What's New at Highbridge Voices?
a study in excellence
Highbridge Voices held their most important fundraising event of the year, the 2012 Benefit Concert, on Thursday, May 31st at Merkin Concert Hall at Kaufman Center on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. A new location for the event this year, the 449-seat hall has long been a favorite with performers and audiences alike for its wonderful acoustics, intimate feel, and beautiful newly renovated interior.
Before the concert began, guests enjoyed a cocktail hour catered by Seasons catering, which was followed by an exciting and musically diverse performance by the Highbridge Voices Concert and Chamber choirs.
Highbridge Voices at Merkin Concert Hall at the Kaufman Center
The concert began with a set of selections from the Broadway stage including Sieze the Day from Newsies, The Kite from You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, I Won’t Grow Up from Peter Pan and Children Will Listen from Sondheim’s iconic Into the Woods. Each of these selections featured lyrics about children or childhood.
The Motown set
was an huge hit!!!
After a rousing response from those in attendance, the Chamber Choir took the stage to showcase some of the selections that they had recently performed on tour in Canada and at the United States Supreme Court in Washington, D.C. La Borinqueña started off the Chamber Choir’s set of foreign language songs and featured soloist Kenyette Belle. Three French songs followed including the quick and precise Il est bel et bon, the beautifully flowing Caresse sur l’océan with soloists Sadia Perez and River Johnson, and lastly, Ah, si mon moine voulait danser, a traditional Québécois folksong.
The ladies of the chorus Chamber Choir sings selections
show unwavering focus from French-speaking Canada.
The last set of the evening showcased selections from Motown. The ladies of the chorus first took the stage to back up soloist Kiara Perez in a choreographed performance of Please Mr. Postman. Not to be outdone, the boys ran onstage following the ladies’ exit to offer an high-energy, choreographed performance of the Four Tops’ hit Reach Out, I’ll Be There which featured dancers Kareem Chapman, John Cortez, and Ryan Figueroa with Diante Johnson as both soloist and dancer. Finally, to end an amazing evening of music, the whole choir united once again to perform two hits originally performed by the Jackson 5; ABC and I Want You Back, both featuring River Johnson as soloist with Kenyette Belle, Ajani Carter, Alvaro Gonzalez, and Kevon Turnbull filling out the rest of the quintet as dancers.
Ms. Clementi thanks all those in attendance.
The 2012 Benefit Concert marked the achievement of a milestone for the students of Highbridge Voices. Highbridge Voices gave one of their most polished performances to date, offering an adoring audience a first-hand example of excellence through music.
Party is a smashing
Saturday, February 11th was a great afternoon for more than eighty-five Highbridge Voices students and their siblings to enjoy food, drinks, dancing, video games, and a great DJ during the 2012 Highbridge Voices Valentine’s Day Party. This year's Valentine’s Day Party was our best attended yet, and what better way to make it through that last week of school before mid-winter break than to spend an amazing Saturday with your Highbridge Voices friends on a perfect February day?
A great day for friends to get together. Chamber Choir friends look forward
to the arrival of spring.
In what has now become something of a tradition at Highbridge Voices, every student in attendance was also offered the opportunity to place their own hand print on the longest wall of Rehearsal Hall Two. By the end of the party, over 100 hands that were painted to mirror the colors of the gathering area covered the long white wall of the room that houses the Music Styles and Literature classes and Chamber Choir's Wednesday and Friday afternoon rehearsals. It remains great fun for the students to see their own hand print as part of the decorations at the Highbridge Voices facility on Merriam Avenue.
Katherine gets ready to put Orlando and Cristian are
mark on Highbridge Voices.eager to get their chance.
Karizma, Stephanie, Franshelly, and It was a beautiful, sunny day in
Samaira enjoy the party together. February to be outside!!!
After three and an half hours of dancing, eating, and playing, everyone agreed that the 2012 Highbridge Voices Valentine’s Day Party was a big success, and we were thrilled to see so many of our students celebrating Valentine’s Day with us. So, now it is only one week before mid-winter break which will usher in an amazing spring at Highbridge Voices. Be sure to check back frequently to learn about our upcoming events.
A dance contest drawsGreat weather and great friends
particular attention. made for the perfect day.
Lee Bennett says, "Thanks for coming!!!"
The Fall 2011
Semester Ends with a
and a Well-deserved
The Highbridge Voices Concert Choir brought its Fall 2011 semester to a close with the annual Highbridge Voices Winter Concert at Sacred Heart Church located in the heart of the Highbridge community.
With an audience that rivaled the size of any that Highbridge Voices has had in the past, the Concert and Chamber Choirs delighted their friends and family with musical selections ranging from German Lieder to holiday favorites. Under the direction of Music Director Mary Clementi, the 2011 Winter Concert also featured a debut solo by Michael Rondon, Jr. in Bach's Bist Du Bei Mir and an inspired Djembe accompaniment by long-time Highbridge Voices student Pablo Quezada during the Chamber Choir's performance of African Noel. The final selection of the evening was particularly impressive as the choirs split into six parts to perform Hope for Resolution: A song for Mandela and de Klerk which brought down the house.
The choir enjoys a celebration. The holidays are a great time for
After the performance had come to a close and the audience had left the church, Highbridge Voices students knew that their semester was not quite over. The next day all Highbridge Voices students, and their brothers and sisters, were invited to to attend the annual Holiday Party hosted in the Highbridge Voices rehearsal hall.
Hilary channels her inner Taylor The Electric Slide has everyone
Swift during karaoke.joining the fun.
Sadia and Naomi enjoy the warm weather. New members and older ones dance the
Beginning at twelve noon, the holiday party soon got into full swing. Taking advantage of the unseasonably warm weather, choir members spent their time both playing outside and dancing inside. And if dancing and playing outside weren't enough, of course there was karaoke, plenty of food and drink, and an annual Highbridge Voices holiday tradition; the holiday ice cream bar!!!
The fall 2011 semester was a tremendous success, and it is clear that the choir is excited to ring in the new year with more great music, great grades, and great fun. With all that was accomplished, Highbridge Voices leaves this year proud of its students, thankful for its supporters, and excited about the future.
After a karaoke success, these Great weather, great friends,
four girls are all smiles. and a great game.
Nothing says the holidays like the annual ice cream bar!!!
Most New Yorkers were unpleasantly surprised by the unexpected "winter wonderland" that greeted them on Saturday morning, but for the students of Highbridge Voices it added to the excitement and adventure of the annual Highbridge Voices Halloween party.
Singing ghosts, goblins, and super heroes spent the afternoon dancing, eating and bobbing for apples, while a Nor'easter roared. Despite the inclement weather, Mr. Rivera and Mr. Casolari grilled (yes, grilled) hot-dogs and hamburgers outside, much to the amusement and enjoyment of the students and staff. This may very well have been the best Highbridge Voices Halloween Party yet.
Here are some photos from the party:
Rhushawn sports his new vampire makeup. Halloween is always more fun with friends
Bobbing for apples is serious business. Waiting for an amazing makeup job.
Student interns dig for Anesha enjoys the
well-buried gummy worms. sweet taste of victory
Students dance away the afternoon. Mr. C. and Mr. Rivera hard at work.
King is convinced that this is the best party yet.
Begins Their Fall 2011
Semester with Auditions at
New Student Auditions
Highbridge Voices will be holding its annual fall auditions in a number of local schools in the Highbridge community. All interested fourth and fifth graders that either attend school or live in the South Bronx community of Highbridge are invited to audition.
Highbridge Voices staff will be visiting the classrooms of participating schools to give students a more in-depth description of our programs and to answer any questions that the students may have. At these presentations, students will be invited to take a permission slip home to their parent or guardian that, when signed, grants that student permission to audition for Highbridge Voices when the staff returns to their school on their specified audition day.
Highbridge Voices' auditions are relatively short in length and are intended to gauge a child's true interest in the program, their ability to follow directions, and their natural talent in pitch matching, rhythm, and overall singing. If selected by Highbridge Voices, their name will be submitted to a school administrator to review their academic standing and evaluate whether the Highbridge Voices musical and academic programs would be a good and long-term fit for the selected student.
All students who have auditioned will receive written notification of the result of their audition/interview within two weeks. If accepted, they will be asked to bring an adult representative from their family to a meeting at Highbridge Voices to enroll the accepted student in the program. If students are not selected in this semester's auditions, they are strongly encouraged to reaudition when Highbridge Voices holds auditions at their school again.
The Fall 2011 Presentation/Audition Schedule:
Tuesday, September 13th
PS 11 Presentations
Wednesday, September 14th
PS 204 Presentations
PS 11 Auditions
Bronx Academy of Promise Presentations
Saturday, September 17th
10:00AM to 1:00PM
Auditions at Highbridge Voices
1360 Merriam Avenue at 170th Street
(All Ages Welcome)
Monday, September 19th
PS 204 Auditions
PS 199 Auditions
Tuesday, September 20th
PS 126 Presentations
PS 73 Presentations
Bronx Academy of Promise Auditions
Thursday, September 22nd
PS 73 Auditions
Highbridge Voices is an amazing academic, musical, and social experience for its participants. We look forward to seeing you at our presentations in your school and hearing you at an upcoming audition.
Information for Returning Students
The Highbridge Voices programs will resume with the annual Parent Meeting for all returning students on September 23rd at 6:30PM. This meeting, for both Highbridge Voices students and an adult representative from their family, is an opportunity for families to register their children in the program and for Highbridge Voices to share some upcoming events and exciting changes that have happened within the program since the end of last semester.
Following the parent meeting, Highbridge Voices classes and tutoring/homework will resume on Tuesday, September 27th at 3:15PM with Concert Choir rehearsal beginning on Wednesday, September 28th at 3:15PM.
We look forward to seeing all of our returning students again, so don't forget about the meeting on September 23rd at 6:30PM, and we'll see each of you at classes on September 27th for the beginning of an amazing new semester!
"Oh Say Can You See..."
On a warm, early summer evening with perfect weather, a late-setting sun and more than 46,000 Yankee and Brewers fans in attendance, the Highbridge Voices Chamber Choir sent their soaring voices aloft as they offered their rendition of the National Anthem at Yankee Stadium.
“This was an once-in-a-lifetime experience…I’ll never forget it…” said Pablo Quezada, 13, a member of the Chamber Choir for two years.
June 29, 2011 marked the choir’s debut performance in the new Yankee Stadium, just ten blocks from their Merriam Avenue home. In the performance, the Chamber Choir, led by Highbridge Voices Executive Director Bruno Casolari, was accompanied by members of the Bronx Brass Ensemble. “This arrangement was written specifically for our choir to showcase some of their amazing vocal abilities; like tight three part harmonies and soaring high notes,” said Casolari.
The choir first recorded their rendition of The Star-Spangled Banner in early May and spent the following month perfecting their performance in preparation for their Yankee Stadium debut. At the sound check earlier in the day, as the choristers first began to sing, there were looks of astonishment on their young faces as they heard their voices echoing through the cavernous space that is Yankee Stadium. But their wonder soon turned into a performance as they remembered some of the instructions provided by the voice faculty as they were preparing their students for their debut - don’t listen to the echo, focus on your singing, listen to each other and you’ll be fine – they certainly were.
“This was a great moment for the Highbridge community. We can all be very proud of Highbridge Voices and all our kids have accomplished” said Jim Dineen, a Highbridge Voices Trustee in attendance at the game. That sentiment was felt by all of the young singers who graced the field that evening, as well as the more than 200 family members and Highbridge Voices students who were also in attendance.
Last updated on 14 June 2012