It’s been said that every singer’s dream is to perform at Carnegie Hall. Seventeen young singers in VOENA Children’s Choir will have that dream come true when they take to the stage of the celebrated New York City music hall this spring. Choir director Annabelle Marie often ended performance seasons with the words “Get us to Carnegie Hall” and that’s exactly what’s going to happen. The most seasoned VOENA performers are headed to iconic hall in April to perform work of Grammy winner, composer and conductor Eric Whitacre. They will be joined by hundreds of other choristers from around the globe. “This is pretty exciting for the kids. When we announced it the kids were all screaming. They all want to go,” said choir business manager Michelle Fulbrook.
VOENA stands for “Voices of Eve ‘N Angels,” and is an award-winning childrens a capella singing group for 120 youth ages 6 to 18 from throughout the Bay Area, founded by Marie in 1994. Singers perform in 25 different languages in a technique that incorporates physical movements and discipline. VOENA is no stranger to famous venues. The group has performed around the world, at the 2012 London Olympics, the Grand Ole Opry, the White House and for the Pope at the Vatican in Rome. “Being invited to perform in Carnegie Hall is a wonderful honor and is a benchmark for our choir,” Marie said.
“The Carnegie Hall invitation can be traced to an audition tape Marie submitted, which shows a high level of musicianship demonstrated by the singers,” said Jonathan Griffith in a prepared statement. He is artistic director and principal conductor for DCINY, a leading concert promoter in New York City. “It is quite an honor just to be invited to perform in New York. These wonderful musicians not only represent a high quality of music and education, but they also become ambassadors for the entire community. This is an event of extreme pride for everybody and deserving of the community’s recognition and support.” Marie and Fulbrook wholeheartedly agree, and are urging people to do their part to get VOENA to Carnegie Hall. Trip costs are estimated at $75,000 for travel, lodging and meals. The singers will spend five days and four nights in New York City rehearsing and preparing for the April 8 concert. They will also have chances to explore and take in the culture of the Big Apple.
To help make it all happen, the young singers are preparing for a benefit concert. The choir and several special guests will perform 2:30 p.m., Sunday, October 15 at the Napa Valley Opera House. The venue is sponsoring the event along with local musicians: acoustic guitarist Peppino D’Agostino, former Joe Satriani drummer Jeff Campitelli, and Paraguayan harpist and violinist Carlos Reyes. A $40 ticket includes one drink ticket and a pre-concert reception. A $60 ticket includes a meet and greet after the show. People can also donate directly at voena.org or by contacting Michelle Fulbrook at 707.363.1538 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For more details go to VOENA.org.