Midwest Young Artists offers a Choral Program for talented young voices who want the best vocal preparation possible for future college vocal training and who wish to be exposed to the finest choral literature. The MYA Choral Program includes Mini Maestros, Mighty Maestros, and auditioned ensembles: Voices Rising, and VX Studio Vocal Ensemble. Each ensemble sings a wide variety of choral literature from classical to jazz and newly composed or arranged works by MYA composer-in-residence, Gary Fry. Students experience professional vocal training, spirited direction, and intensive choral instruction. Students may also participate in sight-singing and vocal musicianship classes. Voices Rising students perform alongside the Chicago Symphony Orchestra for their Welcome Yule! concerts in December.
Mini & Mighty Maestros
The Mini & Mighty Maestros are designed to provide younger individuals with the opportunity to experience the pleasure and camaraderie of participating in a choral ensemble. The Mini Maestros is open to all singers grades 1 & 2, Mighty Maestros is open to singers grades 3 & 4. Kindergartners are accepted on a per case basis - email RyanKirby@mya.org if your kindergartner would like to join us!
The Mini & Mighty Maestros seeks to instill a life-long interest in music, as well as provide a nurturing atmosphere to foster creative growth and collaboration for all students. Through singing games and group activities, students in MYA Mini Maestros will experience the joy and camaraderie of participating in a choral ensemble. The class is designed to teach pitch matching and musical literacy in a positive and encouraging environment. Mini Maestros has the opportunity to perform on-stage alongside Voices Rising in March and April.
Mini & Mighty Maestros are directed by Kaitlin Zawacki, a North Shore School District 112 elementary general music teacher. Kaitlin believes that music-making starts with playful activities that come naturally to children: singing, clapping, dancing and tapping a beat. It is Kaitlin's philosophy that children make music first, then learn to read and write it. She cannot wait to bring her love of music to the students and staff of MYA!!
Register for Mini & Mighty Maestros
Mini Maestro Rehearsals (1st & 2nd Graders): Sundays, 1:00-1:45pm
Mighty Maestro Rehearsals (3rd & 4th Graders): Sundays, 2:00-3:00pm
Voices Rising is conducted by experienced director and choral music educator, Stevi Marks. The talented members of this ensemble will build musicianship and vocal skills in a nurturing and professional environment by continually seeking excellence in music of diverse styles. Voices Rising accepts unchanged voices beginning in the 5th grade through 9th grade.
In addition to their concert schedule, Voices Rising students perform alongside the Chicago Symphony Orchestra for their Welcome, Yule! concerts in December. Participation in these prestigious concerts is open to Voices Rising members who have demonstrated professional rehearsal and attendance etiquette.
Audition Requirements for Voices Rising
Sign Up to Audition for Voices Rising
Voices Rising Rehearsals: Sunday, 1:00-3:00pm at The MYA Center, 878 Lyster Road, Highwood, IL 60040
Testimonials for Voices Rising
"Working with Voices Rising on the Chicago Symphony's annual Welcome, Yule! concerts is one of my greatest musical pleasures. Their commitment to good performing, their respect for their colleagues, their excellent musicianship, and their sheer joy in singing is infectious. Audiences love them; I love them."
Chorus Director and Conductor
Chicago Symphony Orchestra
"MYA's Voices Rising are a joyful performing ensemble and a fantastic learning experience. I know! From sharing the stage with them at the CSO, to witnessing their hard work with passionate and expert teacher Stevi Marks, I have grown to love this stellar group of young musicians!"
John Bruce Yeh
Assistant Principal and Solo E-flat Clarinet, Chicago Symphony Orchestra;
Artist-Faculty, Chicago College of Performing Arts & MYA; Director, Chicago Pro Musica
"Voices Rising serves as a musical gem for young singers throughout the Chicagoland area. With a tradition of excellence and ambassadorship, Voices Rising has provided opportunities for young singers to develop the choral art of singing with a theatrical flare that engages audiences including those who attend the annual Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chorus Welcome Yule production series. Under the able leadership of Ms. Stevi Marks, Voices Rising continues to thrill audiences in Chicago and throughout the nation."
Dr. Cheryl Frazes Hill
Associate Director/Chicago Symphony Chorus
Head of Choral Activities/Roosevelt University
VX Studio Vocal Ensemble
Director Gary Fry created this mixed-voice ensemble so students can focus on intense development of musical and vocal skills through recording (rather than live performance). Working throughout the year with both Mr. Fry and Stevi Marks, students will learn about the skills expected from professional recording vocalists as they sight-read and record short pieces in a multitude of vocal styles, drawn primarily from actual commercials, from classical singing to contemporary pop and jazz. Students will also learn about current recording technology and techniques that are used in producing professional vocal tracks.
The size of the group will be limited to 16, and may be fewer based on properly balancing the group with male and female voices. To encourage consistent attendance, any member of the ensemble who has perfect attendance for the semester will receive a solo professional recording session of three hours at no additional cost. This session may be used to record a college application tape or similar (2-3 selections with piano accompaniment), and will be scheduled at mutual convenience outside of scheduled rehearsal time.
Audition Requirements for VX Ensemble
Sign Up to Audition for VX Ensemble
VX Rehearsals:Wednesday, 7:00-9:00pm at Midwest Young Artists or High Touch Recording Studio, 13 Rolling Ridge Rd, Northfield, IL