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CSA Children’s Choir primes for guest residency of Emily Ellsworth, director of Anima singers

April 11, 2012
Emily Ellsworth

Emily Ellsworth

The NIU Community School of the Arts will welcome a guest residency with Emily Ellsworth, choir director of the world-famous children’s choir Anima in Glen Ellyn.

Two free events featuring Ellsworth are open to the public and are scheduled in Room 171 of the NIU Music Building.

  • Wednesday, April 18. Ellsworth is the guest conductor for the CSA Children’s Choir’s rehearsal from 4:30 to 7 p.m. She will demonstrate and talk about conducting a children’s choir.
  • Saturday, April 21. The CSA Children’s Choir hosts a free workshop, “Working with Young Voices,” featuring Ellsworth’s views on vocal technique, repertoire and rehearsal strategies. Topics of the workshop, scheduled from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., include the conductor’s impact on choral tone and a set of demonstration warm-ups and repertoire work with the children’s choir.

Both events are open to the general public, though they will be of special interest to those who work with children’s voices. Four CPDU credits are available to teachers who attend the entire workshop,

Ellsworth is an engaging and experienced teacher and conductor whose choirs have sung all over the world. She has an international reputation as one of the leading pedagogues in choral music, and her knowledge and experiences will be shared with attendees in a participatory format.

Leading by example, she mentors hundreds of conductors through her work.

Community School of the Arts: CSA Children's ChoirThe CSA Children’s Choir is directed by Mary Lynn Doherty, who is on the music faculty at NIU. She has many years’ experience as a children’s choral conductor.

Funding for the Ellsworth residency has been provided to the NIU Community School of the Arts by the National Endowment for the Arts.

Other local arts activities funded by the NEA this spring:

  • Composer Tim Blickhan, professor emeritus of the NIU School of Music, was commissioned to compose a piece for the CSA Children’s Choir. The piece is currently in rehearsal and will be premiered Wednesday, May 9, at the choir concert.
  • Cellist Amy Barston and violinist Elisa Barston, who joined forces for a three-day residency in DeKalb earlier this month for a series of recitals, master classes, and presentations. Those included presentations at area public schools, workshops for the community school’s’ string students and area Suzuki students, and a performance of Brahms’ Double Concerto for Violin and Cello with the Kishwaukee Symphony Orchestra. The Kishwaukee Symphony Orchestra co-sponsored the Barston sisters’ residency.
  • Anthony Devroye, violist with the Avalon Quartet, resident quartet at NIU, provided a sectional rehearsal for members of CSA Sinfonia and performs Bruch’s Romance for Viola and Orchestra with the orchestra Wednesday, May 2.

The community school was invited to apply for the grant which was awarded through the NEA’s Arts Education in American Communities program. The aim is to extend and expand arts education throughout the United States.

The NIU Community School of the Arts offers lessons, classes and ensembles to people of all ages in the northern Illinois area. Teachers are area artists and NIU students and faculty.

For more information about the community school, call (815) 753-1450.