CSA Children’s Choir to debut new work May 15

Lee Kesselman

Lee Kesselman

The CSA Children’s Choir performs an original work composed for the group at the spring concert Wednesday, May 15.

The concert begins at 7 p.m. in the Recital Hall in the Music Building at Northern Illinois University. It is free and open to the public.

The commissioned work is called “I’m Nobody. Who are you?” and is based on a poem by Emily Dickinson. It was made possible by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts as part of the Arts Education in American Communities program.

Composer Lee Kesselman describes the Dickinson poem as full of childlike playfulness, spurts of verbal energy, quirky punctuation, and quick turns of thoughts. He notes that Dickinson’s poem is dramatic in a private way, like a miniature play in one’s own room.

Kesselman has been director of choral activities at College of DuPage since 1981. Conductor, pianist, teacher and award-winning composer, he founded and directs the New Classic Singers. A member of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, Kesselman’s compositions have been widely published and can be found at Kesselman Press.

Mary Lynn Doherty

Mary Lynn Doherty

The choir has 27 members ranging in age from seven to 15 and was founded by NIU faculty member Mary Lynn Doherty in 2008 to provide area children with the opportunity to develop their musical skills through the study and performance of high quality choral music. The choir performs at least three times a year on the NIU campus, as well as in collaborations with local and regional organizations. The singers perform a variety of music and build vocal technique and musicianship in weekly rehearsals on the NIU campus.

The choir meets on Wednesdays from 4:30 to 6 p.m. through the fall and spring semesters. Placement auditions are required for all those interested in joining the group and will be scheduled in early September for the 2013-2014 choir.

This year’s NEA grant to the NIU Community School of the Arts also funded the Susan Reed Concert for the Suzuki Workshop in November 2012 and the William and Catherine Hudgins Residency for Clarinet Cornucopia in March.

For a listing of all the community school’s recitals and concerts this spring or for more information about the choir and other arts programs for children and adults offered by the NIU Community School of the Arts, call (815) 753-1450.

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