GMCLA and Creative Planet School of the Arts Present HOLIDAY SPECTACULAR 2012, 12/15 &16
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by BWW News Desk
The Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles (GMCLA) will kick off its 34th Season when it returns to the Alex Theatre (216 N. Brand Boulevard) in Glendale, CA on December 15th and 16th for its annual holiday musical extravaganza, "Holiday Spectacular 2012," with special guests Creative Planet School of the Arts.
Holiday Spectacular 2012 will be conducted by Artistic Director E. Jason Armstrong, and will feature the powerful voices of the 200-member chorus alongside the rising stars of Creative Planet School of the Arts, a private academic and arts-oriented school catering to talented youngsters from Kindergarten through the 8th Grade. As they have in previous performances, such as GMCLA's 30th Anniversary Benefit at the Walt Disney Hall and at GMCLA's The Voice Awards, the students will perform alongside the chorus in some of GMCLA's most beloved 'signature' performance numbers.
From the all-too-familiar holiday songs Joy to the World and Jingle All the Way to O Holy Night and Little Drummer Boy, each will be performed with a uniquely GMCLA 'twist.' The ensembles will also perform audience favorites like selections from the Nutcracker, including Sugar Plum Fairy and Parade of Wooden Soldiers, as well as I Wanna Be A Rockette and Be A Santa! It's the performance anyone needs to get into the holiday spirit!
"We are truly honored for our students at Creative Planet to have the opportunity to collaborate with GMCLA once again," said Billy Rugh, creator and founder of CPSOA. "The past decade of partnership has given and continues to give our students the opportunity to witness and participate in a professional level of artistry that they can strive to achieve themselves someday."
GMCLA's 34th Season, with its first ever Season Sponsor, Wells Fargo, is filled with a line-up of amazing performances and mission-driven work. On March 16th and 17th GMCLA will be joined by Vox Femina and the debut of a newly-formed youth ensemble, which is a partnership between GMCLA and LifeWorks, for their feature "Awakenings," an offering of choral sounds which will be performed at First Congregational Church of Los Angeles and its famed organ - the world's largest church pipe organ. And on June 22nd and 23rd, GMCLA will feature the music of Stephen Schwartz in "Not Entirely Wicked" at the Saban Theatre in Beverly Hills. The 34th Season program also includes the release of Joel A. Martin's 7th CD in the Jazzical series, entitled Jazzical Meets Menken, which will feature the choral sounds of GMCLA; the Alive Music Project (AMP), and the Chorus's own recognition event, The Voice Awards, to be held in April, 2013.
Tickets and information for "Holiday Spectacular 2012" range from $15 to $75 and are available online at www.gmcla.org. For information about GMCLA, visit www.gmcla.org. For more information on Creative Planet School of the Arts, visit www.cpsoa.org.
GMCLA has garnered international acclaim for artistic excellence while remaining deeply rooted in service to the Los Angeles community and beyond by promoting civil rights, tolerance and acceptance through music. Founded in 1979 during the emergence of the gay civil rights movement, critics have proclaimed the chorus "inspired," "expressive, innovative, and utterly moving," and hailed it for presenting "meaningful entertainment." It is one of the largest and most influential men's choruses in the nation, is the first gay men's chorus to perform for a sitting president – Bill Clinton – and has also performed for President Barack Obama. The 220-member chorus has toured nationally and internationally, released 15 compact discs, commissioned more than 300 new works and arrangements and has guest starred on such TV shows as "$#*! My Dad Says," starring William Shatner, "Will & Grace" and "Six Feet Under." In October 2010, it produced an anti-bullying musical video message for the "It Gets Better" project featuring Cyndi Lauper's moving anthem "True Colors," quickly becoming a viral sensation that has received more than 700,000 hits to date. GMCLA, which performs at such venues as Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Alex Theatre, and the Saban Theatre, presents several concerts each season in Los Angeles, including its popular annual holiday concert, which featured such music legends as LeAnn Rimes and Melissa Manchester. Additionally, GMCLA has received accolades for its "Alive Music Project" (AMP), a unique music education outreach program designed for middle and high school students that uses song to create a powerful anti-bullying message and also highlights the reality that our community's struggle for equal rights is not only universal, but an issue that has and can affect any group of people who find themselves in the minority.
Creative Planet School of the Arts is a private, non-profit K-8th grade elementary school dedicated to providing a space for accelerated Academic training, intense Arts education, creative expression, and community outreach. By offering a disciplined and challenging curriculum that strives towards academic excellence through high expectations coupled with high energy teaching; we intend to provide a gifted-level of education to all children regardless of pre-conceived abilities or previous standards. We hold to the belief that students who are creatively challenged, believed in, and given a clean slate to learn upon can achieve high levels of academia beyond their present expectations. Creative Planet School of the Arts is dedicated to the integration of Academia and the Arts in order to provide our communities' children with a wider scope of possibility.
CPSOA also added the C.A.R.E. Initiative, a humanitarian project aimed at encouraging its students to use their talents to give back to their local and global communities. Its most notable humanitarian project involved partnering with the Phil Simon Clinic of Pasadena. A team of students was selected to accompany 30 doctors, nurses, and social workers to Arusha, Tanzania where they delivered food and mosquito netting to homes, assisted doctors with patient triage at local clinics, performed and delivered supplies to local public schools, and worked daily at a local AIDS orphanage teaching arts classes and conducting rehearsals for the final culminating social theater performance.
In the past decade, CPSOA has been recognized with many awards including; the 2012 DiverCities Award for Non-Profit Organization of the Year from Congresswoman Judy Chu, the Aria Award for Education from Vox Femina Los Angeles, the David Chow Humanitarian Award, Dr. Pepper's Pepper Your Community Award, Oscar Mayer's School House Jam Award, and Time Warner Corporation's 2006 Andrew Heiskell Award. Proclamations of CPSOA's Work in the community have been received from the likes of Mayor John Duran & the City of West Hollywood, Congresswoman Judy Chu, Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis, as well as the city councils of El Monte, Baldwin Park, and Monrovia.
CPSOA continues to offer academic and arts education at its current location in Baldwin Park Monday through Friday from 8:30am-5:30pm.
Program/artists subject to change.
Pictured: Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles presents its popular holiday spectacular at the Alex Theatre in Glendale. Photo Credit: Daniel G. Lam.