Fresh Sounds: The Music of Russell Robinson

Fresh Sounds: The Music of Russell Robinson
Sunday, May 5, 2019
8:30 PM
Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage, Carnegie Hall
Russell L. Robinson, Composer/Conductor
The Music of Russell Robinson for Mixed Middle School Voices
Featuring Distinguished Concerts Singers International 
Contact us about this concert and future performance opportunities.

Participating Ensembles:

Chestatee Academy Chorus
Selah Middle School 8th Grade Choir
Galaxy Vocal Ensemble
Markham Woods Middle School Black and Silver Singers
Grimmer Middle School 8th Grade Choir
Progress Village Middle Magnet School of the Arts Mixed Chorus
SCAPA Bluegrass Voice Majors
Appling Middle School Honors Choir
Dr. Phinnize J. Fisher Singers
Mauldin Middle School Mustang Choir
Ralph Chandler Middle Panther Choir
Five Forks Middle School Chorus
Dolce Voices
Greensboro Day School Chorus

Chestatee Academy Chorus

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Eric Elliott
Eric Elliott is the choral director at Chestatee Academy in Gainesville, Georgia where he resides with his wife, Jana.  Mr. Elliott earned a bachelor's of music education from the University of North Georgia and is a member of the Georgia Music Educators Association and National Association for Music Education. His career as choral director has spanned nineteen years, and his choirs have participated in the GMEA In-Service Conference and in multiple festivals and competitions throughout numerous states where they have received numerous awards.  His peers voted him Chestatee Academy Teacher of the Year in 2007.

The Chestatee Academy Chorus is based in Gainesville, GA and is composed of 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students. Over the past nineteen years, the chorus has consistently received superior ratings at annual Large Group Performance Evaluations. The chorus has also won multiple awards from Heritage, Southern Star, and Carowinds Festivals of Music as well as other festivals throughout the Southeast. In addition, Chestatee Academy Chorus has a significant number of students participating each year in the George Music Educator’s Association All-State Chorus. The Chestatee Academy Chorus is proud of the high caliber students it produces.

Selah Middle School 8th Grade Choir

Sara Gross has been teaching musicians in Washington state for the last 15 years, including band and choir in the Selah School District for 11 years. Teaching alongside with her husband, Nathan Gross, the music department at Selah Middle School continually receives Superior ratings at contests and festivals. Sara has three beautiful children and enjoys spending family time outdoors in the great Pacific Northwest.

The Selah Middle School 8th grade choir, from the apple capital of the world, Selah, Washington, loves to sing and perform. Their performance calendar is full each year with concerts, contests, parades and sporting events. They received a Superior rating at their local festival and will compete later this month with choirs from Oregon, Washington and Idaho at Music In the Parks Silverwood.

Galaxy Vocal Ensemble

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Sharon K Wade
Sharon K Wade has been the Director of Choral Activities at Galaxy Middle School since its inception in 1991. She earned a BA in Music Education from Fairmont State College in West Virginia. She has pursued graduate degrees earning her Master's Degree from West Virginia University and Educational Specialist Degree from Stetson University in Central Florida. Mrs. Wade is completing her 37th year in Public Education.

Galaxy Vocal Ensemble hails from Deltona in Central Florida. Galaxy Middle School, grades six through eight, celebrated their 27th anniversary in October 2018. The chorus participates in many community events and school concerts throughout the year. For ten years, they have been invited to sing the National Anthem prior to an Orlando Magic (NBA) basketball game. GMS Vocal Ensemble consistently earns Superior ratings at MPA festival. They are truly honored and excited to return to Carnegie Hall for this prestigious event.

Markham Woods Middle School Black and Silver Singers

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Leslie Antmann
Leslie Antmann is the choral director at Markham Woods Middle School in Lake Mary, FL. For the past thirteen years, her choirs have consistently received superior ratings at performance assessments and festivals and have performed at events and venues around Central Florida, including the Walt Disney World Resort. In 2017 she was selected to serve as the Seminole County Public School Middle School Teacher of the Year. Mrs. Antmann holds degrees from both the University of Florida in Gainesville and Rollins College in Winter Park. She lives in Lake Mary with her husband, John and their two sons, Benjamin and Joshua.

The Black and Silver Singers from Markham Woods Middle School are an elite group of 7th and 8th grade musicians from Markham Woods Middle School in Lake Mary, FL. With a repertoire that ranges from art songs to show tunes, the Black and Silver Singers are wholly committed to deepening their knowledge and love for music while providing an unforgettable experience for the audience. The Black and Silver Singers perform regularly in the central Florida community, having earned Superior ratings at district and state level performing arts festivals.

Grimmer Middle School 8th Grade Choir

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Kristen Marsh
Kristen Marsh holds a Bachelors of Music Education degree from Indiana State University in Terre Haute, IN. She is currently in her 14th year of teaching choral music and handbells at Grimmer Middle School in Schererville, IN. At Grimmer, Mrs. Marsh conducts the 6th, 7th, and 8th grade choirs, the extra-curricular show choir (Crescendos), and the Handbell Choir. Along with her choral conducting, Mrs. Marsh is a faculty sponsor of the Student Council. She is married to Josh Marsh, and they have 3 beautiful daughters. This is the first time her students have had the privilege to perform for DCINY.

The 8th Grade Choir at Grimmer Middle School is composed of 45 students. The choral program at Grimmer is co-curricular and meets daily for 45 minutes. The choral ensembles at Grimmer Middle School are consistently awarded Gold Ratings at state adjudication, and have a strong retention rate for students who continue on into the high school choral program. In addition to being active members of the choir, the choral students at Grimmer participate in many clubs and extra-curricular activities. This is Grimmer Middle School’s first time participating in a DCINY production and the students are extremely excited for this opportunity.

Progress Village Middle Magnet School of the Arts Mixed Chorus

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Kristen Franzen
Kristen Franzen is the Choral and Piano Instructor at Progress Village MMSOTA where she was Teacher of the Year for 2016-2017. She has a degree in Music Education from the University of Florida and has taught musical theater, piano, and chorus in Hillsborough County, Florida for 21 years. Her students and choruses consistently receive superior ratings and are chosen for county, state, and national honor choruses. In addition to singing, she plays piano, french horn, and handbells with extensive sacred music experience. She thanks her family, Garrett, Nora, and Nolan, and parents, John and Rona Matheny, for their support.

The Progress Village MMSOTA Choral Program was established in the year 2000. Students and choruses from the program consistently earn superior ratings and are chosen for county, state, and national honor choruses. In 2018, the Progress Village Advanced Women's Chorus was named a Florida Choir of Distinction. Groups from the Choral Program perform throughout the Tampa Bay community at events large and small, this includes performances for professional sports teams and MacDill Air Force Base. Alumni of the program have gone on to earn advanced vocal performance and education degrees and are performing on stages across the world including Broadway.

SCAPA Bluegrass Voice Majors

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Amanda Lynn Wells
Amanda Lynn Wells was born and raised in Pike County, KY where she stayed very active with her school band, chorus, speech and drama team. She attended Morehead State University and gained knowledge in both instrumental and vocal music and obtained a BM and MME. Before going into the teaching profession, Amanda performed professionally in musical theater in California, North Carolina, and all around Kentucky. Amanda has worked as an elementary music teacher and choir director in New York City Public Schools, Morgan County Public Schools (KY), Rowan County Public Schools (KY), and as a middle and high school choral director in Rowan County. She has also taught in higher education at Morehead State University as an adjunct professor in the KCTM (KY Center for Traditional Music) in traditional voice and with the MSU Theater Department teaching musical theater voice and music directing their musical productions. Currently, she is the vocal director and general music teacher at SCAPA at Bluegrass. Amanda has completed Kodaly Levels I and II, and is actively involved in KOSA (KY Orff Schulwerk Association) and KES (KY Eurhythmics Society). Amanda received the KMEA District 7 Elementary Music Teacher Award in 2014 and the KMEA District 7 Middle School Teacher Award in 2016.

The School for the Creative and Performing Arts at Bluegrass (SCAPA) is a gifted and talented school in Lexington, Kentucky, serving the entire Lexington community. It is known for exceptional dramatic and musical performances, visual art exhibits, literary arts readings, and dance concerts; academic accomplishments and test scores; as well as its award-winning speech team. Home to fourth through eighth grade students, SCAPA identifies giftedness in one of nine arts areas: ballet, band, contemporary dance, literary arts, drama, piano, strings, visual art, and vocal music. The SCAPA Vocal Department performs regularly throughout the school year in our community and has received Distinguished ratings in large ensemble choral assessment, as well as in solo and small ensemble assessments each year.

Appling Middle School Honors Choir

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Thomas "Nick" Wammack
Nick Wammack is in his 15th year of Music Education and is currently in his 10th year at Appling Middle School in Bartlett, TN. His Honors Choir competes nationally each year and they consistently receive Superior ratings, including Best Overall recognitions. During the 2017-2018 school year, Mr. Wammack was selected as Teacher of the Year for Appling Middle School and was awarded the Middle School Teacher of the Year for Bartlett City Schools. Nick Wammack is an assistant director at the University of Memphis summer choir camp and also directs choirs during the Arkansas Choral Connection summer choir camp.

Mr. Wammack’s Honors’ Choir is an auditioned group composed of students from the 6th, 7th, and 8th grades. They compete nationally each year and consistently receive Superior ratings, including Best Overall recognitions. The Appling Middle School Honors Choir also competes in local area festivals where they receive Superior ratings in performance and sight-reading.

Dr. Phinnize J. Fisher Singers

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Liza Manuel
This is Ms. Manuel's 17th year teaching middle school choir in Greenville County Schools and her fourth year at Dr. Phinnize J. Fisher Middle School. She earned her BM from the University of Southern Maine in 2002 and her MA in School Leadership from Furman University in 2008. When Ms. Manuel is not at school, she enjoys traveling with her mother, competing in equestrian dressage, spending time with friends and playing with her dog.

The Phinnize J. Fisher Middle School Singers were born in 2015 a year after the STEAM school opened. The group has performed at various venues such as Dollywood, Southern Star Music Festival and Carowinds all receiving Superior Ratings and in 2017 the PJFMS Singers were awarded the Sweepstakes Award at the Southern Star Music Festival for receiving the highest score out of all choirs competing. It is an amazing honor to perform at Carnegie Hall for which we are extremely grateful!

Mauldin Middle School Mustang Choir

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Vanessa Tarter Rhodes
Vanessa Rhodes is in her 35th year teaching choral music and theatre in Greenville, SC. She is the Middle School Music Lead Teacher for Greenville County Schools. She is Director of Choral Activities at Mauldin Middle School, where she serves as Department Chair. She is also SCAMLE Entertainment Conference Chair, the former President of South Carolina Foothills Chapter-AOSA, and has served as a local Committee Chair for AOSA National Conference, 2007. She is an active member of FBC-Simpsonville Proclaim Worship Arts Ministry. She holds a BA in Music Education from Newberry College, M.Ed. from Converse College, and National Board Certification in Music for the Early Adolescent and Young Adult.

Mauldin Middle Mustang Choir is an auditioned group of 80 singers from Greenville County, South Carolina. Singers are selected for their focus, dedication, and willingness to work towards excellence, performing up to ten times per year. MMS Mustang Choir scored consecutive superior ratings at Festival Disney National Choral Competition with each visit to Disney. Mauldin Middle School singers have been invited to perform numerous times for the South Carolina Association of Middle Level Education annual conference in Myrtle Beach, SC.

Ralph Chandler Middle Panther Choir

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Holly Traynham Hill
Holly Traynham Hill, Choral Director at Ralph Chandler Middle, graduated in 1998 with a BA in Music Education from North Greenville University. She also currently serves on the board of the Music Alumni Association at North Greenville. She has been teaching for 20 years and is a member of MENC, ACDA, and the SC Middle School Association. She has had many students who have participated in the Honor’s Choir at USC, the ACDA Junior All-State Choir, and the Greenville All County Chorus. Mrs. Hill proudly served as Teacher of the Year in 2004-2005 and is a recipient of the “Who’s Who among American Teachers’ Award for 2003, 2004, and 2005. She has been at this present school for two years to start a new choral program. It now consists of 84 advanced voices and 60 beginner voices.

The Panther Choir is comprised of 84 voices. The ensemble here tonight is comprised of 18 auditioned voices for this event. They have participated in the Six Flags Music Showcase Festival (where they have received superior ratings and superior overall) community events, and the Greenville All County Chorus. Her choir served as the guest choir for a YouTube video for an upcoming and riser singer/songwriter, Shane Ericks, from Greenville County. The chorus is also the proud winners of the 2018 Overall Award from the Six Flags Music Festival. They perform at the school including PTSA programs, Veteran’s Day programs, spring musicals, and much more.

Five Forks Middle School Chorus

Chelsea Green received her Bachelor of Music in Choral Music Education with an ESOL Endorsement from Georgia Southern University. She will begin her Master of Music Education with a focus in Ethnomusicology at University of Colorado Boulder in Summer 2019. Ms. Green maintains professional memberships with the American Choral Directors Association, National Association for Music Education, Georgia Music Educators Association, North Carolina Summer Institute of Choral Art, and Professional Association of Georgia Educators. Her philosophy encourages students to embrace diverse cultures and genres by teaching music from all over the world. Ms. Green believes that music programs should be inclusive and accessible for all.

The Five Forks Middle School Chorus, Lawrenceville, GA, consists of over 300 students and is growing each school year! There are three grade level choirs at FFMS and two extra-curricular choirs open to 7th and 8th grade students by audition. Five Forks choirs consistently earn superior ratings at Large Group Performance Evaluation and gold ratings at Southern Star Competition at Six Flags over Georgia each school year. Students also attend District Honor Chorus and All-State Chorus and various other honor events throughout the Atlanta area. For the 2018-2019 school year, our extra-curricular barbershop quartet and four part women's choir are representing Five Forks chorus at DCINY.

Dolce Voices

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LeAnn Wind
LeAnn Wind has been teaching music for 27 years, and has directed the choirs at North Albany Middle School for 15 years. In her spare time, she loves performing show tunes and singing with her jazz combo. So far, the highlight of her stage career has been performing as Mary Poppins in her local community theater production. The highlight of her teaching career is seeing her students learn to love music and make it part of their lifelong journey.

Dolce Voices is the female ensemble at North Albany Middle School. One of three choirs, they perform at various festivals and events throughout Albany, Oregon. They are so excited to have been invited to sing at Carnegie Hall, and be under the direction of Russell Robinson.

Greensboro Day School Chorus

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Samantha Saake
Samantha Saake works as the Choral Director at Greensboro Day School. After receiving her BME at UNC Greensboro, she taught in Randolph County for two years and then moved to her current position. She also sings as a soprano at Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church and has sung with Bel Canto Company in Greensboro for three years.

The Greensboro Day School Chorus sings in multiple concerts throughout the year in Greensboro North Carolina. They complete in a state wide MPA and consistently score in the Excellent and Superior Categories. This group sang with DCINY in 2017 and we are happy to be back.