Five stars

St. Vincent Family Series; Hilbert Circle Theatre; Oct. 19

Inspiring to the nth degree, “all kinds of kids, making all kinds of music” merged the virtual world of a safe computer chat room with the real world of live performance in debuts with the ISO. The ambitious “online music network for all kids 14 and under posting and sharing their musical stories” culminated in a program that shook the rafters of the Circle Theatre. Developed by arts education advocate Leslie Stifelman, who dually produced and conducted the hour-long concert in partnership with the ISO, Music For All and the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, with MUSIC CROSSROADS, the project now goes national following its trial run in Indiana. Following an introductory video, ISO players set the pace with James P. Johnson’s “Victory Stride.” Seemingly stepping from their video clip, vocalist Tony Ponella and harpist Victoria Ponella delivered astonishing renditions of “Simple Gifts” and “Amazing Grace.” With guitarist Maja Radodvanliza, Ponella showed remarkable showmanship with a new arrangement by Debbi Ponella of “I Bought Me A Cat.” Ravel’s “Bolero” may have received its most spirited interpretation by the Avon High School Band Drum Corp with the ISO. Vocalist and aspiring classical conductor Darron Marble led the Asante Children’s Theatre Inter-generational Kwanzaa Community, accompanied by Vincent Howard and the Blue Soul Band. It was show-stopping, and could only be topped by an engaging “Ode to Joy Variations.”

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