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Bel Canto, the 60-member high school component of the Lawrence Academy of Music Girl Choir program, will perform this week at the North Central Division “Beyond the Notes” conference of the American Choral Directors Association in Madison.

Under the direction of Karen Bruno, Bel Canto was the only school-aged ensemble from Wisconsin selected to sing at the four-day (Feb.8-11) convention, which features choirs and choral directors from six states. Only 14 choirs total were chosen to sing at the conference.

Bel Canto will perform a 25-minute program Thursday, Feb. 9 at 9:30 a.m. at the Overture Center for the Arts in Madison. The choir will be accompanied by Lawrence conservatory students on piano and percussion, with guest student instrumentalists from the Lawrence Academy of Music and Fox Valley Youth Symphony. Performances at the ACDA conference are open to the public with a $5 charge.

“It is a tremendous honor to be selected to perform for this convention,” said Bruno. “We are thrilled to represent the Lawrence community as well as the Fox Valley. Our conference program represents what we do well: a broad range of music for women’s choirs, in a variety of languages, from a wide range of historical periods and countries.”

The choir will sing a premiere arrangement from Monteverdi’s opera “L’Orfeo,” standard repertoire including “Salut, Printemps!” by Claude Debussy and “Nigra Sum” by Pablo Casals and close with an exciting dance-like composition from Peru.

Bel Canto offers a sneak preview of its conference program in a performance tonight (Feb. 7) in a “send-off” concert at 7:30 pm in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel. Admission is free, with free-will donations accepted to help cover convention costs.

The girl choir was selected for the ACDA conference based upon three years’ worth of recordings that passed two rigorous blind audition processes.