VOENA has sung for President's Clinton and Bush, London Olympics, Carnegie Hall, the first American choir to sing at International Festivals in Croatia, Sicily, Bali, and South Africa, and most recently in Abu Dhabi for The Crown Prince.
Members: Valentina Badano, Sybelle Bradley, Emyleigh Hayashi, Arianna Lohrer, Zoe Marinos, Ella Martin, Grace Martin, Elleanor Martin, Macayla Sedeno
Voena: A Cappella America
Annabelle Cruz, founder and Director of Voena, her very special 56-strong international mixed choir boys and girls, ages 7 to 15. Based in Benicia, CA, "Voena" stands for "Voices of Eve 'N Angels" Annabelle encouraged the children, with multicultural backgrounds, to celebrate their unique sound, in the hope that they would become not just a choir but a family. They took off from there, singing 2 to 4-part harmonies, growing into doing song arranging and even composing. "A Cappella America" has 18 songs, featuring some excellent solos by young choir members. Some favorites: "Sweetly the Swan Sings," written by Annabelle, "God Bless America/My Country 'Tis Of Thee," "Children of Creation," with music by Annabella, "Somewhere Over the Rainbow," the South African folk song "Singabahambayo," the traditional "Greensleeves," "America the Beautiful," "The Star Spangled Banner," "Simple Gifts, Shaker Hymn," Miriam Makeba's "Pata Pata," and Mozart's "The Magic Flute." Some accompaniment by Native Flute, percussion and fiddle. We find Voena's story inspirational, and their music beautiful and fine!
Voena: A Cappella Christmas
Annabelle Cruz, founder and Director, brings us a sweet Christmas CD by her very special international choir of boys and girls, ages 7 to 15. Annabelle encouraged them to celebrate their unique sound, and they took off from there, expanding into singing 2 to 4-part harmonies, song arranging and even composing. There are 18 songs, recorded before a live audience at St. Dominic's Church in Benicia, CA. Some are familiar, such as "Carol of the Bells," "Bring a Torch, Jeanette Isabella," "Gloria/Silent Night," "O Come, O Come Emmanuel, "Alleluia/Amazing Grace," "Angels We Have Heard On High" and "Ave Maria/Holy Child of God." Less familiar but equally wonderful are "Alabanza," the South African carols "Siyahamba," Tchotcholosa" and "Gabbi Gabbi," the Ladino song "Cuando El Rey Nimrod," and the traditional Appalachian and German carols "The Cherry Tree Carol" and "O Come Little Children." Some light percussion and xylophone on some songs. The collection finishes with Praetorius' "Jubilate Deo" and "In My Eyes" by 13-year-old choir member Madeleine Quandt. Another beautiful, recommended CD by VOENA!
Voena: A Cappella World
VOENA is a children's choir unique to the United States: children as young as six and as old as 18, multicultural in their backgrounds, living and growing up in America, blending their most natural birth given voices." This is how Annabelle Cruz, Director, describes the choir she has brought together with the hope that they become not just a choir but a family...a VOENA family. The 56-strong mixed choir bring us 26 joyous songs, beginning with their own song, "Voena Story," the marvelous "Prayer of the Children," an original with lively percussion by the Director, "Holy Spirit, Come" (she also wrote the excellent "Scat Play," "Clap Your Hands," and "One Light, One Voice," as well as arranging and writing lyrics for other tunes) and continuing with folk songs and spirituals from the Bantu African, Gaelic, Russian, Filipino, Korean, Ladino, 16th century Spanish, Eastern European Jewish, South African, African American, Hebrew, Japanese, 17th Century German, Guam and Old English traditions. Listening to this fun, spirited stuff gives you hope and inspiration--just what the doctor ordered these days! Some light percussion. Recommended.
Voena: Voices of Dreams -15th Anniversary
Dynamic director Annabelle Marie leads her renowned children's choir, comprised of American children ages 6 to 18, representing 35 cultures in this marvelous, memorable album. Marie founded VOENA (Voices of Eve 'N Angels) in 1994 in Benicia, CA with 12 members, and the numbers soon grew. No auditions are needed to join, just a desire to sing and a willingness to work at it. Since then 150-member VOENA has become one of the country's most successful children's choirs, invited to perform in China, Italy, Greece and Mexico; performing 5 times at the White House, at Carnegie Hall, and has represented the U.S. at South Africa's Soweto Music Festival. There are 19 songs here, some of our favorites are the piano-accompanied English/Zulu song "He Lives in You," the traditional Ghana tune "Celebrate Asante," Annabelle Marie's lovely drum, guitar and piano accompanied "Voices Dream," the harp accompanied Celtic "Isle of Innisfree," the Gaelic songs "Kimberly" and "One More Day;" the guitar and violin accompanied Hebrew song "Erev Shel Shoshanim," Lennon & McCartney's "Blackbird" and "Let It Be;" "Mist and Shadow" with music by Billy Boyd and lyrics by J.R.R. Tolkein; the Macedonian tune "Tatkovina," the English/French song "I Believe in You" and so many others. Crystal clear solos, spirited harmonies, and literally the voices of angels on this joyous, inspirational, well-chosen collection. Treat yourself to this feel-good album and become an instant fan of director Marie and her wonderful choir!
Voena: Voices of Nations
Benicia, CA's internationally acclaimed children's ensemble Voena (Voices of Eve 'n' Angels) brings us their fourth excellent CD, "Voices of Nations." These 6 to 18-year-olds have an eclectic repertoire that includes originals and arrangements of folk music from all over the world, classical, pop and sacred music, sung in more than 20 different languages. Some favorites on this joyous collection are "Sumbaie," the Macedonian folk song "Prsten Mi Padna, " the West African "Songs From Gahu," the African gem "Uyai Mose," the African American Spiritual "Wade in the Water," the rhymic South African tune "Ipharadisi," a reprise of the French song "Vois Sur Ton Chemin," a wonderful solo on the Disney standard "When You Wish Upon A Star," "Prayer of the Children," the Hebrew folk tune "Dodi Li," the ancient Persian "Massom Massom" and Miriam Makeba's "Pata Pata." Some light accompaniment and non-vocal percussion. "Voices" is another beautiful collection from talented, spirited Voena.
Voena: Voices of the Seasons
Voena's latest Holiday CD features a culmination of world flavors in a celebration of our cultural diversity. Hear Olivia Hurst (American Idol's season 2007 top 40 finalist), Tori Langfitt (purity to rouse the attention of Disney), Charlie Baggett (12-yr old "Josh Groban-like" sensation), & Aleza D'Agostino (daughter of world-famous Sicilian guitarist, Peppino D'Agostino). From our multiple performances for Presidents Clinton and Bush, including the 2003 & 2005 Pageants of Peace, to our Japan World Expo 2005 tour representing the United States on U.S. National Day, and the many stars gracing the stages with us, we bring the sounds of seasons past, present, and future; Seasons of wonder captured in the angelic voices of this unique and special group of children!
Voena: The Journey Makes Us One
This 2-DVD set celebrates the 10th Anniversary of the remarkable Benicia, CA-based VOENA (Voices of Eve 'N Angels), created by director Annabelle Marie. Disc 1 features the group's amazing journey through an interview conducted with Annabelle in the front seat of her moving car, and a collage of still photos and colorful live performance videos. Disc 2 is packed with full performances of their 2004 COPIA and Napa Valley Opera House concerts, highlights of their 2003 A&E Special featuring VOENA in the Pageant of Peace Ceremony at the White House. The colorfully-dressed, talented, joyful children (including 12-year-old soloist Holly Stell, who recorded with Andrea Bocelli) dance and sing on stage with Annabelle in many languages, delighting us and their audiences with their joy of singing. There is usually some light accompaniment, percussion and piano supplied by the children, violin played by Annabelle, and other instruments. "The Journey" is a feel-good, inspirational CD set from start to finish!