Today, I'd like to welcome Angela Morrison to my blog. She is making the rounds promoting her new book, Sing Me To Sleep, which will be released in March. It's no secret that I've fallen in love with her books and am thrilled to be a part of the push!
I've asked Angela to tell us a little more about the real life choir that features so prominently in Sing Me To Sleep. If you have any questions for her, ask away!
After reading SING, Suey was curious about the Amabile choirs. Yes, this is a real organization in London, Ontario, Canada. And the young man who inspired Derek sang in the Amabile Young Men's Ensemble (AYME)
That's the guys (both the young men's and men's choirs) on the trailer backing up "Beth's Song." A hundred of them. Can you imagine? The amazing soloist is Shayna Follington from the Amabile Youth Singers, their world famous all girls choir. (I have video of their recording session that will be up on AngelaTheAuthor on YouTube soon.
If you're into choir music and want to hear more Amabile, check out iTunes. Three of their CDs are available, "Inner Fire," listed under Amabile Boys and Men's Choir; Amabile Chamber Choir's, "Wrapped in Song," and "All Good People," that features all the Amabile Choirs of London, Ontario.
"Beth's Song" will be available for download soon. Harriet Bushman, my composer, and I are waiving our royalties so all the proceeds will go straight to Amabile in honor of the Matt Quaife Leadership Award. You'll find even more CDs on their website, www.amabile.com.
My daughter auditioned for Amabile's training choir, Da Capo, after we moved to London. Gosh, she was just in third or fourth grade when she started.
At the very first Amabile Festival she ever sang in, one of the dashing young men from the guys' choir stopped the concert, sang a knee-melting love song, and asked a beautiful young woman from the AYS to marry him. That gave me an inkling of the incredible family we'd joined.
When we moved to Switzerland, my daughter had sung with the JAS, their junior girls' choir, for years. The last thing she did with them was go to the Choir Olympics in Bremmen,Germany.
Leaving Amabile was the hardest part of that move. My daughter stayed up until all-hours so she could chat with her Amabile friends online. They got her through a very tough year. Matt, the young man who SING ME TO SLEEP is dedicated to, was one of those good Amabile friends.
Amabile Choirs turns twenty-five this year. They've recently added adult men's choir and an adult women's choir because as their choristers got too old to compete in the youth choir category in international competitions (24, I think), they couldn't bear to leave.
It all started when two private voice coaches, John Barron and Brenda Zadorsky, got to talking while their students competed at the yearly Kiwanis music festival. What if they gathered up all these wonderfully trained young ladies who were competing against each other and formed a youth choir? The idea stuck. They recruited the best singers in a very musical city and named them the Amabile Youth Singers (Ah-ma'-buh-lee, Italian for happy and amiable.)
Twenty-five years and many awards, international competitions, and groundbreaking CDs later, the Amabile organization boasts nine different choirs. Their choristers can start when they are eight and sing with the organization their whole lives. Many of their choristers have gone on to become distinguished choir conductors around the world. Renowned composers and guest conductors--like Stephen Hatfield--point to Amabile's recordings of their work as their first big success.
AYME conductor, Carol Beynon, tells me they have a young man heading to Julliard next year who would make a great Derek if SING is ever made into a movie. I'm heading up their for their 25th Anniversary Festival on February 28th and to celebrate SING ME TO SLEEP's launch with them. I promise to get a picture of their Derek candidate. It's a thrill to get to go back and hear them again.
Any questions? I'll check back and post answers throughout the next couple of days.
Click here and comment on this post for a chance to win the book.
Sing Me To Sleep Trailer, with Beth's Song showing up at the end