Children’s choir set to perform Sunday
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Eagle Staff Writer
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May 31, 2017
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Members of the StrandTastics pose with former Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Charlie Batch at last year’s National Kidney Walk at the Pittsburgh Zoo. The children’s choir is in its second year and will perform two shows Sunday at the Strand Theater in Zelienople.

ZELIENOPLE — A local youth show choir is making its mark in the Pittsburgh region and people will have a chance to see them in action this weekend.

The StrandTastics, consisting of 28 children from various school districts, is in its second year and will perform two shows on Sunday at the Strand Theater, the first at 3 p.m. and the second at 7 p.m.

Mary Ann Mangini, choir director, has previously worked with Strand youth chorus members for shows such as “Oliver!,” “The Music Man” and “Bible On Broadway.”

She said the choir has “a two-tiered” aspect — entertainment and education.

“The kids learn basic acting technique, vocal technique, choreography and showmanship,” Mangini said.

“About 60 percent” of the choir consists of students from the Seneca Valley School District, Mangini said. Other areas represented in the choir include Blackhawk, St. Gregory’s, Franklin Regional, Freedom, Riverside, North Allegheny, Slippery Rock and Lincoln Park.

The StrandTastics group has made appearances all over the Pittsburgh region, from the Pittsburgh Zoo to First Night Pittsburgh on New Year’s Eve.

The group also was invited to perform at Kidapalooza held at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in February.

The group also performs at local venues, including Horse Trading Days in Zelienople and the Harmony Sylvester.

“It’s such a blessing,” Mangini said. “Even bigger than the fact we’re performing out and about at so many places is that these kids are phenomenal little human beings. They are the biggest blessing, just working with them and seeing their drive and their passion.”

StrandTastics performs two music revues each year at the Strand. The group also is available for school assemblies, and has an anti-bullying show that can tie into any school district campaign.

Both shows on Sunday at The Strand will see the choir perform popular songs and scenes from classic Broadway shows, including “The Sound of Music,” “Matilda” and “Bye Bye Birdie” among others.

“It’s the first time we’re attempting this,” Mangini said.

Mangini also said there is a possibility of expanding the choir into two groups in the future, one for younger children and one for older children.

The choir is open to children ages 7 to 16. An audition process held in August is required. For more information, contact information@thestrandtheater.org.