WBEZ | Harris Theater http://www.wbez.org/tags/harris-theater Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Dalai Lama visits Chicago to talk about the road to happiness http://www.wbez.org/story/dalai-lama-visits-chicago-talk-about-road-happiness-89315 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-July/2011-07-19/dalai lama_flickr_jan Michael Ihl.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The Dalai Lama spoke in downtown Chicago Monday morning about how people of different religions can come together.&nbsp;The panel discussion, entitled “Building Bridges: Religious Leaders in Conversation with the Dalai Lama”, took place at the Harris Theater and was hosted by the <a href="http://www.dalailamachicago.com/events.html">Theosophical Society in America</a>.</p><p>The Buddhist leader was <a href="http://www.harristheaterchicago.org/calendar/performance?id=3640&amp;mos=7">joined by&nbsp;leaders from various faiths</a> who discussed the similarities between different religions. Leaders included Rabbi Michael Lerner, Dr. Ingrid Mattson and Rev. Peg Chemberlin. The panel was moderated by Eboo Patel, the founder of Interfaith Youth Core, a Chicago non-profit.</p><p>The Buddhist leader, who was born Tenzin Gyatso, stressed the importance of inner and outer peace as a way to find happiness. "Everybody knows -- anger will not bring happiness. Violence will not bring happiness," he said.</p><p>Paying mention to political conflicts around the world, including long-standing schisms in Northern Ireland, Israel and Palestine, he said that "forgetting our basic commonalities is very sad."</p><p>Demonstrators from the Free Tibet campaign stood outside the event with signs protesting Chinese rule over Tibet.</p><p>The Chinese government criticized the Obama administration for meeting with the Dalai Lama on Saturday, saying it would damage Chinese-American relations.</p><p>The Dalai Lama was in Chicago for two days.&nbsp;Before arriving, he participated in a 10-day event for world peace in Washington, D.C.</p></p> Mon, 18 Jul 2011 17:35:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/dalai-lama-visits-chicago-talk-about-road-happiness-89315 Critics theater picks for 7/15-7/17 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-07-13/critics-theater-picks-715-717-89111 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-July/2011-07-14/IsharaPuppetTheatreTrust_Transposition_tn.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><u><strong>Kelly Kleiman</strong></u></p><p><img alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-July/2011-07-14/header_romeoandjuliet10.jpg" style="width: 352px; height: 164px; float: left; margin: 7px;" title="">First Folio Theatre's <strong><a href="http://www.firstfolio.org/plays/romeoandjuliet10.html" target="_blank"><em>Romeo and Juliet</em></a></strong> is in the finest tradition of outdoor summer Shakespeare: the <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-07-14/daily-rehearsal-steppenwolf-sends-emmy-congrats-martha-plimpton-891">setting is bucolic</a>, the sword-play intense and the mosquitoes ravenous. Under the direction of Nick Sandys, Shakespeare's star-crossed lovers only narrowly escape eclipse by a trio of supporting players. Christian Gray, better known for playing the witless Bertie Wooster in the company's P.G. Wodehouse adaptations, makes an especially haunting Mercutio, while Phil Timberlake and Annabel Armour succeed in showing Friar Lawrence and the Nurse to be as much "Fortune's fools" as Romeo himself. And it's doubtless thanks to Timberlake's vocal coaching that the entire ensemble is clearly audible, no small feat when performing on the greensward. At the Mayslake Peabody Estate in Oak Brook; Wednesdays through Sundays at 8:15; tickets from $29, and for an extra fee you can pre-order a box dinner and have it waiting for you. Lawn chairs provided!</p><p>If you prefer your tragedy with a more contemporary flair, and your outdoor theater with a roof, try Eclipse Theatre Company's <strong><a href="http://www.chicagoparkdistrict.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/events.detail/object_id/fa44272e-c160-48d2-a53a-9b2829846aab/instance_object_id/9e54e16f-e077-46c8-811e-daa1bfedd6b1/park/312DF49F-8FBF-4E35-8DA1-443A4A50E3E8.cfm" target="_blank"><em>After the Fall</em></a></strong>, revived at Theatre on the Lake just for the weekend. The original production evoked a rare rave from Hedy Weiss, who praised it for its conquest of an extremely difficult text. Miller certainly opened a vein for this story of his doomed marriage to Marilyn Monroe, and a good version of it is an unusual and thrilling thing. Through Sunday only; curtain at 7:30 at Fullerton and Lake Shore Drive; tickets are $17.50.</p><p>Some plays embody a different kind of tragedy: the tragedy of having been written at all.&nbsp;<strong><a href="http://www.stagelefttheatre.com/participate/drekfest/" target="_blank"><em>Drek Fest 5</em></a></strong>, a co-production of Stage Left and ComedySportz, annually presents plays that are deliberately, and deliciously, awful, under the motto "It takes guts to write crap!" This year's Final Four (featuring work by the champions of DrekFests 3 and 4) will receive staged readings this coming Tuesday, and then will be torn to shreds by a lively panel (including our own Jonathan Abarbanel) before a Grand Loser is crowned by vote of the audience. Come get a year's worth of theatrical disappointment out of your system in a single night. Tuesday, July 19, 7:30 p.m. at ComedySportz Theatre, 929 West Belmont; tickets are $15.</p><p><u><strong>Laura Molzahn</strong></u></p><p><img alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-July/2011-07-14/IsharaPuppetTheatreTrust_Transposition_1.jpg" style="width: 320px; height: 212px; float: left; margin: 7px;" title="">Love is seen through the lens of Indian mythology in Ishara Puppet Theatre’s <em>Transposition</em>, being shown one night only, Friday, at the <a href="http://www.harristheaterchicago.org/">Harris Theater</a> as part of the <strong><a href="http://www.eyeonindia.com/chicago/">Eye on India festival</a></strong>. Expect puppetry, of course, but also dancing and martial arts by real-live human beings as this New Delhi-based troupe explores human duality and the illusions of love.&nbsp;</p><p>Save the date: Tuesday, July 19, is the first day to get your free “tickets” to the <strong><a href="http://chicagodancingfestival.com/">Chicago Dancing Festival</a></strong> events in August—and this is the first year you can make your bids online, at least for shows at the MCA and the Auditorium (at the Harris, you can claim your seats by phone or at the box office). This is also the first year that tickets are being made available on a staggered basis, with different events/venues being offered on different days. See the CDF website for details.</p><p>And an <strong>update</strong>: well, no update really. There’s still no word on the Joffrey/AGMA union snafu—and no word on whether the Joffrey will appear during CDF or not.</p><p><u><strong>Jonathan Abarbanel</strong></u></p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-July/2011-07-14/puppetbike.jpg" style="width: 320px; height: 240px; margin: 7px; float: left;" title="(James Allenspach/Flickr)">Sometime over this weekend, I almost certainly will encounter <a href="http://puppetbike.com/" target="_blank">The Puppetbike</a>, the clever combination of roving tricycle and hand puppet theater transformed into an original Outsider Art sculpture. I've seen The Puppetbike in many places, including State Street in The Loop, but most often I see it at the northeast corner of Clark Street and Berwyn in Andersonville, my home neighborhood. There, the unseen puppeteer, cocooned within his four-walled box, presents cute animal hand puppets dancing to pop tunes to the amusement of adults, the delight of children and the consternation of dogs. The solo puppeteer manages to operate up to three puppets at the same time. The show is free, although the puppets happily accept donations.</p><p>"God for Harry, England and St. George!" will echo throughout the Oak Park Historic District this weekend as the 37th season of the <a href="http://www.goldstar.com/events/oak-park-il/henry-v" target="_blank">Oak Park Festival Theatre</a> launches Henry V outdoors in Austin Gardens, where fireflies twinkle and rabbits scamper among the stately oak trees, so appropriate to Shakespeare's great English history play. Oak Park veteran actor and director Kevin Theis is at the helm, with Dennis Grimes as King Henry V, nicknamed both Hal and Harry. Henry V runs through Aug. 20</p></p> Wed, 13 Jul 2011 20:11:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-07-13/critics-theater-picks-715-717-89111 Morning Rehearsal: Chicago theater 5/25 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-05-25/morning-rehearsal-chicago-theater-525-87013 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-May/2011-05-25/photo Lois Greenfield.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>1. <a href="http://leisureblogs.chicagotribune.com/the_theater_loop/2011/05/chi-shakes-to-host-australias-one-step-at-a-time-like-this.html">Chris Jones reports</a> on Chicago Shakespeare Theater's&nbsp;<em>en route</em> by One Step at a Time Like This, a group from Melbourne who specializes in city-specific performances. The most interesting detail is actually from the press release: "<em>en route&nbsp;</em>incorporates audio tracks, cell phone communication, text messaging, downtown thoroughfares, hotel lobbies, passers-by, cafés&nbsp;and the occasional brush with the artists." It all starts with a text message sent to participants instructing them where to go, all on borrowed Motorola smartphones. It's definitely a creative&nbsp;<a href="http://chitheatreaddict.com/2011/05/24/en-route-a-pedestrian-based-live-art-experience-comes-to-chicago-in-july/#more-9284">way to market</a>, presented by the Chicago Office of Tourism.&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: center; "><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-May/2011-05-25/MOTHER BEAR by Jayme McGhan from Mortar Theatre Company.jpg" style="width: 400px; height: 217px; " title=""></p><p>2. Mortar Theatre has the world premiere of <a href="http://mortartheatrecompany.org/season-2/mother-bear/"><em>Mother Bear</em></a> by&nbsp;Jayme McGhan at the&nbsp;Athenaeum Theatre. It's about truckers and thugs and opens in previews tomorrow.</p><p>3. So many anniversaries!&nbsp;<a href="http://propthtr.blogspot.com/2011/04/arizona-no-roosters-in-desert.html"><em>Arizona: Roosters in the Desert</em></a> is at <a href="http://www.propthtr.org/">Prop Thtr</a> for its 30th, and they're calling it the highlight of the year. You'll see "four women trek the desert toward the American dream," but it closes on Sunday.</p><p style="text-align: center; "><img alt="" class="caption" height="275" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-May/2011-05-25/photo Lois Greenfield.jpg" title="(Photo by Lois Greenfield)" width="450"></p><p>4.&nbsp;The&nbsp;<a href="http://www.aspensantafeballet.com/performance_calendar/joyce_season.php" style="color: rgb(2, 122, 198); text-decoration: none; ">Aspen Santa Fe Ballet</a>&nbsp;was in Chicago last night as part of its 15th anniversary celebrations. The production premiered three pieces at the Harris Theater:&nbsp;Jirí Kylián's&nbsp;<em>Stamping Ground</em>, Jorma Elo's&nbsp;<em>Red Sweet</em>&nbsp;and Nicolo Fonte's&nbsp;<em>Where We Left Off.</em></p><p>5. And slightly outside of the Chicago jurisdiction; <a href="http://www.paramountaurora.com/">Paramount Theatre</a> in Aurora has just announced their 2011-12 season, and since it's their 80th anniversary, it looks more than impressive. The house has never self-produced, so this season will be an entirely new venture, presenting &nbsp;four Broadway musicals. It all starts on&nbsp;August 26 at 5 pm at the annual Season Kick-Off Party.</p><p>Questions? Tips? Email kdries@wbez.org.</p></p> Wed, 25 May 2011 14:42:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-05-25/morning-rehearsal-chicago-theater-525-87013 Morning Rehearsal: Chicago theater 4/21 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-04-21/morning-rehearsal-chicago-theater-421-85493 <p><p>1. Alan Cumming is <a href="http://chitheatreaddict.com/2011/04/15/tony-award-winner-alan-cumming-brings-his-blue-car-to-harris-theater/">coming to Chicago</a> (how many times has that pun been made?)! He'll be performing his one man cabaret show <em>I Bought a Blue Car Today</em> <a href="http://www.harristheaterchicago.org/calendar/performance?id=2770&amp;mos=7">on May 28th</a>. Yes, that's a long time from now, but he's a big deal, so get on it. Cumming was actually in the Broadway production of <em>Cabaret </em>in 1994, and his television show <em>The Good Wife</em> is set in Chicago (though disappointingly&nbsp;not filmed here) so this seems like a natural melding of the two.&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img border="0" height="0" src="http://c.gigcount.com/wildfire/IMP/CXNID=2000002.0NXC/bT*xJmx*PTEzMDM*MDA1Mzc4NzYmcHQ9MTMwMzQwMDU*MTg4OCZwPTEyNTg*MTEmZD1BQkNOZXdzX1NGUF9Mb2NrZV9FbWJlZCZn/PTImbz1iMzJlMTgxODBkOGU*OTQ*YTY1YTZiNTg5NzAzYmFiNyZvZj*w.gif" style="visibility: hidden; width: 0px; height: 0px;" width="0"><object classid="clsid:D27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000" codebase="http://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=9,0,124,0" height="278" id="ABCESNWID" width="344"><param name="movie" value="http://abcnews.go.com/assets/player/walt2.6/flash/SFP_Walt_2_65.swf"><param name="quality" value="high"><param name="allowScriptAccess" value="always"><param name="allowNetworking" value="all"><param name="flashvars" value="configUrl=http://abcnews.go.com/video/sfp/embedPlayerConfig&amp;configId=406732&amp;clipId=8891789&amp;showId=8891789&amp;gig_lt=1303400537876&amp;gig_pt=1303400541888&amp;gig_g=2"><param name="allowfullscreen" value="true"><embed allowfullscreen="true" allownetworking="all" allowscriptaccess="always" flashvars="configUrl=http://abcnews.go.com/video/sfp/embedPlayerConfig&amp;configId=406732&amp;clipId=8891789&amp;showId=8891789&amp;gig_lt=1303400537876&amp;gig_pt=1303400541888&amp;gig_g=2" height="278" name="ABCESNWID" pluginspage="http://www.adobe.com/shockwave/download/download.cgi?P1_Prod_Version=ShockwaveFlash" quality="high" src="http://abcnews.go.com/assets/player/walt2.6/flash/SFP_Walt_2_65.swf" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="344"></object></p><p>2.&nbsp;<em>Merrily We Roll Along</em> is getting consistently consistent reviews; Onstage/Backstage's own Kelly Kleiman <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-04-07/working-weekend-critics-picks-84873">was looking forward to it</a> a few weeks ago, the Hedy Weiss of the <em>Sun-Times</em> <a href="http://www.suntimes.com/entertainment/stage/4872653-421/merrily-we-roll-along-a-worthwhile-time.html">calls it</a> "a worthwhile time", and Chris Jones of the <em>Tribune</em> <a href="http://leisureblogs.chicagotribune.com/the_theater_loop/2011/04/merrily-youthful-creativity-invigorates-sondheim-production.html">says </a>"The vibe is young and fresh." So it's not blowing anyone out of the water, but it is plodding comfortably with a warm glow about it.</p><p>3. Another Sondheim classic, <a href="http://www.circle-theatre.org/shows/little-night-music.shtml"><em>A Little Night Music</em></a> is set to open in previews tomorrow night at the Circle Theatre, which has had a particularly exciting season - they've done everything from <em>Kiss Me, Kate</em> to <em>The Wedding Singer</em>, and after <em>A Little Night Music</em> will have <em>The Women</em>, and <em>Urinetown </em>later in the year. A word to the wise: Don't brush up on the plot of <em>The Women</em> by seeing the movie. Meg Ryan's face isn't the same since <em>When Harry Met Sally</em>, Annette Bening doesn't save it, and I'm pretty sure we all hate change.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-April/2011-04-21/King_and_I.jpg" style="width: 250px; height: 288px;" title=""></p><p>4. <a href="http://www.stage773.org/showDetail.aspx?uniqshow=46"><em>The King and I</em></a> opens at Stage 773 tomorrow night as presented by Porchlight Music Theatre. So it's not Sondheim, but Rogers and Hammerstein will probably do the trick.&nbsp;</p><p>5. Blink and you missed it (until next month): <a href="http://ww.belmontburlesque.com/home.">The Belmont Burlesque Revue</a> is sold out this Saturday. Why so popular? After May 28th, they'll be retiring their monthly open run of shows at the Playground Theater. In a note from the director and founding member of the troupe, Paris Green emphasized that they are "*not* breaking up, closing down or otherwise ending our time together as a troupe - we're simply moving on to other burlesque projects as a group."</p><p>Questions? Tips? Email kdries@wbez.org.</p></p> Thu, 21 Apr 2011 14:59:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2011-04-21/morning-rehearsal-chicago-theater-421-85493 Chicago's dance 'Transformation' http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/%5Bfield_program_ref-title-raw%5D/chicagos-dance-transformation <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/Pilobolus.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Many dance choreographers seek to expand their medium through inventive collaborations. In two upcoming performances dancers are teamed with very unusual partners - dramatic lighting and lovable puppets: <a target="_top" href="http://www.pilobolus.com/">Pilobolus Dance Theatre performs</a> Friday and Saturday at the <a target="_blank" href="http://www.harristheaterchicago.org/calendar/performance?id=2744&amp;mos=7">Harris Theater in Chicago</a> and the <a target="_blank" href="http://www.joegoode.org/">Joe Goode Performance Group</a> stages <em>Wonder Boy </em>at the <a target="_blank" href="http://www.colum.edu/Dance_Center/">Dance Center of Columbia College</a> next weekend.For WBEZ, dance critic Lucia Mauro gave<span style="font-style: italic;"> </span><em>Eight Forty-Eight</em> the details:<br /><span style="font-style: italic;">&nbsp;</span></p><p>Many choreographers are expanding the scope of dance through inventive collaborations. Two upcoming performances feature dance makers teaming up with dramatic lighting design and lovable puppets. Lucia Mauro gives us the details.</p><p>When it first somersaulted onto the post-modern dance scene 40 years ago, Pilobolus Dance Theatre baffled and intrigued the most seasoned dance lovers. Through Lego-like maneuvers and creative lighting cues, the six-member troupe transformed human bodies into trees, caterpillars and extraterrestrials. So, were they dancers, acrobats, filmmakers or magicians? Today, even though Pilobolus has the means to create more technologically sophisticated optical illusions, audiences are still asking the same question. And the answer is all of the above.</p><p>Pilobolus performs a retrospective of early and new work at the Harris Theater. <em>The Transformation</em> is a shadow-theater excerpt from a larger piece called <em>Shadowlands</em>. It was created in collaboration with Steven Banks, lead writer for the animated <em>SpongeBob SquarePants</em> series, and singer-songwriter David Poe. <em>The Transformation</em> is both a children&rsquo;s story come to life and a whimsical suggestion of Michelangelo&rsquo;s fresco of God creating Adam. It all takes place behind a large screen in silhouette. A giant hand molds the figure of a young girl like clay. Through some deft manipulations, she loses her head only for it to be replaced by that of a poodle. The dog wags its tail and rolls on its back. Eventually the likable figure becomes a dog-headed girl sent off on a journey &ndash; hobo sack and all -- to join the circus by her Titan of a creator. It&rsquo;s a familiar coming of age story with a fantastical twist.</p><p>The company also will perform <em>Duet</em>, a shape-shifting classic in which two women in sundresses grow taller and shorter before the audience&rsquo;s eyes&hellip;a witty study in genial power plays. Co-artistic director Michael Tracy points to the group&rsquo;s keen ability to spur a shock of recognition. He says they don&rsquo;t rely on elaborate rigs to create illusions. Instead they craft magical images through interlocking bodies and hand shadows.</p><p>Joe Goode Performance Group may not employ shadow play for its production of <em>Wonder Boy</em> at the Dance Center of Columbia College. But a puppet steals the spotlight in this touching dance-theater performance about the trials of a hypersensitive super hero. In this Westernized version of Japanese bunraku puppet theater, choreographer Goode has his contemporary ensemble manipulate a melancholic boy puppet. The achingly empathetic boy observes the world through a window with billowing white curtains.</p><p>Turbulent underpinnings in the dancers&rsquo; movement suggest discord, including the boy&rsquo;s combative parents. In other scenes, the performers lean on each other to imply the need for support before reaching out with pleading gestures. Throughout, the puppet sets out to overcome his fears and connect with another human being.</p><p>Both Pilobolus Dance Theatre and Joe Goode Performance Group tackle big questions with transformative ingenuity.</p></p> Thu, 27 Jan 2011 15:43:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/%5Bfield_program_ref-title-raw%5D/chicagos-dance-transformation Laurie Anderson’s multimedia ‘Delusion’ comes to Chicago http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/laurie-anderson%E2%80%99s-multimedia-%E2%80%98delusion%E2%80%99-comes-chicago <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/DSC_0613.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>World tours are usually the province of pop stars or presidents. Performance artists? Not so much. But <a href="http://www.laurieanderson.com/" target="_blank">Laurie Anderson</a> isn&rsquo;t your average experimental artist. The Glen Ellyn, Ill. native studied art history and sculpture. She began performing in the late '60s and by the '70s was an established member of the avant-garde. But she also left her mark on the mainstream. Anderson had a pop hit with her song &quot;O Superman&quot; in 1981, was the artist in residence for NASA and voiced a character in &quot;The Rugrats Movie.&quot; Her latest performance piece is &quot;Delusion.&quot; Anderson will perform it Tuesday night at 7:30 at the <a href="http://www.harristheaterchicago.org/" target="_blank">Harris Theater</a>.</p></p> Tue, 11 Jan 2011 15:54:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/laurie-anderson%E2%80%99s-multimedia-%E2%80%98delusion%E2%80%99-comes-chicago Hitting a high note with the Chicago Children's Choir http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/hitting-high-note-chicago-childrens-choir <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/CCC.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The globetrotting <a href="http://www.ccchoir.org/" target="_blank">Chicago Children&rsquo;s Choir</a> is back home this weekend for a concert program that celebrates both the season and choir&rsquo;s mission. WBEZ&rsquo;s Jason Mark gleefully shared the story on &quot;Eight Forty-Eight.&quot;</p><p>In 1956, the <a target="_blank" href="http://www.harvardsquarelibrary.org/unitarians/MOORE.html">Reverend Christopher Moore</a> brought a diverse group of young people together at the <a target="_blank" href="http://www.firstuchicago.org/">Hyde Park First Unitarian Church</a>. Moore believed that kids could learn to understand each other; that through music they could build a better world.</p><p>Less than a year after Rosa Parks refused to give up her bus seat in Montgomery, Ala., Chicago was still one of the country's most segregated cities. Despite racial tensions, Moore&rsquo;s idea flourished and now the Chicago Children&rsquo;s Choir is the largest youth choral education program in the United States.</p><p>Now, Chicago native Josephine Lee is in charge of Moore's musical dream. Lee feels it's her responsibility to shape the future because she belives that creating a legacy for the organization is a worth while cause.</p><p><br />In 1999, Lee became the youngest person ever to serve as the choir&rsquo;s artistic director. She says the organization carried her through the death of her parents and birth of her children.</p><p>&quot;They are my family. I&rsquo;m an only child and for me, this is my life,&quot; Lee said. <br /><br />Seventeen-year-old Terry Henderson also appreciaties the choir and its original mission.&nbsp;</p><p>&quot;It&rsquo;s actually humbled me as a person. I think I have a better appreciation for how connected the world actually is,&quot; Henderson said. &quot;The choir has shaped me, to be a better man in this society; allowed me to grow. I will continue to grow and take the things that I&rsquo;ve learned here out to my job, my own family, my life, and it&rsquo;s a great place to start,&quot; he told Marck.<br /><br />Lee says she upholds the choir&rsquo;s mission with a heavy dose of two key ingredients: Set high expectations and discipline.&nbsp; Her motto is: Expect the best.<br /><br />Choir member Jahan DuBose,16, took the idea to heart and found that the best motivation comes from within. DuBose started in the choir when she was seven and recognized that conductors naturally push youngsters when they might not know as much as more seasoned members.</p><p>&quot;But at a point, it doesn&rsquo;t matter whether you&rsquo;re older or not. You just reach a point where you say:'This is something I like to do, I&rsquo;m enthusiastic and I&rsquo;m going to use that enthusiasm to push myself,'&quot; DuBose observed.<br /><br />Lee concedes that sometimes the quest for perfection can be mentally, and even physically, draining. Sometimes she must learn to take a step back so that she doesn't obsess over every note, tone and cutoff.</p><p>But the obsession's payoff, she says, is huge.</p><p>&quot;If that chord locks then you can really transcend people&rsquo;s minds and souls,&quot; Lee explained.<br /><br />Caroline Kagen, 17, is inspired by her director's dedication. She told Marck that she and her fellow choir members look up to Lee, knowing that someday they could be in her shoes.&nbsp; And even though Lee drives the choir hard, Kagan says the director tailors both her praise and critiques to each voice in order to get the very best from each member.<br /><br />Lee began playing the piano and violin at five years old and had her grip on a conductor's wand by 15; music consumed her. More than any other language, she understands music.&nbsp;</p><p>&quot;I just feel sounds. It&rsquo;s just something that, I&rsquo;ve innately been born with; it&rsquo;s very visceral. You know, for instance, when we were rehearsing and we hit this powerful chord, <br />it just hits me in my gut!&nbsp; And yeah, I do see colors&hellip;I see&hellip;just&hellip;spirits,&quot; she told Marck.<br /><br />Lee is the mother of two small children, and surprisingly, motherhood feeds her pride for the choir. When she began, she didn't differentiate between children and adults. Suddenly, as a mother, she awoke to the choir's immense potential.</p><p>&quot;I can&rsquo;t even get my child to sing 'A-B-C-D' with me, without him shutting me up. You know it&rsquo;s 'Mommy no; don&rsquo;t sing!,' and here I&rsquo;m working with hundreds of children who are producing unbelievable sonorous air at the drop of a hat,&quot; Lee remarked.<br />&nbsp;</p><p>Lee's amazed at the choir's ability to blend children from diverse backgrounds. 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