By Kristin Pagels
The boys of the Vienna Boys Choir have charmed audiences around the globe for centuries — yes, CENTURIES — with their prodigious musical talent and charming demeanor. The Vienna Boys Choir includes both a boarding school (named Palais Augarten) and four touring music ensembles. The individual choirs are named after four influential composers who were personally involved with the choir: Bruckner, Haydn, Schubert, and Mozart. There are in total about 100 boys involved, ranging in ages from 10-14. They have evolved into a highly sought-after performing group, with the different choirs traveling and singing 300+ concerts all over the world!
As we prepare for the arrival of the Vienna Boys Choir and their “Christmas in Vienna” holiday performance on Tuesday, November 28, we thought we’d take a moment to celebrate some other remarkably talented kids from around the world. Get ready to be amazed!
Makoto Sato – Ukulele/Singer
Many people have started learning ukulele the last couple of years, but who is cuter than Makoto Sato! Six YouTube videos were uploaded by a fan some years ago, celebrating his covers of songs by the Beatles, Ray Charles, and Jason Mraz…the latter of which has more than 60 million views.
Evan Le (6 yrs old) – Concert Pianist
Another crazy talented kid, Evan Le, plays with the delicacy and maturity of a much more experienced musician. His interest in piano began when he was just 2 years old, playing with his older brother’s toy keyboard. Quickly he was given an electric piano where he taught himself to play simple children’s songs…all by ear. He began piano lessons when he was three, and also began composing music.
Brielle (5 yrs old) – Genius
This cute and brainy little girl rose to stardom after appearing on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Ellen was so impressed by Brielle’s genius and her ability to recall countless facts (ones that many adults don’t even remember), she gave Brielle her own returning segment on the show, called “She’s Brielle-iant!” Brielle has episodes that teach everything from Puppy Facts, Chemistry, Geography and even Human Anatomy. We want Brielle to be our tutor!
Grace Vanderwaal (14 yrs old) – Singer/Songerwriter
Kansas native Grace Vanderwaal first caught the world’s attention after winning the 11th season of America’s Got Talent. A natural singer/songwriter and crazy skilled on the ukulele, she specializes in impressive covers and original songs. In the last year, she has performed at the Special Olympic World Winter Games, won the Radio Disney Music Award for Best New Artist and a Teen Choice Award. If that isn’t enough, she will soon be releasing a full-length album in conjunction with her first-ever tour.
Maddie Ziegler (15 yrs old) – Dancer/Actress
Maddie got her start on the hit reality show Dance Moms at the age of eight. Now age 15, she has starred in several music videos by recording artist Sia, modeled for Ralph Lauren and Target, judged on So You Think You Can Dance, and even wrote her own memoir, The Maddie Diaries. Actor, dancer, writer, and philanthropist, this teen is certainly going big places. We can’t wait to see how she shapes the world!
Darci Lynne (12 yrs old) – Ventriloquist
Probably one of the most recent viral sensations, Darci Lynne’s winning performance on America’s Got Talent is definitely worth watching! Darci Lynne is only 12 years old and is already an award-winning ventriloquist. She began honing her skill after receiving a puppet for her 10th birthday — a gift she asked for to help overcome her shyness. After just two short years of working with puppets, she now performs an incredible and entertaining act of music and comedy, worthy of its own Las Vegas show.
The MacMaster Leahy Kids – Violin and Tap Dancing
These Cape Breton kids are bursting at the seams with talent: not only are they accomplished fiddlers, they can tap dance, too! Kids of fiddle sensations Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy, the apples definitely didn’t fall far from the tree. You can check them out for yourselves with mom Natalie MacMaster, dad Donnell Leahy, and all the talented kids at Wharton Center on February 8.
Looking to experience even more talent? Head over to the Cobb Great Hall on November 28 for the Vienna Boys Choir’s “Christmas in Vienna” holiday performance! Enchanting audiences for over 500 years, the choir’s performance will feature holiday classics and songs from around the world.
For more information visit www.whartoncenter.com. Click here for tickets, or call 1-800-WHARTON. MSU student tickets are only $19 with your APID! Like us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram and Twitter for more updates about upcoming shows and what’s on at Wharton.
Kristin is a new marketing and communications intern at Wharton Center, who previously taught band and choir in Macomb County and is currently pursuing her master’s in Arts & Cultural Management at Michigan State University. She enjoys playing her clarinet and bass clarinet with local bands and orchestras and is also involved in Lansing community theatre.