NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

PortWatch

January 23, 2014

Wanted: Stars who are ready to shine

New workshop provides intensive training for budding performers

A new endeavor at Newburyport’s Firehouse Center for the Arts is aimed at talented young singers and dancers looking to improve their performance techniques.

As one of the mentors behind the popular Glee Club, Julie Pike Edmond said that over the past three years, she has encountered a number of “really talented kids who could go even further and be pushed more.”

With that in mind, Pike Edmond and Johanna Hoyt Kimball decided to create a program specifically for those youngsters who have already had dance and vocal training, as well as experience in choral groups or theatrical productions.

The Raise the Bar[re] Performance Project is an intensive workshop that will be held over February vacation week in the Market Square theater. Open to students in fourth through 12th grade, the four-day, 20-hour program will provide advanced training and teach participants how to work together as an ensemble.

“We tried to come up with this plan, this workshop intensive, to really give these kids an opportunity,” said Pike Edmond, who teaches ballet, creative movement, modern dance and jazz at The Dance Place in Newburyport, Ipswich Moving Company and The Governor’s Academy in Byfield. “Let’s hone in a little more on their skills and give them feedback, really pull that little star inside them out.”

“Based on the success of the Glee Club, we just thought this might be a way that we could reach out to those kids in the community who would be looking to literally raise the bar in terms of their performance as a group,” said Hoyt Kimball, who teaches music at Cashman School in Amesbury and The Musical Suite in Newburyport.

Like the Glee Club, the workshop will end with a performance that allows the students to show off what they’ve learned. Unlike the Glee Club, youths must audition to earn a spot.

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