Three youngsters from Marina del Rey are members of the Los Angeles Children’s Chorus, which recently performed sold-out concerts during a two-week pre-Olympic tour to China.
The choir, which included 61 young singers ages eight to 18, were under the artistic direction of Anne Tomlinson during the trip from June 23rd to July 7th. Choir members Peter Kurzner, and Josiah and Kaitlyn Yiu are residents of Marina del Rey.
In China the choir members met up and collaborated with the Stanford University Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Beijing native Jindong Caii, and also performed with Chinese artists.
“The highlight of the collaboration with Stanford,” stated chorus manager Annie Giesler, “was our performance of Carmina Burana in Beijing with China’s Jin Xing Dance Theatre.
“The costumes, lighting and special stage effects provided an amazing dimension to the already exciting music. [The Los Angeles Children’s Chorus’s] own concert at the Beijing Concert Hall was also one of those performances that seemed charmed from beginning to end — musically everything went beautifully, and the audience was right with us the whole way.”
Another highlight of the trip was a celebration on the Great Wall of China.
“We climbed hundreds of steps up and up into the clouds,” says Giesler. “In spite of it being a foggy day, it was still quite thrilling.
“After the exploration of the wall, the choir’s generous and close friend, Helen Bing, hosted an unforgettable dinner on a flat portion of the Wall for everyone from the Stanford and LACC groups — approximately 400 people.
“The Stanford Taiko Ensemble, Brass Ensemble and LACC each performed for the rest of the group in this very dramatic setting.”
Singing in the Great Hall of the People for the opening of the Olympic Youth Arts Festival was another high point for the chorus. Sponsored by China’s Ministry of Culture and the Beijing Olympic Organization, the festival is considered one of the most prestigious arts events of the Beijing Olympic cultural activities, according to a choir spokesman.
Choir members also observed some of the Olympic preparations, noting that the planting of trees and flowers went on late into the night most evenings.