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Concord Choral Students Take the National Stage in OAKE Conference Choirs

For Immediate Release: April 14, 2015
Media Contact: Liz Faiella, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., 603-228-1196

National ChoirCONCORD, N.H—Nine current and alumni members of the Concord Community Music School’s Purple Finches children’s chorus were selected to participate in the Organization of American Kodaly Educators (OAKE) National Conference Choirs, following a nationally competitive audition process.


The students performed in the finale concert at the OAKE National Conference, a four-day event that brings together teachers, conductors, and clinicians from across the country. 


This is the first year that all Music School students who auditioned won a place in the National Choirs: Olivia and Wyatt Dodd of Dunbarton; Tessa Foley of Concord; Sophia Isaak of Durham; Rose Kosciuszek of Weare; Tess Parrott of Rochester; Harriet Pearce of Hopkinton; Amelia Smith of Bow; and William Veenstra of Canterbury.


“It’s magical. It truly is,” said Olivia Dodd, who sang in the Concert Women’s Choir.  “You walk in, you know all this music that you’ve been studying for months, and you know nobody there. And yet we all open our mouths and start to sing the same music. And we’re instant friends, because we all know the same stuff and have the same interests.”


In March, National Choir students gathered in Minneapolis, Minnesota for four days of intensive rehearsals during the conference. Students were divided into several choirs by age group and vocal part​: the Children's Choir, the Youth Choir, the Concert Women's Choir, and the Chamber Ensemble. The culminating performance on March 22 took place in Benson Great Hall, one of the Twin Cities’ premier performing arts centers.


After the event, children’s choir director Sandy Knudson wrote a letter to all participants in the Children’s Choir. “Continue to work hard; it pays off every time,” she wrote. “Be a role model for others in your choir. Be generous and a good listener….Continue to dig deeper as you learn all you can about making beautiful music with others.”


Purple Finches director and Music School faculty member Maria Isaak is a certified Kodaly Specialist who studied at the International School for Kodaly Studies in Hungary.


“Maria and I go way back,” says Dodd. “What I’ve admired about her for years is how she can see potential in a child, and make the child feel safe, welcome, and open enough to sing up to the potential that she sees in them.”


The Purple Finches children’s chorus is open to kids grades K-8. Members learn musical literacy through regular rhythm, solfege, and ear-training, based on Kodaly methods. The chorus performs frequently, including regular holiday performances at the Capitol Center for the Arts. The group is sponsored by Granite Investment Advisors.


For more information on the Purple Finches, call 603-228-1196 or visitwww.ccmusicschool.org.  


About the Concord Community Music School


Concord Community Music School is a full member of the National Guild for Community Arts Education and is recognized nationally for program innovation and management excellence. Welcoming adults, teens, and children of all musical abilities, 53 artist teachers reach more than 33,000 people in four states with educational programs, concerts, workshops, and community partnerships. CCMS has received major funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Hearst Foundation, New Hampshire State Council on the Arts, Jane’s Trust, and the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation. The Music School is the 2005 recipient of the NH Governor’s Arts Award for Cultural Access Leadership.


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