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Palatine Children's Chorus Hosts Welcome Nights on August 20 and 22.

Byline: Palatine Park District

Palatine Children's Chorus (PCC) will offer free Welcome Nights on Monday, August 20 and Wednesday, August 22, 6:30pm at the Palatine Park District Community Center, 250 E. Wood Street. PCC welcomes all children ages 4-18 who love to sing! Beginning its 32nd season in September, singers from throughout the northwest suburbs enjoy a variety of musical experiences in the Sing with Me (ages 4-5), Do Re Mi (ages 6-7), Treble (ages 8 and over), Intermezzo, Concert, and Honors Choirs.

PCC nurtures children's voices, introduces all age groups to a variety of music, and offers each level appropriate and safe vocal instruction and music education. The Chorus' traveling choirs have performed around the world, including Hawaii, Montreal, England, Austria, Venice, Spain, Ireland, and New York City. Additionally, the choirs performed for the Chicago Cubs, White Sox, Joffrey Ballet, and at the Illinois State Fair. All choirs perform at the holiday concerts at Cutting Hall Performing Arts Center on Saturday, December 8 and help the Mayor of Palatine light the Christmas Tree in Towne Square.

New this season, Stevee Bellas takes on the role of Artistic Director. "I was lucky enough to join the Palatine Children's Chorus(PCC) staff in 2016 as Assistant Artistic Director," Bellas said. "Additionally, I was a PCC singer for 10 years before college. I feel very lucky to have the perspective of a former singer, and that of already being a staff member. PCC has a long tradition of musical excellence that I hope to continue and expand upon," she added. "I hope to foster a love for singing and performing in every student that carries them to be musicians, patrons of musical experiences, and consumers of all sorts of music for the rest of their life. I have seen so much growth in the program since I started, and am always impressed by the dedication of the singers, and their eagerness to learn."

Bellas hopes to expand PCC, both its size, and community reach. "I believe that as musicians, it is our duty to share our gifts with our community to share in our joy," Bellas said. "I hope to serve all parts of our community through our performances, and to show our singers how important being a part of a community group like ours is."

The purpose of the Welcome Nights is to recruit new singers and teach them about the Palatine Children's Chorus. A short presentation is given and each child has an opportunity to sing and determine the best choir placement. No experience is needed to join a choir. "At PCC we believe that every child can sing," Bellas said. "This is something that is very important to me about our program. We will always include every child who is interested in our programming, regardless of their age, ability, or experience. We have choirs at five different levels, so there is truly something for everyone," she added.

Choirs are available for the following groups:

* Sing With Me u This introductory music class caters to children 4 -5 years. Teaching is done through musical games and movement.

* Do Re Mi Choir u Children ages 6 -7 develop a solid music foundation covering concepts such as rhythm and beat, matching pitch, and producing an age-appropriate unison tone.

* Treble Choir u Singers practice unison and simple two-part singing, learn basic music theory, and develop their skills for sight singing.

* Intermezzo Choir u For singers who are familiar with music either from private instrumental lessons, school, or Treble Choir.

* Concert Choir u Singers who demonstrate their maturity, commitment, extended musical knowledge and vocal development are ready for Concert Choir, which is a touring choir. In addition to the seasonal concerts, this choir performs many times throughout the year at a wide variety of venues. In addition, Concert Choir singers travel on tours that typically take place every other year. The 2018 tour was to Disney World in Florida. Singers performed in the theme park and participated in Disney vocal clinics.

* Honors Choir u Members of Honors Choir are part of Concert Choir but also learn their own challenging repertoire. These are the most accomplished, dedicated musicians.

Although all choirs meet separately, all the groups are intertwined. In the lower level choirs, older students volunteer their time as helpers. "These students serve as a great help to the instructors, but most importantly model good rehearsal behavior and singing technique to the younger singers," Bellas said. "Our younger singers love singing with the big kids, and it is an important part of the inner workings of our program. There is something really magical about coming to a concert and watching the broad spectrum of progression between all of our choirs from ages 6-18. I think that the progression beautifully defines what a community choir is about. We bring together kids of all ages, from all over the surrounding areas, and make something really incredible together."

Assisting Bellas, Crystalyn Boyer is excited to begin her first year as the Assistant Artistic Director. Previously, she was the accompanist for PCC's Do Re Mi and Treble Choir for three years. As Assistant Artistic Director, Boyer will direct the Do Re Mi and Treble Choirs, and assist with Intermezzo, Concert, and Honors choirs as needed. "I am so excited to work with Crystalyn, who brings excellent experience and musical expertise to the staff," Bellas said.

Managing Director of the PCC is Melissa Schlesinger. Her role is to communicate with singers and families, and coordinate performances, programs, and uniforms. "She brings a great energy to our staff and is incredibly helpful with anything we could possibly need," Bellas said. Sue Love is the Tour and Finance Director. "Sue works tirelessly to plan all of our exciting summer tours, helps us fundraise, and coordinates all things financial," Bellas added.

Established in 2017, Palatine Children's Chorus Association is a choral arts volunteer organization associated with the Palatine Children's Chorus. It is a non-profit organization through which parents, friends, PCC alumni and community members can support Palatine Children's Chorus.

For more information on Palatine Children's Chorus, visit the chorus website at or contact Cultural Arts Coordinator Ashley Schiavone at 847.496.6237 or aschiavone
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Publication:Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)
Date:Aug 18, 2018
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