Advanced Chorus of the New Jersey Youth Chorus, including 11 choristers from
Basking Ridge, will be raising their voices to sing America the Beautiful with Queen Latifah at MetLife Stadium on
Super Bowl Sunday. After being contacted
last week with the exciting invitation, Trish Joyce, the Artistic Director and
Founder of the Chorus, had to keep it a secret while the choristers gathered
for their standard Monday rehearsal. The
good news was delivered during rehearsal with an invitation from Queen Latifah
herself, via Skype. The clip was on The Queen Latifah Show on Friday,
January 31 - http://queenlatifah.com/videos/queen-latifah-surprises-a-new-jersey-youth-choir. The Advanced Chorus was
selected from among nearly two dozen other choirs which were considered for the
The local choristers include Era Atre, Emily Balseiro, Ariaki Dandawate, Claire Fiocco, Julia Fiocco, Claire Jones, Emily Jones, Madeline Kraft, Virginia Lafean, Malaika Ravindran, and Alexandra Szabo.
In addition to performing at the Super Bowl itself, the Chorus will also perform on Super Bowl Boulevard in Times Square on Friday evening. They will be singing songs from the Great American Song Book, including A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square by Manning Sherwin, Clap Yo’ Hands and I Got Rhythm by George Gershwin, Harry Warren’s Lullaby of Broadway, Jerome Kern’s Just the Way You Look Tonight, and God Bless America by Irving Berlin.
The whirlwind week began with the tremendous honor of recording three pieces of music by internationally-known choral composer Randall Stroope, with the composer in attendance. Dr. Stroope, who personally extended the invitation to the NJ Youth Chorus, is Director of Vocal and Choral Activities at Oklahoma State University, and is one of the most active choral conductors and composers today.
The New Jersey Youth Chorus, founded in 1992, is an auditioned choral program for children in grades one through twelve, divided into five ensembles: First Steps to Music (grades 1 – 2), Apprentice Chorus (grades 3 – 4), Intermediate Chorus (grades 5-7), Advanced Treble Chorus (grades 8-12), and Young Men’s Ensemble (grades 7 – 12 for changing and changed voices). The Chorus performs locally, nationally and internationally for community, civic and corporate audiences. Over two hundred choristers come from almost 40 towns in six counties of New Jersey. The heart of its mission to provide quality music education that encourages young people’s love and appreciation of choral music and nurtures their individual growth and development.
The Advanced Chorus performs frequently with many professional ensembles, including the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra and Canadian Brass. They have worked with Oscar and Grammy-award winning composer Marvin Hamlisch and Bill Conti, composer of television and movie themes, including Rocky. They were a featured choir at the 2008 and 2012 American Choral Directors Association’s Conference, and the only children’s choir to be invited to sing at Chorus America’s 2009 National Conference. They have also sung with Irish tenor, Ronan Tynan, appeared on the Today Show, and have sung at Carnegie Hall. The Advanced Chorus has participated in numerous festivals in New Orleans, Hawaii, Canada and England, and has toured Italy, Ireland, Poland, the Czech Republic and Germany.
The Chorus regularly hosts visiting youth choirs, such as Cantus, the premier men’s ensemble in the United States, the Drakensberg Boys Choir from South Africa, the Bach Children’s Chorus from Canada, the Crypt Choir from King's School in Canterbury, England, the Lincoln Boys Choir from Nebraska, Colgate 13 and Ithacapella.
The choir's "Kids for Kids" mission includes opportunities to perform and assist children’s organizations and charities. The choir's "Kids for Kids" mission includes opportunities to perform and assist children’s organizations and charities. Funds have been raised for a summer camp for children of September 11 victims, Hearts Across the Ocean, for children needing open heart surgery in India, the American Cancer Society, Bryan’s Dream Foundation, for children with brain tumors, and others. In the fall of 2011, they performed at the Saving Grace Gala in NYC, which benefited the Preeclampsia Foundation and the Foundation for America’s Blood Centers. During the Gala, they premiered a new piece written by Jim Papoulis, specifically for the event. They have performed for the Matthew Larson Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation’s Gala in NYC, and the Greg Wolf Foundation, among other fundraising events.
The next opportunity to hear a performance by all the choirs will be at the Chorus’s annual Chocolate Fest fundraiser, Sunday, February 9, 12:00 – 5:00 pm, at The Dolce, 300 North Maple Avenue in Basking Ridge. It will feature many wonderful vendors, a Silent Auction, Tricky Tray, and special guests.
For further information, please visit the website at www.njyouthchorus.org or call (973) 998-5670.