Small Dreams and Dedication go a Long Way!
On March 14-28, the Campanella Children’s Choir of Northbrook, IL had the privilege of attending the 2014 San Francisco Heritage Festival of Gold to perform at the famous Davies Symphony Hall and work with renowned conductors and adjudicators. For something that started in the year 2000, as a small group of parents who wanted their children to sing, Marianna Kosaya, founder and conductor of the choir, could never imagine success of this scale.
«I initially started the choir when I realized that my four-year-old daughter was ready to sing. With a couple more children from my neighbors and friends, a small choir was formed.» says Kosaya, who immigrated to Chicago in 1994 from Kiev, Ukraine, where she graduated from the Kiev State Pedagogical University with a Master’s Degree in Music Education and Choir Conducting. As a young child, Kosaya sang in the famous choir, «Shedrik,» which to this day is among the top children’s choirs of all times. Kosaya’s mother played a major role in her own upbringing, as her first music and choir instructor. «The passion of teaching children to sing must run in the family genes!» laughs Kosaya.
The Festival of Gold is part of the Worldstrides Heritage Performance Program, which was established 35 years ago to enrich the lives of students though musical performance. Every year, hundreds of choirs are evaluated according to specific criteria, to take part in the Festival, with only a few making the final cut. The Worldstrides Heritage Program states that «acceptance into the Festival of Gold program is reserved for groups who’ve achieved a Gold rating at a WorldStrides Heritage Performance standard festival, Superior rating at a state contest, or by audition.»
This year, the selected choirs did a series of performances that culminated in the Encore Concert at the San Francisco’s celebrated Davies Symphony Hall. Campanella’s artistic director Marianna Kosaya was very proud of how the performance turned out. «I would like to congratulate all Campanella choristers with a wonderful performance,» said Kosaya. «It was not easy for such young children and such a small group to perform in this temple of music, which is far more suitable for orchestras.»
The children of the Campanella Choir also had the unique opportunity of one-on-one clinics with renowned conductors, Christopher Aspaas, Elena Sharkova, and adjudicator, Tim Sharp, who provided valuable feedback that should help the choir continue to pursue new heights.
Christopher Aspaas enjoyed hearing «Wolcum Yole» by Benjamin Britten and praised the choir for excellent energy in this challenging piece. Tim Sharp applauded Campanella on the music selection overall and agreed that «Ave Verum» by W. A. Mozart and «Wolcum Yole» were very good choices for this choir. Elena Sharkova complimented the choir on good intonation in «Ave Verum». «Balulalow» by B. Britten sounded very sweet and the solo was beautiful. A very nice job!» said Sharkova, «Campanella’s performances always stun everybody and it is such outstanding work! Marianna Kosaya, as the choir director, really gives her community a gift by directing this wonderful choir!»
Overall, the Festival of Gold has been a great experience for Campanella throughout all the years of participation. «I love music and my passion for teaching children to love to sing is the harvest of what is now known as the Campanella Children’s Choir. »
About Campanella Children’s Choir:
Campanella Children’s Choir was founded in 2000 with only a couple of children, but has been growing sustainably, having developed into a competitive ensemble that is the core of the entire Campanella Educational Center. The choir sings a diverse repertoire of music in multiple languages and performs in numerous community events throughout the year, including the Chicago Cultural Center, the Museum of Science and Industry, Northbrook Public Library, Wheeling Park District, and Skokie Public Library.
In 2014 and 2008, Campanella Children’s Choir participated in the Chicago Heritage Festival and received the Outstanding Choral Group award, as well as the Certificate of Excellence. The choir was invited to take part in the 2009 National Invitational Choral Festival (Festival of Gold), in which it was subsequently a gold medal recipient with selected Campanella choristers participating in the Festival’s final concert, held at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Hall.
A non-profit organization, Campanella is a place where children gather to express and share their talents, a place where through dynamic cooperation children develop their artistic skills and acquire knowledge in an array of disciplines. Although artistically inclined, Campanella also offers classes in subjects not related to art, such as Math and Russian Language. Campanella’s programs are designed for children ages 3-16.
Marianna Kosaya | Director
3025 Walters Avenue
Northbrook, IL 60062