Youthful talent enriches our county |

Youthful talent enriches our county

They are talented and ambitious – the young artists and creatives in this community. Across the entertainment and arts media they excel and do us – their teachers, parents, audiences and fellow students – proud. Here, we mention just a few of them.

The photo on the cover of this issue shows Nevada Union High School’s Chamber Choir singing at the popular Madrigal Dinner, which is put on at Miners Foundry every year at the end of November as a benefit for the choral department. The event is high pageant and the singing – madrigals, naturally – is truly excellent.

Bear River High School is performing its “Make a Joyful Noise” concert twice on Saturday, Nov. 18 (once at 2 p.m. and once at 7 p.m.), with all six choirs. The last time I attended this school’s concert, I was impressed and delighted with the music and the good moves.

Annabelle Schossig, a 16- year-old photographer and Arkady Aura, 13, who started painting when she was 3, are having their own exhibition this month at The Flying Hare Gallery in Grass Valley. Both name mentors in their lives who have been essential to their success but both also have that creative spark that results in beautiful work.

Says Schossig, “We feel very fortunate that we started making art when we were young, and we want to let everyone know what a joy it is to create art and let people experience the doors that it has opened up for us.”

See their work at a reception at the gallery on Sunday, Nov. 19, where a well-known local band of 20-somethings, Root Down One, will provide the Afro-Celtic world music beat from 3-7 p.m.

The honing of talent starts early here. The award-winning Nevada County Performing Arts Guild claims to have had 2,500 children, ages 8 to 14, participate in its theater program on a workshop-by-workshop basis, providing them, says PAG Executive Director Paulette Rudolph, with, above all, life skills such as public speaking. With 75 productions under its belt, some amazing talent has surfaced.

Says Rudolph, “Many don’t even know they have this talent until they’ve done a few plays, and then they turn on and become wonderful performers. The atmosphere is catching, and there is a wealth of young talent in Nevada County. These children put many adult performers to shame.”

How about the13, a middle school rock band for which auditions are coming up fast, on Nov. 28 and 29 at The Center for the Arts (see box). This is a great opportunity for 13 young musicians who might, for all we know, go into music professionally, becoming the latest hot band, like the Lonely Kings, who are featured as Best Bet in this issue.

Another gallery, Exposure in Nevada City, is celebrating its one-year-anniversary with a silent auction of the work of 120 high school students in photography (a benefit for Nevada Union’s Photography Department).

Owner Shannon Perry, who runs a mentor program at the school, says, “The talent these students possess is overwhelmingly powerful at times, rivaling that of professionals … Younger aspiring artists need a break, and I am heartily delighted to give that to them.”

While a little long in the tooth to be considered a youth any more, Grace Tea Totherow, 28, of Nevada City, is a very talented creative who has been making her art an integral part of her life here for years as poet, dancer and member of the eclectic funk rock band Organic Flood (in addition to recording with them, she also has her own solo album, “Cassiopeia Tapouna”). And she helps others find their voices by facilitating poetry workshops in local high schools and visiting elementary classrooms as a California Poet in the Schools.

Also take Marc Snegg, a band leader who is quickly becoming a musical entrepreneur as he starts up his own record company in the Loma Rica industrial park. Grass Roots Record Co. already has a couple of CDs out, including one that features 18 young local artists.

We could go on and on but have run out of space. Thanks to the youth of this county for their creativity; we’re all the richer for it.

To buy tickets or get more details of the events mentioned in the story, call:

• Cherry Hayes, choral music director, at 268-2700, ext. 4833, for the Bear River High School concert (tickets are $9/adults and $8/students and seniors at the BRHS student store).

• Rachel Kelly, owner of the Flying Hare Gallery, at 477-7111 for the artists’ reception, Sunday, Nov. 19, 3-6 p.m.

• Shannon Perry, owner of Exposure Galley, at 265-4342 for the benefit silent auction, Nov. 17-22; reception/preview Friday, 7 p.m.

• Barry Kerr at 272-5910 for the Madrigal Dinner (tickets are $30 for Nov. 30, Dec. 1, 2 and 3 at Miners Foundry).

• For the13 auditions, download an application at or call 274-8384.


Auditions for middle school musicians are set

Singers, guitarists, bass players, drummers and keyboard players of middle school age have until Nov. 24 to get their applications in to The Center for the Arts to be considered for the rock band the13. Interviews will be held at 6 p.m. on Nov. 28 at the Center, followed by auditions the next evening (the 29th), at 6 p.m. on the center’s main stage.

Directed by Rick Kirkpatrick, the13 is the only program of its kind in this area and an incredible opportunity for 13 young musicians to have a real-life experience in a rock band. The program runs from January to June, with weekly rehearsals and two performances at the Center.

Tuition is $495. There are some scholarships available. Applications may be picked up at Empire Music; Foggy Mountain Music; Soundcheck Music; J&L Musicworld; or The Center for the Arts at 314 W. Main, Grass Valley. Applications may also be downloaded at Call 274-8384 for more information.

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