L.A. youth choir visits Alaska

Posted: Thursday, August 04, 2005

The world-famous Los Angeles Children's Chorus, a group of 45 10- to-14-year-olds, is celebrating its 20th anniversary season with its first trip to Alaska.

The L.A. chorus frequently performs with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, the Los Angeles Master Chorale and the Pasadena Symphony.

The chorus will perform for free at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 6, at St. Paul's Catholic Church on Atlin Drive in the Mendenhall Valley. Donations will be accepted. They also will sing at 10 a.m., Sunday, Aug. 7, as part of the Northern Light United Church's Sunday service.

Music director Anne Tomlinson will conduct, and pianist Twyla Meyer will accompany the choir for both performances.

The Alaska Youth Choir will sing with the L.A. chorus on Saturday. Tomlinson also will lead a workshop for community members at 2:30 p.m. Saturday at St. Paul's.

Alaska Youth Choir Director Missouri Smyth saw the L.A. chorus this March at the National American Choir Director's Convention in Los Angeles. The chorus later contacted the Alaska Youth Choir through ACFEA, a tour company often employed by chorus groups.

"Something that I remember distinctly about the choir is their beautiful unified sound," Smyth said. "They're very expressive and musical singers.

"When they heard we were from Alaska, of course they wanted to take a trip and come see Alaska," she said.

The group has toured Great Britain, Italy, Australia, Germany, Austria, Hungary, Czech Republic, Poland and Canada.

The group's repertoire includes: "Agnus Dei," a J.S. Bach chorale, Cantata No. 147; "Sound the Trumpet," by Henry Purcell; "Under the Greenwood Tree"; Duke Ellington's "It Don't Mean a Thing"; and a collection of Brazilian, Greek, Israeli, Russian and South African folk and freedom songs.

The chorus will leave Monday for Sitka, performing there at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 10.

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