America's Got Talent star, Jackie Evancho, to perform with KSO in annual Sounds of the Season program
Kalamazoo, MI November 25, 2015 – For the first concert of the 2015-2016 Special Events Series, the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra presents Sounds of the Season - Christmas with Jackie Evancho. Ms. Evancho will join the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra to share the ethereal sound that so many heard for the first time when she was just ten years old. Now fifteen, Ms. Evancho has been delighting audiences around the world in countless live performances and on several albums, recorded under the Columbia Records and Sony Masterworks labels. Her strong fan base will be thrilled to hear her alongside the KSO and Kalamazoo Children’s Chorus for a program featuring holiday favorites and pieces from her most recent recordings.
“I am so excited to perform with the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra while on my tour in Michigan” states Jackie Evancho. “What a great way to spend the holidays with my friends in Southwestern Michigan!"
Bringing back a much-loved KSO tradition, children in the audience will be invited to come on stage to take part in decorating the beautiful Christmas tree with ornaments they will make prior to the concert. The decorated tree will be donated to the Bronson Children’s Hospital following the concert to help brighten up the ward for the children spending their holidays away from home.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
This season Maestro Harvey celebrates 17 years as Music Director of the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra. He previously held the top post at the Fresno Philharmonic (California), Springfield Symphony (Massachusetts), and El Paso Opera (Texas).
Maestro Harvey has appeared as guest conductor with many of America’s leading orchestras, including those of Philadelphia, Atlanta, St. Louis, Indianapolis, Buffalo, Detroit, New Orleans and Minnesota, as well as the New York Philharmonic’s Young People’s Concerts and the Boston Pops. He has also had engagements with the Maggio Musicale Orchestra of Florence, Italy, the Pusan Symphony of South Korea, and the National Symphony Orchestra of Costa Rica. He regularly performs as a pianist, both in chamber music and as pianist/conductor in works of Gershwin, Mozart, and Rachmaninoff.
In addition to his commitment to Kalamazoo, Dr. Harvey has been named an Associate Professor at the University of Houston, where he serves as Music Director of the Moores School of Music opera department. His operatic repertoire is extensive, including favorites such as Carmen, Tosca, Madama Butterfly, La Bohème, Turandot, and Aïda; as well as the more rarely performed The Consul, The Rape of Lucretia, and Samson and Delilah.
The Kalamazoo community continues to embrace Raymond Harvey through appreciation of his compelling performances and engaging lectures.
Ms. Evancho, a Pittsburgh native, began her music career when her stunning voice earned her the runner-up spot on America’s Got Talent, when she was just ten years old. Jackie’s first performance on America’s Got Talent left audiences and judges astonished that such a perfect, beautiful, soprano voice could come from a 10 year-old girl. During her next appearance in the competition, judges asked Jackie to improvise a tune which she performed flawlessly. It wasn’t just her musical gift and her age that floored the “America’s Got Talent” audience, but Jackie’s presence, poise and charm that truly made them take notice. One of the show’s judges, Piers Morgan, explained, “You’ve got the whole package.”
Since her appearance on the show, Jackie has been able to break through being typecast as “reality show singer” and has established herself as a legitimate force within the classical crossover genre. Billboard Magazine named Jackie to their list of music movers-and-shakers under the age of 21 in 2011 because the soprano’s “spellbinding, operatic vocals possess a power and poignancy that often moves listeners multiple times her age to tears.”
Jackie’s debut EP with Columbia Records, O Holy Night (November 2010), became the year's #1 best-selling debut. In June 2011, Jackie released her first studio album, Dream With Me. A mix of operatic arias, show tunes, and pop standards. Heavenly Christmas (November 2011) became one of the top-selling holiday albums of the year.
Jackie has participated in many high profile events including the Oprah finale spectacular, the lighting of the National Christmas Tree in Washington, D.C., the National Prayer Breakfast, and the opening of the 2012 St. Petersburg Economic Forum. Jackie’s fan base also extends to Japan, where she was invited to perform for the Royal Family at the Imperial Palace and toured regularly with the Tokyo Philharmonic to sold out venues.
In 2012, she appeared in the Great Performances series on PBS in Jackie Evancho: Music of the Movies which features Jackie singing classic songs from movies. Jackie released her third studio album, following this performance, “Songs From The Silver Screen” (October, 2012). In March 2013 Jackie performed as part of an unprecedented Cirque du Soleil extravaganza at the Bellagio’s “O” Theatre to support “One Night for One Drop” on World Water Day.
After parting ways with Columbia Records Jackie found a home with Sony Masterworks and released her third studio album in July of 2014 and like her other albums before, “Awakening” too debuted at #1 on Billboard’s classical charts. And the journey continues…
Fred Sang is the Artistic Director of the Kalamazoo Children’s Chorus and Director for the Touring Choir. Mr. Sang received his undergraduate and graduate training at Western Michigan University. Mr. Sang retired from Portage Public Schools after thirty-two years of teaching. During those thirty-two years he taught in London, England; Constantine, Hartford, Paw Paw, and Portage, Michigan. His public school choirs received consistent Superior ratings at District and State Choral Festivals. His students have recognized Mr. Sang by nominating him to Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers nine times.
Mr. Sang is an active clinician and adjudicator for Michigan School Vocal Music Association and under their auspices began a mentor program for new and emerging choral directors in the public schools of Michigan. He was elected by his colleagues around the state to be the SSA Middle School State Honors Choir Director in 2012. He is also active as a mentor for teachers and maintains an active schedule visiting classrooms in the public schools. Mr. Sang continues to act as a consultant for and advocate of choral music in the public schools. He is also a member of the American Choral Directors Association and Chorus America. He is the recipient of the Greater Kalamazoo Arts Council Arts Leadership award for 2015.
Kalamazoo Children’s Chorus
The Kalamazoo Children’s Chorus has been providing outstanding choral music to our community for over 34 years. Starting as a single choir in 1980, the Kalamazoo Children’s Chorus is now five choirs strong and KCC students range from 3rd grade to 12th grade. Each year about 200 children, ages 8 to 18, learn and perform in an atmosphere of artistic excellence, and by so doing, enrich the artistic life of our community.
The Touring Choir is thrilled to be singing with KSO at Miller Auditorium in Sounds of the Season, Christmas with Jackie Evancho on December 19, 2015. On April 2, 2016, they will perform again with KSO in KSO @ the Movies, Disney - Alice in Wonderland. The Touring Choir is KCC’s most experienced choir, made up of an auditioned ensemble of middle and high school children under the artistic direction of Fred Sang.
The Touring Choir has collaborated with every major musical organization in Kalamazoo and has sung with many artists who visit Kalamazoo to perform at Miller Auditorium and other venues. Over the years they have also shared the stage with: Numazu Boys and Girls Choir (Japan), Bloemfontein Children’s Choir (South Africa), St. Mary’s Children’s Chorus (Canada) and The Young People’s Chorus of New York City (America). Singing a varied repertoire of sacred and secular music, the Touring Choir has sung throughout Europe, the United States, Canada and Japan. In 2013 they performed in Rome, Florence, Mezza Villa, and in Venice at the Bacillica of St. Mark’s. Auditions are held by appointment on the last two Saturday's in April 2016 or by e-mailing Artistic Director, Fred Sang, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Touring Choir of the Kalamazoo Children’s Chorus thanks the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra and Maestro Raymond Harvey for the opportunity to create inspiring music together in the 2015-2016 season.
Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra presents
Special Events Series
Sounds of the Season - Christmas with Jackie Evancho
Raymond Harvey, Conductor
Jackie Evancho, Soprano
Kalamazoo Children’s Chorus, directed by Fred Sang
Join us for an unforgettable evening; all your holiday favorites in a program featuring your KSO with soprano, Jackie Evancho, and the Kalamazoo Children’s Chorus. This event is sure to keep you and your family in the holiday spirit.
Saturday, December 19, 2015
Tickets: $60 - $24
For tickets, visit www.kalamazoosymphony.com or call the Miller Auditorium Ticket Office at (269) 387-2300.
Visit www.kalamazoosymphony.com for up-to-date information, details and schedules. Prices, artists, dates, time and program are subject to change without notice.
The Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra receives major support from the Irving S. Gilmore Foundation, the Kalamazoo Community Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs. The Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra also receives generous support from other local, state and national foundations, as well as private and corporate support. For more information, visit www.kalamazoosymphony.com.
About the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra
Founded in 1921, the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra is Southwest Michigan’s premier musical organization, providing musical enrichment to over 80,000 adults and youth per year. The third-largest professional orchestra in the state, the KSO has won numerous awards and grants, including the Met Life Award for Arts Access in Underserved Communities, the National Endowment for the Arts for its extensive education programs, and a major Ford Foundation grant to found its innovative Artist-in-Residence program.