AMPlify Choral Teaching Artist, James Dekle, leads the Marian Anderson Primary Choir in performance at the 2013 AMPlify Holiday Concert. Photo by Anthony Alston Jr.

Last week the Young Artists of AMPlify, the choral program of the Atlanta Music Project, put on a charming show at their 2013 Holiday Concert sponsored by MailChimp. The vocalists’ hard work and sacrifice was on display as 100 hours (since September 2013) of intense vocal music instruction culminated in a solid performance attended by over 150 people, including parents, families, the school principals and several AMP donors. The Ivy Preparatory Academy Kirkwood cafetorium was turned into a concert stage complete with black backdrop, microphones and choral risers.

Led by AMP Choral Teaching Artist, James Dekle, AMPlify‘s Marian Anderson Primary Choir performed four songs in the first half of the concert. Christmas is a Feeling by Sleeth received a warm reception and Like Diamonds in the Night demonstrated virtuosity and harmony with the young choristers singing in three parts. The Primary Choir has over 30 students in grades one through three. In addition these students receive instruction in note reading, sight singing and rhythmic notation from Chaundra Crear, AMPlify‘s General Music Teaching Artist.

AMPlify Teaching Artists perform at 2013 Holiday Concert. L to R: James Dekle, Choral Teaching Artist, Keeyen Martin and Tislam Swift, Site Assistants, Aisha Bowden, Director of AMPlify. Photo by Anthony Alston Jr.

An AMPlify first: the Teaching Artists and Site Assistants of AMPlify, all degreed music professionals, perform a Shaw arrangement of The Christmas Song by Torme/Wells, which got a rousing reception from the audience – especially the young artists!

AMPlify’s R. Nathaniel Dett Choir in performance at their 2013 Holiday Concert at Ivy Prep Academy Kirkwood. Photo by Anthony Alston Jr.

The R. Nathaniel Dett Concert Choir closed out the show with four numbers as well. This choir houses students between grades four and eight. Students also receive piano lessons once per week to aid their development as vocal artists. Led by AMPlify Co-Founder and Director, Aisha Bowden, the Concert Choir showed great improvement from last year, demonstrating a developing choral sound and great stage presence. Kwanzaa, by Yvette Holt showed a gospel side to the choir, while Swingle Bells revealed the swingy, jazz ballad abilities of the ensemble.

Both AMPlify choirs were accompanied by AMPlify accompanist Tammy Harper on piano, along with a drummer and electric bassist.

AMPlify would like to recognize Ms. Kendra Shipmon and Dr. A. Clifton Myles, the principals of Ivy Preparatory Academy Kirkwood, for their support and partnership. Thank you also to the AMPlify parents and families for supporting their childrens’ participation in the Atlanta Music Project.

AMPlify‘s next event is scheduled for February 13, 2013 and will be a Black History Month concert. We hope to see you there!