In Celebration of the Human Voice - The Essential Musical Instrument
Founded in 1993, the choir's founder and director was Mary Alice Stollak. Stollak led the MSU Children's Choir in performances at such prestigious venues as Carnegie Hall, Detroit's Orchestra Hall, and Chicago's Symphony Center. In 2002, Stollak and the MSU Children's Choir were the official U.S. representative to the 6th World Symposium on Choral Music. Some of their more recent notable performances include: June, 2007: They performed at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. with their acompanist, Judy Kabodian. October, 2007: They performed a small section of Carmina Burana at the Wharton Center alongside the Lansing Symphony Orchestra. January, 2008: They recorded a Christmas Special with WKAR Recording Studios which aired on the Christmas of 2008. March, 2008: They performed in the Cello Plus World Series with MSU cellist Suren Bagratuni.
January, 2009: They performed the world premier of Songs For Lada by Alla Borzova with Leonard Slatkin and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. Their performances were recorded by Naxos.
May, 2009: The choir performed for the last time with their founding director, Mary Alice Stollak, at the Wharton Center for their Farewell Concert. This featured some of their more notable works, including I Dream of Peace by Robert Jager and one (the final) movement of John Burge's Angel's Voices, The Infinite Meadows of Heaven.
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Review: The MSU Children's Choir program began in 1993 with the founding of the MSU Community Music School. The program now has 145 singers representing 23 different school districts and communities. The Choir has been honored to perform at the 2002 6th World Symposium on Choral Music as the representative of the US, and at numerous conventions of the ACDA. Mary Alice Stollak directs the talented Choir in 12 exquisite (mostly organ accompanied) Christmas carols and a pair of sacred pieces, Bach's sublime "Ave Maria" and "Alleluia." There's some rarely heard French carols, "Manger Carol" and "Oh, Leave Your Sheep," English and Irish traditional carols, "Wexford Carol" and "Sussex Carol," and traditional German, "Still, Still, Still;" in additional to "Joy to the World," "Silent Night" and others. The Choir has a sweet, bright sound that makes "A Classic Christmas" a very special album.
Review: Mary Alice Stollak was the 2001 recipient of ACDA-MI's Maynard Klein Award for Lifetime Achievement and Dedication to the Choral Art, and recordings by her MSUCC show us why. 18 feel-good, lightly accompanied tunes. The songlist includes lesser-known pieces like Imant Raminsh's "My Heart's Friend" and "Song of the Stars," Rollo Dilworth's "Jordan's Angels" and "Marchin' to Freedom," Lee Kesselman's "Eiliyahu Hanavi," Brian Holmes' "Roger Bobo Plays the Tuba" and John Burge's "Epilogue from Simple Songs." Spirituals like "Deep River" and "My Lord What a Morning" segue into Stephen Foster's "Some Folks Do" and "Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair," and Ronald Newman and Sonny Wilkinson's "Billy and Ming Do the Bebop Thing." A fun, beautifully sung collection!
Review: The MSUCC, open to children in grades 4 through 9, has performed at many ACDA conventions and as guest artists with the Lansing, Rochester and MSU Symphonies. Choir founder Stollak directs them in a pair of dramatic works, Robert Jager's 6-movement "I Dream of Peace," from the 1993 book, "I Dream of Peace, Images of War by Children of the Former Yugoslavia," and Marjan Helms' "Terezin Lieder," a choral setting of poetry from "I Never Saw Another Butterfly," written by children interred at Terezin concentration camp. A touching, poignant, thought-provoking collection from a poised and talented children's choir
Review: "Music" is an excellent collection of Christmas Songs by Conductor and Founder Stollak's sweet-singing MSUCC, all lightly piano (and sometimes flute) accompanied. Classics like "I Saw Three Ships," "Bring A Torch, Jeanette Isabella," "Wassail Song," "Pat-a-Pan," "Ding Dong, Merrily on High" and "White Christmas" segue nicely into lesser-known tunes like Paul Carey's "A Cradle Song," Nancy Cobb's "Hodie," and Eleanor Daley's title tune. John Rutter's "Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day," Irving Berlin's "White Christmas" and Mel Torme's "The Christmas Song" are icing on a very tasty Christmas cake!
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