Benicia, CA (PRWEB) April 18, 2007
VOENA presents the “Voices of Many Lands” tour, celebrating the joyous songs of spring where favorites such as “You Raise Me Up” and “Prayer of The Children” are originally performed in a splash of color. This is a rare opportunity to see this well-known children’s choir in the intimate setting of Community Congregational Church. Concert proceeds will benefit The Heifer Project.
Presented in a style the director Annabelle Marie calls, “physical singing,” VOENA returns to Benicia after an astounding year that took them from the World Expo in Japan — where they dazzled international audiences — to their magical performance at the 2005 Pageant of Peace at the White House. VOENA, representing up to 35 cultures, with 100+ voices ranging in age from 6 to 18, achieves rich and inventive a cappella vocal arrangements by using multiple percussion instruments, dance and theatrical elements. VOENA will take you on a magical journey celebrating the many cultures around the world and recognizing that the true spirit of unity is understood in any language.
While the VOENA story is remarkable enough — the talent, passion and vision of Founder and Director Annabelle Marie is truly extraordinary. In 1994, a friend suggested that she involve her two children in a concert she was preparing at Cal State Hayward. Inspired by the suggestion, she decided to “involve a lot of kids.” She advertised a free children’s concert and held auditions at area schools and throughout the city. The event was successful and parents were so enthusiastic, that Annabelle agreed to continue the choir, which has grown steadily — a testament to her dedication, the quality of the music, and the ongoing commitment of the children and parents.
VOENA is now 110 children strong with members ranging from the age of 6 through 18. This multi-ethnic choir performs a cappella vocal arrangements using multiple percussion instruments, dance and theatrical elements. Their musical repertoire includes folk music from Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Europe, the Middle East, North and South America. The children sing classical, pop and sacred songs in more that 20 languages representing the ethnicities of the choir including Swahili, Japanese, Russian, Navajo, Hebrew, Mexican, Armenian, Persian, Irish, African-American, Vietnamese, German, Spanish, French, Hawaiian, Chinese, Italian, Dutch, Danish, Filipino, Tamil, Australian, Colombian, Venezuelan, Portuguese, East Indian, Native American, Swiss and Malay.
Most of the children join VOENA without an previous choir experience. There are no auditions; if the child has the desire to be in the choir, he or she is accepted. Annabelle Marie says that “Any child with the commitment and desire to sing can be in VOENA.” There are four divisions within the choir: preparatory, intermediate, concert and concert ensemble.
This choir has performed for the Pope, The President of the United States of America, toured through Europe and Japan and their debut of their Valentine’s Day Concert at The Majestic Theatre in Benicia sold out the historic 380-seat venue.
VOENA is a musical experience filled with Latin rhythms, melodies from the Orient, beats from the hood, and harmonies from everywhere. It’s a coming together of dissonances from far away lands and the celebration of new accords. It is VOENA — it is powerful, it is beautiful, it is the voice of virtue — it is the hope sought by all and sung by children.
About Heifer International:
Founded in 1944, Heifer International is a humanitarian assistance organization that works to end world hunger and protect the earth. Through livestock, training and “passing on the gift” Heifer has helped seven million families in more that 125 countries improve their quality of life and move toward greater self reliance. Heifer helps build strong communities because each project participant agrees to pass on the gift of animal offspring, training or skills to another family in need. For more information on Heifer International go to www.heifer.org.
This concert is sponsored by the Social Outreach Committee at Community Congregational Church, United Church of Christ and is made possible by the generous donations of VOENA and Red Dragonfly Productions. Concert proceeds will be donated to The Heifer Project.
Community Congregational Church, United Church of Christ present
2006/2007 Third Annual Artist Series
“Voices of Many Lands”
A Benefit Concert for The Heifer Project
Saturday, May 19, 2007
Community Congregational Church, United Church of Christ
1305 West 2nd Street
Benicia, CA 94510
online at www.RedDragonflyProductions.com
Bookshop Benicia 856 Southampton Blvd Benicia, CA
Call 707.771.0140 for information