Ms. Pechenova was awarded with inaugural scholarship from the Dr. Charles C. Hirt Scholarship Award for Professional Development fund, ACDA. In 2017, she attended the DCINY Mentoring Program: Orchestral Conducting in New York City, where she studied with national leaders in conducting pedagogy Dr. Craig Jessop, Dr. Jonathan Griffith, and Michael Adelson. In July 2017, Ms. Pechenova attended Chorus America Conducting Academy in California State University, Fullerton, where she studied with John Alexander, Lucinda Carver, David Hayes, Duain Wolfe, and Robert Istad and worked with highly skilled singers from the Pacific Chorale and the University Singers of California State University and Southern California professional orchestra musicians In 2019, for bringing excellence in music to El Dorado County, the Sacramento region and beyond and promoting the growth and development of the choral and orchestral performances as Artistic Director of Cantare Chorale and Music Professor at Folsom Lake College, Ms. Pechenova received Certificate of Recognition from El Dorado County, Certificate of Special Recognition from Tom McClintock member of the Congress of the United States and was awarded with the Flag of the United States of America flown over the United States Capitol in recognition of her U.S. Citizenship.
Cantare Chorale of the Sierra Foothills is a mixed SATB chorale of 25-30 members who love to sing all styles and genres of music. Performing since 1992, their concerts include classics, madrigals, folk, popular, jazz, seasonal, modern arrangements, both accompanied and a cappella, and incorporate educational components to inform, engage, and educate their audience. Dedicated leaders within the group have volunteered many hours to grow and expand Cantare’s reach into surrounding communities. With excellent leadership by an exceptionally gifted and musically educated artistic director, Mariia Pechenova, Cantare Chorale continues to inspire audiences. The Holiday Music of Eric Whitacre, is Cantare Chorale’s third performance in Carnegie Hall.
The Centerville Symphonic Choir is an auditioned group of students who perform the highest level of mixed choral music. This choir performs a variety of genres at concerts, OMEA contest, school assemblies, community functions, and local/national competitions. This group was a consortium member of Eric Whitacre's Goodnight Moon. Each year this group competes at the state's OMEA Contest and consistently receives the highest rating of Superior in the top class. They perform throughout the Centerville and Dayton Communities and are looking forward to performing for the first time at Carnegie Hall.