LOS ANGELES, Oct. 24, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- The National Children's Chorus of the United States (NCC), one of the world's leading choral institutions, will proudly celebrate its 10th Anniversary with Starlight, an unprecedented 2018/19 Season with more than 700 students in 20 ensembles taking the stage under a unified vision for music as a global force of hope. Led by Artistic Director Luke McEndarfer and Associate Artistic Director Dr. Pamela Blackstone, Starlight will include professional collaborations with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, American Youth Symphony, and Grammy-winning soprano Jessica Rivera, under the baton of notable conductors Gustavo Dudamel and Carlos Izcaray, among others. World premieres will include a new piece by composer Nico Muhly, as part of the LA Phil's centennial, and will be followed by the orchestra's first-ever Disney Hall performances of Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 8(Symphony of a Thousand), in addition to a West Coast premiere of Cellular Songs by composer Meredith Monk. As part of Starlight, which will explore relationships between science and music, the lineup of extraordinary repertoire will go further to highlight the students' singing virtuosity with masterworks by Benjamin Britten, Gabriel Fauré, Igor Stravinsky and Alexander Scriabin.
This winter, the NCC will present Celestial Voices at Carnegie Hall in New York on December 8, and Bel Air Church in Los Angeles on December 15—a joyous holiday concert that will showcase some of the most beautiful melodies ever written, including Benjamin Britten's Christmas masterpiece, A Ceremony of Carols. Scored for three-part treble chorus and harp, this work has long been a signature piece for the NCC, executed with technical mastery rarely seen of a youth ensemble.
In early spring, the NCC will join celebrated composer Meredith Monk for the West Coast premiere of her new work Cellular Songs, to be presented at Royce Hall in Los Angeles on March 2. On March 31, students from both coasts will join forces at Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles for a tour de force performance with the American Youth Symphony and Grammy-winning soprano Jessica Rivera. As part of the LA Phil's centennial celebration with more than 50 new commissions commemorating the occasion, the NCC will proudly be the lead commissioner, in partnership with the American Youth Symphony and LA Phil, for a new work by American composer Nico Muhly. Also on the ambitious program, conducted by Carlos Izcaray and Luke McEndarfer, are Fauré's Messe Basse, Stravinsky's Symphony of Psalms and Scriabin's Poem of Fire. On April 13, NCC students in Washington, D.C. will join in the National Cherry Blossom Festival, performing at its acclaimed parade.
In late spring, the NCC will give tribute to the synergies between science and music at Nebula, its season finale at Carnegie Hall in New York on May 5, and Royce Hall in Los Angeles on May 16. Nebula, a unique concert production of timeless choral classics and modern musical gems, will stretch the listener's imagination with a vivid soundscape, while honoring men and women of vision whose scientific and musical inventions have forever altered the course of humanity. NASA's 60th Anniversary will partly serve as inspiration for the event, which will extol remarkable contributions of innovation and exploration throughout time. Later in the season, the NCC will once again take the stage at Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles singing three shows with Gustavo Dudamel and the LA Phil for Mahler's Symphony No. 8 on May 30, 31 and June 2. This will mark the NCC's second Mahler 8 appearance with Dudamel and the orchestra, the first being in 2012 at the Shrine Auditorium.
In July, Senior Division students from Los Angeles, New York, Washington, D.C. and San Francisco will join together to travel across the Pacific for the NCC's 5th international tour to Asia, beginning in Seoul, South Korea, followed by key sites in Japan, including Hiroshima, Osaka, Kyoto, and Tokyo, their final stop. Exciting collaborations with local artists and concert details for the tour will be announced in the coming months.
During Season 2018/19, the NCC's eleven Junior Division ensembles in Los Angeles, New York and Washington, D.C. will perform in two dedicated concert appearances, demonstrating their finest musical accomplishments to date. At each NCC city's Winter Showcasein December and Spring Showcasein May, patrons will be invited for an in-depth view of the educational process of the National Children's Chorus. From age five through more advanced, the Junior Division reflects the building blocks and foundational training methods employed by the NCC's youngest vocalists, all of whom commit themselves to the achievement of skills eventually required for promotion to the Senior Division. Year after year, the intimate and supportive atmosphere of these Showcases makes them heartfelt favorites within the NCC community and beyond.
About National Children's Chorus Led by Maestro Luke McEndarfer and Dr. Pamela Blackstone, the National Children's Chorus continues its role as a leader in youth music education, offering an extensive curriculum for its student body, representing more than 300 schools in Los Angeles, New York, Washington, D.C. and San Francisco. World-class performances punctuate a holistic and unparalleled learning experience for young performers, with appearances at Royce Hall, Walt Disney Concert Hall and the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles; Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center in New York; the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.; and internationally. Beyond its choral training, the National Children's Chorus offers college-level conducting instruction, composition, music theory, and sight-singing in the Kodály Method. Graduates from the program have been accepted at top schools across the country, such as University of Southern California's Thornton School of Music, University of California Los Angeles'Herb Alpert School of Music, University of California Berkeley, the Curtis Institute of Music, Northwestern University, Indiana University, Stanford, Harvard, Yale, Carnegie Mellon, Manhattan School of Music, and The Juilliard School.