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Professional Children’s School Autumn Musicale

- Classical and Cultural

Arts and Education

Professional Children’s School (PCS)

Head of School, Dr. James Dawson
John Tucker, Coordinator of Public Relations
Carol Kleban, Principal
Roberta Kosse, Music Department Head
Vincent Sagona, Drama Department Head

Autumn Musicale
Odessa Bourne
Chairman of the Musicale
The Union Club

Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
December 3, 2003

Tonight I had the honor of attending my first Professional Children's School (PCS) complete evening of classical music, performed by the students, under the direction of Roberta Kosse, Head of the PCS Music Department. I have come to know this school from prior school tours, student interviews, and the Spring Gala, but tonight was a night for serious music, and what a night this was. PCS is famous for providing the academic background for students who are pursuing, on their own, a career in the arts, or at least a highly involved performing arts program in dance, theater, or music, as well as in fencing, skating, or sports. Therefore, the expectations for student virtuosity are high, as quite famous performers have graduated from PCS, such as the dancer, Fernando Bujones, the cellist, Yo-Yo Ma, the actor, Macaulay Culkin, and the comedian, Milton Berle.

Tonight's Program included Wouldn't It Be Lovely, from My Fair Lady, performed by a large group of budding stars, from the fourth, fifth, and sixth grades, in their finest clothing and stage presence. These kids were pros. They also sang Happiness, from You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown. Clare Yeo, grade six, performed March (from Tchaikovsky's The Seasons) on piano, and she was beautiful and poised. A very full sound from a tiny, young girl. Allison Hoover, grade ten, sang Solveig's Song, by Grieg, and My House, by Bernstein. Her lovely, ethereal voice became even stronger in the contemporary piece. I have never before heard such a professional voice from such a young woman. Peng-Peng Gong, grade six, played Etude #2, by Liszt, on piano, and, when I closed my eyes to absorb this exquisite music, I forgot this was a child performing, as the professional maturity was ever so evident.

Yo-Yo Fann, grade eleven, on violin, and Sharon Fann, grade twelve, on piano, performed the duet, Zapateado, Op. 23, by Pablo de Sarasate. The Fann students were outstanding and virtuosic, and I would love to hear them play more. Next, Min Sang Kim, grade ten, a countertenor, Yiding Niu, grade eleven, on piano, performed Frank's Panis Angelicus and Lascia ch'io piang (from Rinaldo). To hear a countertenor is an amazing experience, with an almost soprano and soaring musicality. Beethoven's Quartet for Strings, Op. 18, No. 4 (Allegro), was performed by Yo-Yo Fann, grade eleven, on violin, Regi Papa, grade twelve, on violin, Jacob Ashworth, grade ten, on viola, and Ah Rim Kim, grade twelve, on cello. These string students were well connected to each other, and they provided warmth and evocative tonalities to the Allegro movement of this most demanding work. As a finale, Yiding Niu, grade eleven, on piano, returned to play Chopin's Polonaise No. 6 in A flat. I spoke with Ms. Niu, who lives with her grandmother in Brooklyn. She looks forward to a rewarding career in piano. I hope to be able to follow Ms. Niu's performances, from time to time, as her passion and dynamics are beyond description, especially for such a young performer.

Kudos once again to Professional Children's School for such a lovely evening of music and for an elegant post-concert reception. For more information about Professional Children's School or next year's Musicale, contact John Tucker at PCS, 212.582.3116, or email

Roberta Kosse, PCS Music Dept., Student, and Vincent Sagona, PCS Drama Dept.
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower

Roberta Kosse and Student
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower

Musicale Reception
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower

John Tucker, PCS Public Relations, and Friend
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower

Yiding Niu, Student
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower

Dr. James Dawson, PCS Head, and Friend
Photo courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower

For more information, contact Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower at