‘This Land is Your Land’ concert Feb. 10 features regional youth ensembles

Staff Report

Kantorei — The Singing Boys of Rockford, The Rockford Symphony Youth Orchestra (RSYO) and the Rock Valley Children’s Choir will present a concert titled “This Land is Your Land” Friday, Feb. 10, at the Coronado Performing Arts Center. A performance for regional students will be given at 10 a.m., followed by an evening performance at 7 p.m. for the public.

Tickets to the evening concert are $6 for students and $12 for adults. For more details, visit the Rockford Symphony Orchestra (RSO) website at www.rockfordsymphony.com or call (815) 965-0049.

This Land is Your Land” celebrates America’s struggles and triumphs from the Great Depression to the Civil Rights era of the 1960s as seen through the eyes of iconic folk musician Woody Guthrie.

Actor, singer, songwriter Tom Mac of Rockford will portray Guthrie as narrator for the concert. 2012 is the 100th birth anniversary of Guthrie, whose music has become the voice representing the “common man” for several generations. The audience will be invited to sing “This Land is Your Land” along with the musicians at the end of the concert.

The performance includes more than 100 of the Rockford area’s finest young vocal and instrumental musicians. Kantorei — The Singing Boys of Rockford with Joel Ross, director; the RSYO with Daniel Black, conductor; and The Rock Valley Children’s Choir, with Leah Baskin, director. These ensembles provide outstanding music education and performance opportunities for students who audition annually to participate in these programs.

About the performers

Tom Mac’s accomplishments as a musician have ranged from performing Vivaldi’s “Gloria” at Carnegie Hall to being the opening act on acoustic guitar for the Beach Boys. His concert engagements throughout the years include the DuPage Opera Theatre, the Rockford Symphony Chorus, the Mendelssohn Chorale and the Beloit Symphony Chorus as well as roles in Madam Butterfly, Mozart’s Requiem, Beethoven’s 9th Symphony and La Boheme.

Since its inception in 1964, Kantorei’s mission has been to represent the finest tradition of boy choirs by offering an outstanding musical and cultural education while providing many opportunities for personal growth.

The RSO is the parent organization of the Rockford Symphony Youth Orchestra. Founded in 1965, the RSYO offers excellence in music education and performance to young musicians throughout northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin through challenging orchestral literature.

The Rock Valley Children’s Choir, a performing and educational choral organization, was established in 2002 at Rock Valley College in Rockford by Leah Baskin and Dean Durst. It is part of the music program offerings for children within the Community Education Division of the college. Beginning as one small choir, the program has grown to become four separate choruses that encompass grades 1-12.

In 2006, The Rock Valley Children’s Choir formed a partnership with the Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center in downtown Rockford. In 2012, they will become the anchor group for the new Mendelssohn Music and Movement Education Center.

From the Feb. 8-14, 2012, issue

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