In addition to forging new ground as a composer, arranger, vocalist and musician, Annabelle is changing the landscape of musical presentation today with her lively and infectious reinvention of the children’s choir.
To be in a room with Annabelle is to find yourself suddenly aware that you had been in a monotone existence void of color and sound only to have the curtains drawn and volume restored to LIFE. Feet begin to tap. Hands clasp and rise before the hearts of audience members who hardly dare to breathe lest the exhalation cause the magic to stop.
These inspiring performers range in age from 6 to 18, and although many have never been part of a choir prior to joining VOENA, it is clear that Annabelle holds the key to unlocking the angelic resonance in the presence of each child. Incorporating movement, percussion, and the theatrical embodiment of the music they present, the result is a celebration of culture, sound, color, voice and humanity ~ a phenomenon of joy and peace unparalleled in our lifetime.
So transformative is a performance by Annabelle and her choir, VOENA has found itself a repeat guest of the White House, performing for Presidents Clinton and Bush in Washington D.C. as the guests of Pope John Paul II at the Vatican in Rome, as well as performing in Olympic Park on opening day of the 2012 London Olympics, and at a TEDx Conference in Napa Valley. As goodwill ambassadors, they have toured with their message celebrating global diversity to China, Mexico, Italy, Greece, and Japan. From the celebrated French Laundry to Carnegie Hall - VOENA weaves a tapestry over 100 voices strong of rich and inventive a cappella vocal arrangements that leave audiences moved, and messages of celebration and hope echoing across the halls.
Although her training and awards are on par with the best in her industry, Annabelle Marie’s gift to us all is that she has taken her diverse life experience and training and applied it to creating something altogether new. Founder, performer and “Inspirer in Chief” ~ Annabelle Marie’s life’s work is a gift to humanity not to be missed.
Drummer and percussionist Jeff Campitelli was bitten by the drum bug very early in life. He joined his first band at the age of 11 and got his first professional gig at the age of 16 playing at the Cow Palace in San Francisco in front of 15,000 people. As a senior in high school, Jeff met and formed a band with legendary guitarist Joe Satriani and at that point there was no looking back. Through the years he has made 21 albums (including 3 gold and 1 platinum) , 7 live concert DVDs with Satriani and has played on 15 Grammy nominated songs. With that many recordings comes lots of touring. Jeff has traveled over 1,000,000 miles and has played thousands of shows in over 40 countries. It is obvious that music has chosen him and there hasn't been a day since that he hasn't enjoyed making beautiful music.
Teacher and lover of young children, Bridget DeMers, has been teaching the VIS (Voena in the Schools) workshops in both Benicia and Napa school districts. Her love for music comes from a long family history of singers and instrumentalists and a tradition of family sing-a-longs. From a very young age, Bridget learned to create harmonies, compose, drum, play piano, and play guitar. She passed this family tradition on to her own family of 8 children and it's not unusual to walk into her house without witnessing and ultimately participating in the "family music" that is already happening. She has a passion for enhancing children's lives through music, incorporating Orff and Kodaly methods into her teaching while integrating voice connection, solfege theory, simple rhythmic rudiments, movement, and team building through multi-cultural repertoire. To watch these little ones eager to sing and feel songs with their entire bodies is what Bridget finds so fulfilling in sharing her love for music with them.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Anastacia Mott Austin