Thursday, November 11, 2010

Children explore Too Hot to Handel through school outreach programs

Picture this: a desk piled high with children’s books on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., a teaching guide on Too Hot to Handel scribbled with updates and edits for this year, poetry contest fliers and the first entries, residency workshop information and school schedules, master class outlines and one very big smile – yes, it’s that time of the year—Too Hot to Handel is only a few short months away, and I couldn’t be more excited. As the Auditorium’s Senior Director of Education and self proclaimed “Too Hot groupie,” it’s finally time to kick some of our most thrilling educational program initiatives into high gear.

Too Hot is a wonderfully rich piece that truly embodies Dr. King’s vision of the Beloved Community. It’s the kind of show that has the power to reach a broad range of listeners and invite them to actively experience its message, to stand up, to clap, to get involved and respond. Its message of peace and love helps us create a dialogue together and share in the building of community. And who better to engage in this dialogue than Chicago Public School students? Our second annual Poetry Contest invites CPS students in grades 3-12 to write a poem celebrating Dr. King’s dream of the Beloved Community. We are curious to find out what MLK’s message and vision of community means to modern youth. The deadline for submissions is December 3, 2010!

The Auditorium is also thrilled to continue and deepen the Too Hot Residency Program for CPS students in grades 3-8. Working under the guidance of Too Hot Teaching Artist Christina BournĂ©, students will explore one of Dr. King’s speeches and create an original musical composition as a response. This top-notch program built a reputation for excellence last year and quickly booked again this year. CPS high school music students will also benefit from our educational initiatives with our Master Class Series with the artists of Too Hot to Handel.

Too Hot to Handel will surely not disappoint, leaving all audiences with the sense that they are part of something very, very important. You’ll also see me, the “Too Hot groupie”, singing and swaying in the alto section as part of the 150-person Too Hot Community Choir. The Auditorium is going to be jazzing up the Messiah, and we want you to be there!

For more information on our education programs, please contact

Nicole Losurdo is the Senior Director of Education.

Too Hot to Handel education programs are made possible through the generous support of JP Morgan Chase.

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