Because so many people ask me “what’s this about?” I’m posting a video of a group I performed with years ago, The Young Ambassadors. In fact, I was among the founding members. We were literally ambassadors for the US Department of Defense overseas. I taught in this program, and this current group has just returned from a tour of China.
I have witnessed over and over again the power of music in easing tensions and strengthening relationships. The world needs its youth to stand up and be a light and a positive influence. This is my goal for The Youth Ambassadors.
When I taught at Orange County School of the Arts, I developed a syllabus for training across the skills needed for professional musical theatre, as well as directing a musical theatre group, First Act. They performed a powerful trilogy of songs I arranged to pay tribute to the first responders and the families of victims in that horrific attack on 9.11. The group became very popular throughout the Southland and made a huge impact on everyone that saw the performance. This video is the song that opens our current show. It describes our goals better than any words I could write. Enjoy! Then sign up here and get involved! Make a difference in the world around you through your talent. Go to the ABOUT tab for my bio.
WHAT PARENTS ARE SAYING
“The Youth Ambassadors has been the most joyful part of our daughter’s year!” – Jennifer S.
“We love how this is a small program with an incredible amount of one on one attention for the kids. We have really noticed our daughter’s growth. We also love that the kids have multiple chances to perform on stage and on YouTube. Other programs have had very few performances.” — Brandy M.
Children need time together. When Covid 19 interrupted our classes and rehearsals, one parent said, “My child looks forward to the time she’s online with all her friends in The Youth Ambassadors, especially now that it’s the only way they can be together.”
The Youth Ambassadors
Youth Ambassadors Parent-Student Handbook
Training in voice technique, song interpretation, movement, acting and life skills important to any field. The groups will perform for private and community events throughout the year! Enroll now!
AUDITIONS ARE ONGOING
No worries, if you have already talked to me by phone or in person, or if you do not have a photo, resume or self tape, or you have other questions, email [email protected] or call 818-220-6337
Online Submissions and Auditions
- Create a Self Tape – performance quality 16-32 bars of a memorized, age-appropriate Broadway song that shows your best. Classics and standards are appropriate.
- Select a location that has a solid background, position the camera at eye level on a tripod. Provide a full length view, if possible.
- Post current head shot (8×10 color or black and white) and resume in the online application form.
- Auditors are looking for voice technique, song interpretation, articulation, and stage presence.
The self-tape is for voicing and placement in the classes. Our goal is to like you and to be your strongest cheerleader and mentor. Your goal is to be YOU and to do your very best! It is going to be an experience of a life time and so much fun!
Cherilyn Bacon is a professional actor/singer, voice-over talent, producer and director who has directed youth ensembles since 1977 and taught private voice since 1999.
In 1997, Cherilyn was the Producer/Managing Director of Singers on Stage “On Broadway” Musical Theatre Workshops – New York City. She worked with top Broadway producers, directors, music directors, choreographers and actors. The program was rated best in New York City by Backstage and became Circle in the Square Theatre School’s summer musical theatre program.
In 2002 she was on the voice faculty at Brigham Young University, recruited to adapt the NYC summer musical theatre program into a Senior Seminar for the school’s top vocal students from opera to media music. While there, she received highest student ratings.
Prior to that, she was on the faculty at California’s #1 performing arts charter school, the Orange County School of the Arts Conservatory in Santa Ana, California where she taught Voice Technique / Styles and Repertoire Classes. She directed OCSA’s First Act ensemble, popular throughout Orange County post-9.11 and featured in local and national news. She received highest student ratings, and several of her students have performed on Broadway. She currently teaches on the faculty of OCSA’s new sister campus – California School of the Arts, San Gabriel Valley in Duarte.
She has taught private voice lessons in New York City, Los Angeles, and Salt Lake City and has recently re-opened her Los Angeles Studio in Glendale. She not only teaches voice technique, unlike most voice teachers, she also specializes in song interpretation across the classical, Broadway legit, belt, pop and character styles. She teaches audition skills and prepares students for college auditions. She develops musical theatre repertoire, teaches recording studio/mic techniques and the art of the cabaret performance. She is certified to teach the total singer-actor, integrating the acclaimed principles of David Craig’s On Singing On Stage song interpretation for both audition preparation and performance.
Cherilyn was the director/manager for two ensembles, The Tax Deductions and The Rainbow Connection – Chicago, Illinois; Phoenix, Arizona. These youth ensembles, ages 4-17, performed throughout the Chicago and Phoenix areas, partnered with Ronald McDonald House in Phoenix.
She has served as a youth and adult music and choir director for her church with congregations in Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth, Phoenix, Irvine, and New Canaan, CT. While teaching the youth she was responsible for providing music for worship services, talent shows and annual musical presentations. Her techniques were incorporated into the church’s worldwide children’s music handbook. She and her family members are featured on the church’s children’s music CDs.
She was invited to conduct special performances at events such as building dedications and for worldwide and local church dignitaries. Among these performances, she conducted a 325-voice youth ensemble, ages 12-17 in a multimedia show A Time to Love, written by Warner Brothers musical director, film and TV scorer, Lex de Azevedo. The chorus was invited to perform throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth region, featuring Dallas Cowboys Danny White at Six Flags Over Texas. The group appeared on local Dallas news and CNB Television, with interviews on local radio shows. The White House invited representatives to attend a youth summit in Washington DC. The group was also invited to perform for the Tabernacle Choir during its Dallas tour.
Cherilyn has performed leading and supporting roles to critical acclaim Off-Off Broadway, in national tours, regional and community theatre in New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Dallas, Palm Beach, Phoenix, Salt Lake City and Ogden. She has also performed internationally with the USO. National tours include Pal Joey and A Christmas Carol. Principal roles include Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat (Narrator), Sondheim’s revised Southwest Premiere – Merrily We Roll Along (Mary), Baby (Pam), Side By Side By Sondheim, Hairspray (Velma), Into the Woods (Stepmother), The Sound of Music (Leisl), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Helena), Ophelia (Gertrude), Oklahoma! (Laurie), Some Enchanted Evening: The Music of Rodgers and Hammerstein. In Salt Lake City, she was the original Julie in the Utah production of the smash hit musical, Saturday’s Warrior music by Lex deAzevedo (The Swan Princess) and book by Doug Stewart (Where the Red Fern Grows).
She has performed with Broadway, Opera, TV and film stars Joel Grey, Alexis Smith, Harve Presnell, Sherrill Milnes, Randy Graff, Kelly Bishop, Ron Perlman, Candy Buckley, and John LaMotta. She has narrated Rob Gardner’s Lamb of God and a new patriotic work George Washington – Ordained of God, both with the Draper Philharmonic Orchestra and Choral Society at Salt Lake City’s Abravanel Hall.
She sings with the phenomenal Millennial Choirs and Orchestras and recently survived the NYC blackout while on stage at Carnegie Hall, ultimately taking to the street to sing an impromptu concert to millions as the story went viral across the Internet.
Cherilyn was born and raised in Hollywood, California, studied with Metropolitan Opera singer Margaret Romaine, and earned a BFA from BYU. She also studied with several noted teachers in major markets and incorporates the best of their techniques. She thanks them all: Norman Gulbrandsen (father-in-law, Northwestern University); Anne Jackson and Ray Allen (Dallas Summer Musicals); Sheilah Vaughn Walker (Broadway Musical Director – Ragtime, Fiddler); Bill Reed, a protégé of the legendary father of voice therapy Oren Brown (NYC); Ewan Mitton and Clayne Robison (Utah); Sara Louise Lazarus (NYC), protégé of David Craig’s song interpretation technique.
SINGERS ON STAGE YOUTH AMBASSADORS
PURPOSE – MISSION – PHILOSOPHY
The purpose is to uplift and inspire young talent to be the best they can be, to change their lives and others for the better, and to help them live their dreams. The program builds confidence and teamwork, and follows enduring principles of life that will be there for them no matter what field they ultimately choose.
It is our unique format combining training with ongoing performance and our philosophy that distinguishes us from other youth training programs:
- We are different. First we are small. No mass training. We customize and provide individual attention. The purpose and mission of the program is not simply to develop a professional standard of artistic performance expected at the highest levels of success in the entertainment industry and to have opportunities to perform for audiences throughout the year. It is also to develop strong leadership skills, character, confidence and a desire to serve and inspire audiences – to give rather than to take.
- We train talented young performers for life success. The body, heart, mind, and soul are inseparably connected. Through healthy voice technique, invigorating movement, passionate acting, and positive life attitudes, we prepare a generation of young people to know who they are and to know how to use their talents for good.
- Music is the most powerful and influential medium of all the arts and requires responsibility and accountability. Music anchors the brain to memories and emotions and places and feelings from the past, long into the sunset years of our lives. Wholesome and positive music can change lives for good. It has been known to lift people from depression. It inspires hope and courage, regardless the challenges encountered. We are teaching young musicians to use this power carefully, because it can also be a force for negative in the world.
- The program promotes lifelong skills and success habits, not only for the aspiring singer/dancer/actor, but regardless the professional field chosen as adults. Among these leadership skills and habits are gratitude, humility, trust, communication skills, promptness, discipline, respect, a positive attitude, courteousness, team work, creativity, resiliency, confidence, courage, kindness and patience. We hope these values will extend beyond the stage and into real life.
- SOS teaches true self-worth and success. Self-worth and success are not achieved by looking inward or by self-aggrandizement. They also aren’t defined by what others say, as promoted in the entertainment industry today. True self-worth, success and confidence come from hard work, dedication, sacrifice and a service orientation. It’s a sincere desire to serve others and to uplift them. Great reward comes from thinking of others first. We provide opportunities for students to share their talents through singing, movement and acting. They will uplift, inspire and encourage others and themselves to be and to become their best selves in their relationships throughout life. In this narcissistic society, the world is craving this kind of artistic servant leadership.
- We love family, friends and fun. What greater fun is there than being with friends and family singing and performing on stage in front of friends, family and for VIP events. This experience can and does build lifelong, positive and supportive friendships and memories. We are family. We encourage best friends, brothers, sisters, and cousins to audition.
- Each class is limited to 16-20 students so that we can give individual attention to the students.
- We present a positive, family-friendly show of wholesome entertainment from Broadway to pop music for friends and family in the Fall, Spring and Summer in the community. We are also preparing a music video benefitting a national organization that rescues children from human trafficking.
- The show line-ups will add more repertoire throughout the year. Individuals will have opportunities to audition for featured solo or small group roles in the shows.
- Students are taught all the elements of musical theatre performance: healthy voice technique, song interpretation, articulation, how to read music, memorization skills, acting/dramatic delivery, stage movement, audition skills, as well as rehearsal and performance etiquette.
- We reserve the right to maintain a professional and orderly rehearsal-performance environment and to discipline participants if they are disrupting or violating the policies.
- Respectful language is the standard. Vulgar, demeaning, disparaging, mocking or unkind language has no place in a positive, professional and creative working environment.
- Students who violate this policy will be asked to leave the rehearsal or performance, and it will be recorded as an absence.
Possession or use of any of these harmful substances, including recreational marijuana, is prohibited and cause for immediate termination.
- Parents will be notified of any behavior concerns that may lead to the student’s probation or termination, in an effort to find solutions.
- Probation or termination is at the discretion of the director, whether attendance- or behavior-related. IF PREPAYMENT HAS BEEN MADE, A REFUND WILL NOT BE ISSUED IF TERMINATION IS DUE TO BEHAVIOR.
SINGERS ON STAGE (SOS) PARENTS LEADERSHIP TEAM
- This training program requires organization and discipline in order for the students, directors, and parents to have a positive experience. Mounting shows requires parental involvement. It would be cost-prohibitive without volunteers.
- For this reason, a parent volunteer team is formed to assist. SOS Parents, in coordination with the director, will establish a volunteer leadership team that will work with the director to assist in tech and dress rehearsals, as well as with costumes and chaperoning at events and performances..
- All SOS Parents are asked to give 4.5 hours of service over the year and may volunteer online or in person. A parents’ orientation meeting will be held during the first rehearsal of each session to review the policies and to sign up for volunteer times.
- Parent volunteers are needed for wardrobe, music library, Facebook admin, carpool arrangements, event chaperones, stage management and set up-tear down at performance venues.
- An ongoing sign-up list will be provided on Google Docs.
- Parents and students alike agree to respect audition and rehearsal guidelines. Auditions, classes and rehearsals are closed unless prior arrangements have been made or parent volunteers have been requested to be present.
- SOS Parents model for their children a supportive attitude toward all ensemble participants and other parents. Communication of concerns and suggestions is always welcome.
- A performance schedule will be updated and posted on the Google Calendar as soon as the shows are booked. We will give ample time to schedule when there are necessary changes. Please be patient when this happens.
- We will make every effort not to overload. Performances will vary.
- After the show is performance-ready, the student may expect approximately one-two performances per month to be scheduled, in addition to the end of session showcases.
- Types of shows include:
- End of session showcases
- Private and community events, occasionally during a breakfast, lunch hour or evenings.
- Videos – Youth Ambassadors may include opportunities to appear in online music videos. Advance notice will be provided.
- Standard call times are 30 minutes prior to curtain in full dress and makeup. Call times may vary depending on the venue.
- Daily bathing, brushing teeth, and using mouth wash and deodorant are fundamental behaviors when working closely with others in rehearsal and performance.
- Hair should be neat and away from the face and when performing, styled with strong hold hair spray (men included). We encourage natural hair color as this is an ensemble.
- Modest clothing and good grooming is always appropriate in rehearsal and before and after the shows. The students are “Ambassadors” representing the uplifting and inspiring mission of this organization. When in the community, the students proudly represent the Youth Ambassadors and most of all, the students are representing themselves as professionals. Always give our name – your name – the very best.
HEALTH AND ILLNESS
For a singer-dancer-actor the body is the instrument, and we only have one body to last a life time. Now is the time to establish good health habits. Our bodies need proper rest, hydration and nourishment. Please make sure your student comes to rehearsals and performances well hydrated and having eaten a nutritious meal.
- Natural foods, rather than processed. Sensible portions of greens, fruits, protein and carbohydrates, in balance with lots of water are important. Keeping the body free of toxins is critical, especially with all the synthetic and metallic medications consumed and pollutants that can’t be avoided easily. A good detox plan is important, even for young singer/dancer/actors.
- Some of the substances that are especially harmful to singers, dancers and actors are: soda, caffeine, sugar, alcohol, tobacco, vape, and illegal drugs. Healthy bodies are 90% fluid. These substances dehydrate the body and the muscles and tissues in the larynx, which promote vocal problems and a short singing career. Sugar is a toxin, dehydrates the body and is also associated with cancer. Tobacco, vape and alcohol are not only dehydrating, they are addictive and can weaken the body for life and shorten lifespan. A serious singer, dancer, actor or human being that wants a productive, healthy long life will take good care of their bodies.
- If your child is feeling ill or is contagious, please contact the director in advance if your student will be absent. If your student is not contagious but still coughing or sneezing, please advise the student to sit six feet from the other students and to cover the cough or sneeze.
- Coughing into an elbow will prevent the spread of illness. Students will be taught voice therapy techniques, including how to cough without damaging vocal cords. We will provide ongoing health tips for care of the voice and body. Lots of water is number one.
- Student performers will provide their own stage make-up and for health reasons, will not share with others.
STRONG REASONS, LLC
WAIVER OF LIABILITY, MEDICAL RELEASE,
PHOTOGRAPHY/VIDEO RELEASE, INDEMNIFICATION AGREEMENT
I hereby waive, release and discharge any and all claims and damages for personal injury, death, or property damage which I, or my minor children, may sustain or which may occur as a result of my own participation, or that of my minor children, while registers in Strong Reasons, LLC d/b/a Singers on Stage Youth Ambassadors (SRLLC) during rehearsals, classes, performances or events. I further understand and agree that:
- This release is intended to discharge in advance SRLLC, its officers, employees and agents from and against any and all liability, except for their sole negligence or intentional acts, connected in any way with my participation or my minor children’s participation in SRLLC activities;
- Such rehearsals, performances, classes and activities may be of a hazardous, strenuous, and/or physical nature, and participation in said activities may result in injury, death or property damage;
- Knowing the risk involved, nevertheless, I voluntarily request permission for myself or my minor child to participate in said activities;
- I hereby assume any and all risks of injury, death or property damage and to release and hold harmless SOS/GCT, its officers, employees and agents, except for their sole negligence or intentional acts;
- This waiver, release and assumption of risk is binding on me and my heirs and assigns;
- I will indemnify and hold SRLLC harmless from any loss, liability, damage, cost or expense, including litigation, which it may incur as a result of any injury and/or property damage which myself or my minor children may sustain while participating in said activities;
- I will compensate any loss, damage, or cost SRLLC may incur if any litigation arises due to any claim made by myself, said minors, or by anyone on said minor’s behalf;
- In the event that said minor requires medical or surgical treatment while under the supervision of SRLLC personnel in connection with said activities, such supervisor may authorize treatment;
- I will pay all medical, hospital, or other expenses which I or my minor children may incur as a result of such treatment;
- Activities are not child care as defined by the State of California;
- SRLLC is not responsible for unattended children on the premises before or after classes for which they are enrolled;
- I expressly allow, and hereby waive any objection to, SRLLC photographing and/or videotaping of me and/or my minor children when I and/or my minor children are participating in SRLLC programs;
- I also expressly allow, and hereby waive any objection to, SRLLC publishing endorsement statements of SRLLC programs, performances and classes using my or my minor child’s first name and home town.
- I understand and agree that all photographs, videotapes and endorsements will remain the property of SRLLC, and that the SRLLC may use such photographs, videotapes and endorsements for archival and promotional purposes, including their use in SRLLC catalogs, brochures, other printed materials, and in SRLLC online web pages. SRLLC will take all necessary precautions to keep full names and ages of participants confidential.
I certify that I am at least 18 years old or I have custody or am the legal guardian of said minors by court order, and that I and/or my minor children are physically able to participate in the described activities.
I have carefully read this Waiver of Liability, Medical Release, Photography/Videotape Release and Indemnification Agreement and fully understand its contents. I am aware that this is a release of liability and a contract between myself and SRLLC, and that I sign it of my own free will. SRLLC may accept future phone, mail, online, or in-person registrations under these provisions.
I also certify that I have read the Policy Handbook and I understand the Refund, Late Fee, Probation and Termination Policies and the potential consequences thereof, set forth by SRLLC and that I agree to such terms.