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Home / Neighborhood / San Gabriel Valley / Pasadena Independent / Pasadena-Based LA Children’s Chorus Honors “Frozen” Songwriters 4/14

Pasadena-Based LA Children’s Chorus Honors “Frozen” Songwriters 4/14

by Pasadena Independent
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It promises to be an evening of musical magic, touching accolades and tremendous excitement when the Los Angeles Children’s Chorus (LACC) honors at its annual Gala Bel Canto the Oscar and Grammy Award-winning songwriters behind Disney’s “Frozen,” Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, and LACC President and Vice Chair Edward J. Nowak (La Canada), Deputy General Counsel of The Walt Disney Company, on Tuesday, April 14, 2015, 6 p.m., at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion’s Grand Hall in downtown Los Angeles. The distinguished honorees are being recognized for their vast contributions to the arts and entertainment worlds. The gala includes heartfelt tributes and compelling performances by esteemed special guests and LACC choristers, led by Artistic Director Anne Tomlinson, as well as a sumptuous three-course sit-down dinner by Patina, exquisite wines and a dazzling live auction. Proceeds benefit Los Angeles Children’s Chorus’s artistic, educational and scholarship programs.
“Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez have touched countless lives around the globe with their incredible artistry, as has Ed Nowak through his visionary behind-the-scenes leadership at The Walt Disney Company over the past two decades,” says Gala Bel Canto Chair Cheryl R. Scheidemantle (Pasadena). “LACC is proud to recognize their remarkable achievements. We are also deeply grateful to Ed for his longtime support of LACC and its mission to provide quality choral music training to children.”

In addition to Scheidemantle, Gala Bel Canto committee members are Dianna Lau Beggs (San Marino), Andrea Bland (Pasadena), Mary Blodgett (San Marino), Lynn Boberg (Sierra Madre), Rachel Fine (Pasadena), Michele Hemmings (Pasadena), Allison Merryman (Pasadena), Andrea Patzakis (San Marino) and Ann Sunshine (Pasadena).
KRISTEN ANDERSON-LOPEZ and ROBERT LOPEZ, who receive LACC’s “Bel Canto Award,” wrote the original songs in Walt Disney Animation Studios’ 2013 blockbuster “Frozen,” the highest-grossing animated feature ever released. The Oscar®- and Golden Globe®-winning film’s soundtrack was Billboard’s top-selling album of 2014, spending 33 weeks in the top 5 on the Billboard 200 chart, including 13 weeks at No. 1. It is certified triple Platinum, selling more than 3.9 million units. Anderson-Lopez and Lopez won an Oscar® for the movie’s signature song “Let It Go,” which was also nominated for a Golden Globe® and earned the duo a Grammy® for best song written for visual media. Anderson-Lopez, Lopez, Tom MacDougall and Chris Montan share a Grammy for best compilation soundtrack for visual media. The Lopezes reunite with Elsa, Anna, Olaf and the rest of the “Frozen” favorites with a new original song in the all-new short “Frozen Fever,” which debuted March 13, 2015, in front of Disney’s live-action feature “Cinderella.” The Lopez’s original musical “Up Here,” directed by two-time Tony® nominee Alex Timbers, will be featured in the La Jolla Playhouse’s 2015-16 season. They live in Brooklyn with their two daughters.
Anderson-Lopez made her off-Broadway debut at Primary Stages with “In Transit,” a musical performed entirely without accompaniment, inspired by the rhythms and sounds of life on the subway. The show earned her Drama Desk, Drama League, Outer Critics Circle and Lucile Lortel nominations. Together with her husband and collaborator Robert Lopez, she wrote the Annie Award- nominated songs for the 2011 feature film “Winnie the Pooh,” as well as “Finding Nemo: The Musical,” a popular live show currently in its eighth year at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Her work has appeared on “Dawson’s Creek,” Nickelodeon’s “The Wonder Pets” and nationally in Theatreworks/USA’s stage adaptations of the children’s classics “The Tell Tale Heart,” “Fancy Nancy” and “Diary of a Worm.” She is the recipient of the BMI Harrington Award and the Dramatists Guild Fellowship, and a frequent guest moderator of the prestigious BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theater Workshop. Also an actress, Anderson-Lopez was featured in the original cast of “Urinetown,” as well as the voice of Kanga in Disney’s “Winnie the Pooh.” Anderson-Lopez, a graduate of Williams College.
Lopez is the Tony®-, Grammy®-, and Emmy®- winning co-creator of the worldwide smash hit Broadway musicals “Avenue Q” and “The Book of Mormon.” He shared two Emmy® Awards for his music for Nickelodeon’s “The Wonder Pets” and an Emmy nomination for his work on the musical episode of “Scrubs.” His work has been featured on “South Park,” “The Simpsons” and “Phineas and Ferb,” as well as “Bear in the Big Blue House,” “Third and Bird” and “Johnny and the Sprites.” He has won Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, Drama League, Lucile Lortel, Frederick Loewe and Edward Kleban awards. None of his musicals have ever closed. Lopez is a graduate of Yale College.
EDWARD J. NOWAK, who receives LACC’s Rebecca Thompson Founder’s Award, joined The Walt Disney Company in 1985 as senior counsel in charge of litigation worldwide and today manages several of the company’s legal groups: litigation and employment, employee benefits, environmental affairs, product integrity and safety, immigration, and minors’ employment. He is involved as both a lawyer and an executive in dispute prevention and the resolution of complex business issues throughout the company. Before joining Disney, Nowak was associated with the law firm of Simpson Thacher & Bartlett in New York. He graduated from Columbia College of Columbia University, where he majored in music, and from Columbia Law School, where he was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar. In addition to his work at Disney, he is Chairman Emeritus and a member of the advisory board of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra; a member of the board of directors of Ryman Arts, a non-profit organization that offers an advanced studio art program for talented but underserved public and private high school students; and was Secretary and a member of the board of directors of the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary, which in 2006 honored him with its Margaret Loeb Kempner Humanitarian Award for that year. Nowak has served on the LACC board since 2012. Both of his daughters have sung with LACC – Julia has been a chorister since 2008, and Caroline from 2008-2009.
Gala tickets are $375 per person with special sponsorship packages available. The Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, which is one of the theatres at the Music Center, is located at 135 North Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, California, 90012. For tickets and information, please call (626) 793-4231 or visit www.lachildrenschorus.org.

LOS ANGELES CHILDREN’S CHORUS (LACC), led by highly regarded Artistic Director Anne Tomlinson and acclaimed for its agile bel canto sound, serves more than 400 children, ages 6 to 18, from 50 Southland communities through six choirs and a First Experiences in Singing program. It has been lauded as “one of the world’s foremost children’s choirs” (Pasadena Star News), and described as “hauntingly beautiful” (Los Angeles Times), “astonishingly polished” (Performances Magazine), “extraordinary in its abilities” (Culture Spot LA), and “one heck of a talented group of kids” (LA Weekly). The recipient of Chorus America’s 2014 Margaret Hillis Award for Choral Excellence, the nation’s highest choral honor, LACC has toured North and South America, Africa, China, Australia and Europe. It appears on the Los Angeles Master Chorale’s critically acclaimed Decca recording A Good Understanding and Plácido Domingo’s Deutsche Grammophon recording Amore Infinito (“Infinite Love”). The subject of a trilogy of documentaries by Academy Award-winning filmmaker Freida Mock, LACC is featured in the Academy Award®-nominated Sing!, about a year in the life of the choir; Sing Opera!, documenting the production of the LACC-commissioned family opera Keepers of the Night; and Sing China!, chronicling its groundbreaking tour to China just prior to the Beijing Olympics. LACC has performed with John Mayer on NBC’s “The Tonight Show” and has also been featured on BBC Radio and Public Radio International’s nationally syndicated show “From the Top,” among other credits.

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