Celebrity Series Announces
Four Local Youth Groups
Selected To Perform at Convention

Last month, FleetBoston Celebrity Series and the 2004 Democratic National Convention Committee unveiled Student Performances at the DNC - a collaborative effort to select young performers ages 5 to 18 from around Massachusetts to perform at the FleetCenter during the 2004 Convention. The deadline for submissions was June 17.

After a review of nearly 50 submitted applications and tapes, four performing groups have now been selected by a committee of DNCC, FleetBoston Celebrity Series representatives and local arts leaders. Each group will now begin an accelerated rehearsal schedule to prepare for the upcoming Convention.

The four student performance groups selected are:

Middlesex County 4-H Fife and Drum Corps
Lincoln, Massachusetts

The Middlesex County 4-H Fife and Drum Corps was formed in 1972 as a 4-H club in Concord, Massachusetts, in anticipation of the town's Bicentennial celebration. The Fife and Drum Corps practices year-round and performs at 25-30 events each year. The members of the Corps range in age from 7 to 17 and hail from Bedford, Cambridge, Wayland, Roslindale, Lexington, Weston, Ipswich, Lincoln, Concord, Wakefield, Burlington, Reading, Northborough, Littleton and Carlisle.

Children's Voices of Greater Boston
Boston, Massachusetts

Children's Voices of Greater Boston is a new collaboration established in Spring 2004 that brings together a diverse group of forty children from four Boston-area children's choruses: Boston City Singers, Boston's Children's Chorus, Handel and Haydn Youth Chorus, and Longy Youth Chorale. The Children's Voices of Greater Boston hope to perform at large-scale civic events where a celebration of children and diversity though song is desired.

City Youth Dance Ensemble
Boston, Massachusetts

City Youth Dance Ensemble is made up of students from: OrigiNation; NIA Dance Troupe; Girlz of Imani; AileyCamp, Boston; and Act II. 65-70 students from Roxbury, Dorchester, Mattapan, Hyde Park, Boston's South End, South Boston; Braintree, Cambridge, Brockton, Randolph, Mansfield, Jamaica Plain, Alston, Brighton, Charlestown and East Boston will perform a mixture of jazz, hip-hop, African and modern dance on the Convention stage.

Kwong Kow Chinese School Drum Ensemble
Boston's Chinatown

The mission of Kwong Kow Chinese School Drum Ensemble is to promote Chinese culture. The student performers are members of the Kwong Kow Chinese School Dulcimer Ensemble (learning drums is an extension of dulcimer lessons) between the ages of 11 and 18. Participants come from Boston, Cambridge, Quincy, Acton, Bridgewater, Weston, Lexington and Malden. In Chinese culture, many celebrations begin with the drum to bring good luck to the event.

Rod O'Connor, CEO of the DNCC, commented, "We are thrilled to bring the energy, spirit and tremendous talent of the youth of Massachusetts to our Convention stage. These youth performance groups embody the spirit, diversity, and culture of Massachusetts, and we are proud to work with FleetBoston Celebrity Series to include them in the 2004 Convention program."

Martha H. Jones, Executive Director of FleetBoston Celebrity Series, added, "Spreading the word about the spirit and culture of our great state is what we are all about at the Celebrity Series. FleetBoston Celebrity Series is a performing arts presenter and arts educator, and as such, we are especially thrilled to highlight the talented young performers from the Commonwealth on a national stage."

Student Performances at the DNC builds on several DNCC initiatives to engage youth in this summer's Democratic Convention. Two essay contests, "Gavel in the Future" and "Speak out for the Future," for 13-18 year-olds and 18-24 year-olds, will award winners the opportunity to gavel open the convention and speak during primetime at the convention, respectively. Ten finalists have been selected in each contest and the public is invited to vote for finalists on the DNCC's website, www.dems2004.org.

The DNCC has also launched summer internship programs for high school and college students and "Youth Convention Days" at the DNCC headquarters in Boston designed to educate inner-city youth about the Democratic Convention.

-- OnStage Boston



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