Meeting with Ajay Raju…

 …while he deals with a tie emergency at Boyds

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Nice place. Is it new?

I thought Macy’s is where you go for ties.

Perhaps more of a non profit kinda tie place.

WORLD PREMIERE OF NEW AMERICAN MUSICAL ON 150TH ANNIVERSARY OF CIVIL WAR’S END TO BENEFIT LOCAL YOUTH ARTS PROGRAMS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact Mariangela Saavedra, msaavedra@cychoirs.org, 215.849.1762

WORLD PREMIERE OF NEW AMERICAN MUSICAL ON 150TH ANNIVERSARY OF CIVIL WAR’S END TO BENEFIT LOCAL YOUTH ARTS PROGRAMS

Mother B!(Philadelphia – March 13, 2015) 150 years ago, on April 9, 1865, Generals Grant and Lee met at the Appomattox Court House to end the Civil War. On April 9, 2015, Mother B!, a “new old-fashioned American musical,” written in honor of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, will premiere at the Upper Darby Performing Arts Center (UDPAC) in concert version. The event will star Walnut Street Theatre favorite Denise Whelan, include a cast of 16 Philadelphia actors, and feature 200 singers from the Pennsylvania Girlchoir and the Keystone State Boychoir.

Appomattox - April 9, 1865

Appomattox – April 9, 1865

Written by Philadelphia native Steven Fisher, Mother B! celebrates the remarkable story of Mary Ann Bickerdyke, aka “Mother B.” Remembered as “the Florence Nightingale of the Civil War,” Mother B’s indefatigable service earned her the profound respect of President Lincoln and General Grant, and the gratitude of the entire Union army. She witnessed over 19 battles and set up over 300 field hospitals with innovative approaches to hygiene and soldier care that helped bring medicine out of the dark ages. In doing so, she saved the lives of thousands of soldiers.

Mary Ann Bickerdyke (Mother B)

Mary Ann Bickerdyke (Mother B)

The musical revolves around Mother B’s friendship with “Little Albert,” a character inspired by the real-life Private Albert Cashier. Cashier was a tremendously brave, hard-fighting soldier who also had a secret: “he” was actually a “she.”  Born Jennie Hodgers, Private Cashier is the only documented female known to have fought the entire Civil War without being found out by authorities during the conflict. In the musical, Mother B discovers Little Albert and helps keep his secret safe. After the war, Albert’s secret is revealed. When the Illinois Soldier’s Home tries to deny him his rights as a veteran, Mother B takes up his cause.

Featuring a rousing, toe-tapping score in the style of the Golden Age musicals of the 1940s and a story that will make you smile, cry and cheer, Mother B! will transport the audience to an epic time that still fascinates, captivates and haunts us to this day. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Pennsylvania Girlchoir and the Keystone State Boychoir, as well as the Upper Darby Performing Arts Center.

Terry and Amy Nolen are honorary co-chairs of the event. They, along with Fisher (and actor/writer Tina Fey) are alumni of the award-winning youth theatre program Summer Stage, which is in residence at UDPAC. The Nolens went on to found one of the country’s most successful regional theatres, the Arden Theatre. Fisher went on to co-found Commonwealth Youthchoirs*. The organization serves over 600 young singers in four different programs, including the Boychoir and Girlchoir.

Fisher’s other musical works include Mandela, which has been developed in New York and in Johannesburg, and will receive a workshop later in 2015 starring Tony-nominee Norm Lewis. His family musical Isabelle and the Pretty-Ugly Spell received a rave review from the New York Times during its New York run and has enjoyed productions around the country.

For Mother B! tickets visit CYChoirs.org/UDPACtickets or call 610-622-1189.

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publication quality images of the Mother B! logo, Denise Whelan, a Civil War era photo of Mother B (source: National Park Service), and a photo of the choirs in concert can be downloaded in a single zip file: http://cychoirs.org/images/MotherBGraphics.zip

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*Commonwealth Youthchoirs (CY) nurtures in young people a profound love of singing with four different programs: Pennsylvania Girlchoir, Keystone State Boychoir, Good Mornin’ Music! and Find Your Instrument! Drawing from more than 125 schools, over 600 children from Philadelphia, Bucks, Chester, Delaware and Montgomery Counties and beyond are involved in CY programs. For more information, visit www.cychoirs.org.

KSB remembers Selma

Selma

On the 50th Anniversary of Selma, KSB remembers all those who who have fallen along the way to making MLK’s dream a reality. May they inspire all of us to get up, every day – in our own way – and keep walking until his dream is fully realized. On that day, all people – everywhere – will be judged only by the content of their character.

How do you get on MSNBC? Sing in KSB!

All In With Chris Hayes, Nic Hanson and KSB!

KSB’s very own Nic Hanson was featured on MSNBC show tonight, along with his percussion teacher and fellow percussionists! As in NATIONAL television. Chris Hayes commented that Nic had truly “shredded the vocals”.  Kudos Nic! KSB is proud of you! You obviously did your ta ti-ing!

Breaking News: PICFest II for Towne & Grads is ON and will be AWESOME!!!

Pacific Ocean along Highway 1

PICFest II for Towne and Grads is ON!  

After completing my pre trip I’ve decided this will be TOO AWESOME to miss!

This mini tour will include:

-amazing music making with boys and young men from around the country

-a chance to sing under the conductor of the American Boychoir

-a “Nike tour,” including an opportunity to run on the track of the Olympic trials

-a trip to the Pacific Ocean and along the famed Highway 1

-free time in the most awesome city of Portland, Oregon

Confirmed dates: Sunday, July 5th to Monday, July 13th. (note change)

There are still some spots for Towne and Grad members who are not yet signed up to go. Contact Ms. Donahue immediately if interested. They won’t last long!

 

Eugene – Spiritual home of Nike!

If you’re a track and field guy, you should know that the University of Oregon in Eugene is where Nike began. Also, the University of Oregon is the sight of the Olympic trials every four years.   Today, Nike headquarters is in Beaverton, Oregon, which is between Portland (where we fly into) and Eugene (two hours south of Portland). So my hope is that part of the PICFest adventure will be a way cool Nike “tour.”

Hello from Eugene, Oregon, home of PICC Fest!

Eugene, Oregon

Eugene, Oregon

Let’s get a few things straight first. Locals pronounce Eugene with emphasis on the second syllable. It’s euGENE. Not EUgene. On the OTHER hand, locals pronounce Oregon with the emphasis on the first syllabe. ORegon. Not oreGON.

Eugene is a very cool town – home of the University of Oregon. Today I meet with Peter Robb, Artistic Director of the PICC Fest – Pacific International Children’s Choral Festival. I will learn more about the wonderful experience members of our Concert Choir will have from June 23rd to June 30th.

I’ll also be exploring further the possibility of some of our Towne Choir and Graduate Choir members participating in PICC Fest II in July.

More later…

Eugene – Spiritual home of Nike!

If you’re a track and field guy, you should know that the University of Oregon in Eugene is where Nike began. Also, the University of Oregon is the sight of the Olympic trials every four years.   Today, Nike headquarters is in Beaverton, Oregon, which is between Portland (where we fly into) and Eugene (two hours south of Portland). So my hope is that part of the PICFest adventure will be a way cool Nike “tour.”

Hello from Eugene, Oregon – home of PICC Fest!

Eugene, Oregon

  Eugene, Oregon

Let’s get a few things straight first. Locals pronounce Eugene with emphasis on the second syllable. It’s euGENE. Not EUgene. On the OTHER hand, locals pronounce Oregon with the emphasis on the first syllabe. ORegon. Not oreGON.

Eugene is a very cool town – home of the University of Oregon. Today I meet with Peter Robb, Artistic Director of the PICC Fest – Pacific International Children’s Choral Festival. I will learn more about the wonderful experience members of our Concert Choir will have from June 23rd to June 30th.

I’ll also be exploring further the possibility of some of our Towne Choir and Graduate Choir members participating in PICC Fest II in July.

More later…

 

Return to Antarctica!

It is set! On Christmas Eve 2015 the Keystone State Boychoir will make its triumphant return to Antarctica. KSB made history in 2009 as the first choir in history to travel to and perform in Antarctica. The boys sang at the Chilean Christmas Party with several other countries’ scientists and their families in attendance. It was a surreal experience for all. On our return trip, we will bring a harp and harpist along and perform Benjamin Britten’s Ceremony of Carols. This will be another historic first – serious music in Antarctica. Below are a few photo highlights of our first trip, but none of the boys pelting me with snowballs. Uncool! No, very cool. (Get it. “Cool.” As in Antarctica is cold “cool.”)

gallery 2-0285 (1) gallery 2-0344 gallery 2-0348 gallery 2-1521 gallery 3-2959 anne-0180