Twinsburg residents Kiara Durbin, Bailey Wylde, Andrew Oduwole, and Cordelia Firem are all members of Cleveland's internationally reknowned youth choir, The Singing Angels. These young people have been rehearsing up to four times a week for their big show of the season -- The Singing Angels 50th Anniversary Holiday Spectacular, which takes place at the State Theater at Playhouse Square this Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets are available at www.playhousesquare.com.
Kiara Durbin is especially excited about the upcoming concert. Although she has only been an Angel for 10 months, Durbin and Solon resident Jessie Maniglia have been chosen to perform a duet at the Holiday Spectacular. The two sixth graders will sing "When Christmas Comes to Town" from The Polar Express movie. Durbin was also the youngest featured soloist at the Singing Angels 50th Anniversary Kick-off concert last August at Cain Park, where she sang "Goodnight , My Someone" from The Music Man. This will be Maniglia's first "solo" performance with the group.
For Andrew Oduwole, a junior at Twinsburg High School, being an Angel runs in the family. Oduwole has been an Angel for 5 1/2 years. His mother, Karen Oduwole, was a member of the Singing Angels when she was growing up. His older sister, Frances, was a member of the group for 7 years, and his brother Ayo played drums for the group for four and a half years. Andrew is a member of the Senior Dance Troupe, and is one of the student choreographers for the upcoming concert.
Cordelia Firem, a third grade student at Bissell, just joined the Singing Angels Reserve Chorus (a training chorus for children ages 8-14) in September. This will be her very first performance with the Angels. Bailey Wylde, a seventh grader at R.B. Chamberlin, was a member of the Reserve Chorus last year, but was promoted in September. This will be Bailey's first concert singing with the Performing Chorus.
Durbin, Maniglia, and Oduwole are also part of a very select group of only 39 Angels who will travel next summer to Geneva, Switzerland, to participate in "The Rhythms of One World 2014"choral festival. This festival celebrates the anniversary of the signing of the United Nations Charter and the role of the universal language of music in promoting intercultural understanding, brotherhood, solidarity, and peace. Only seven to ten choirs from around the world have been invited to perform at this prestigious event. The Singing Angels have been invited to represent the entire continent of North America, because they were perceived as a Quintessentially American Choir at the 2012 World Choir Games. This year is the 50th Anniversary of the youth choir, which has sung around the world, including giving performances for the Pope and at The White House. The Singing Angels have also been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for singing their trademark song, "Let There Be Peace on Earth," in so many countries around the world.