Additional Featured Artists Perform Dec 9-11 before Petite Opera’s AMAHL AND THE NIGHT VISITORS

Petite Opera’s “Featured Artists before the Opera” series continues into the final weekend of its run of Amahl and the Night Visitors.  This weekend, Petite Opera welcomes two additional featured artists on December 9 and 10, and welcomes back one featured artist December 11.  These artists perform prior to performances of Amahl and the Night Visitors to share their talents, and set the tone for the production.
Galina Dance Studio
Friday, December 9, 2011, 7:30 PM
In 1961, Galina Dance Studio was founded in Des Plaines under the direction of Madame Galina Petik.  Galina Studio quickly became a center of Des Plaines dance culture.
In 1989 Miss Libby McGuire and Ellen Ecker took over the Studio, continuing the tradition of excellence in teaching dance in Des Plaines.  Today, the Studio offers classes in ballet, pointe, tap, jazz, tumbling, as well as ballroom, social and wedding classes.  Adding to the full artistic disciplines, The Studio recently added Guitar and banjo lessons taught by Tim Vana of Des Plaines, and became the Galina Dance and Music Studio, under the ownership and direction of Miss Libby McGuire.
The Galina Dance and Music Studio’s mission is to teach and inspire children, teen-agers and adults in the art of dance and music; to instill in them the love and respect for the art of dance and music; and nurture admiration for themselves and other people in their effort to be as good as they can be in their endeavors to dance and in life.  As Miss Libby has been inspired her whole life to love the art of dance and music, so the Studio also strives to help its students of all ages to inspire others.
For the opera, Amahl and the Night Visitors, Miss Libby acts as choreographer, and members of Galina Dance Studio are featured villagers, shepherds, camels, tiger and antelope.
The group will perform an original vignette, entitled “The Christmas Tree”.
The Story
It is Christmas Eve.  Father, who is a truck driver who delivers Christmas trees, is delayed on his way home for the family celebration when he is caught in a blizzard.  The family crisis tests the family’s faith, and reminds them of the true meaning of Christmas.

Willows Academy Chamber Choir
Saturday, December 10, 2011, 7:30 PM
The Willows Academy Chamber Choir is the premier performing group of the Willows Academy in Des Plaines, Illinois. The group consists of twenty-three girls in grades nine through twelve. They maintain an active performance schedule in both sacred and secular settings.  They have been featured performers at St. Mary of the Angels in Chicago, the Arlington Heights Kris Kringle Markt, the Chicago Botanic Gardens, Allstate Financial, and Symphony Center in Chicago.  The Chamber Choir has taken performance tours to Boston, Pittsburgh, New York, California, and Rome.  Performance sites include the Carmel Mission, Pittsburgh and San Francisco Cathedrals, the Bayridge Cultural Center, St. Peter’s and other Churches in Rome, and many other churches, schools and nursing homes.  The Chamber Choir has released two CDs:  “A Willows Christmas” and “Gratia Plena”.  The choir is available to perform for weddings and other events.
The Willows Academy is a top ranked college preparatory school in the Catholic Tradition for girls in grades 6-12. At The Willows, students flourish in an ideal learning environment, participate in a wide range of co-curricular activities, and grow in faith and values. Willows graduates attend top universities – and are well-prepared to lead in a complex world. Class of 2011 statistics include: 29 girls, ACT average of 27, offered over $2.5 million in merit scholarships, and accepted to over 125 universities across the nation and abroad.
Vocalists, Directed by Karen Wilberg
Crystal Avila
Emily Blatter
Rachel Brochu
Bridget Cross
Margaret Cross
Maria Daniel
Monica Deardurff
Madeline Demski
Rebecca Demski
Luci Fonseca
Elizabeth Habisohn
Rachael Hussar
Sofia Kagan
Amelia Kurkowski
Helen Marry
Elizabeth Paschall
Anne Penner
Catherine Pitt-Payne
Clare Pitt-Payne
Mary Robin
Ashley Simon
Samantha Villasanta
Lauren Yoo
Willows Academy Chamber Choir will perform various selections from their holiday program.

For more information about the group, call 847.824.6900 or visit our website at
Musicke’s Merrie Companions
Sunday, December 11, 2011, 4:00 PM
This wonderful recorder quintet impressed audiences the evening of December 3 as they demonstrated the myriad of early instruments in the recorder family.  If you missed them on December 3, don’t miss them this weekend.