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Amazing Kids! of the Month

Amazing Kids! is proud to highlight the Amazing Kids! of the Month!

Each month, we showcase kids who are accomplishing amazing things.  We hope that by telling their special stories, we will inspire other kids to accomplish their own amazing achievements. 

Amazing Kids! of the Month for July, 2000: 
Amazing Young Choral Performers, San Pedro High School Vocal Ensemble, San Pedro, California!

Quotes of the month:

"Let's hear it for the kids of San Pedro High School's Vocal Ensemble. We hear so much about the bad things in the world and not enough of the good...Good for them and hurray for the teacher (Mrs. Ryle), who has such a fine group of kids to be so proud of.  My heart was so touched by them..."

Letter to the editor, the Daily Breeze newspaper, 
 Feb. 21, 2000, San Pedro, California

"Performing at the Lincoln Center is like a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.  To do something so big like this, traveling all the way across the U.S., is great.  I've never even left California before, so this is big for me."

Monica Hernandez, San Pedro High School senior

This month, Amazing Kids!  is proud to feature the amazing Young Choral Performers from the San Pedro High School Vocal Ensemble, in San Pedro, California. 

These talented young singers are well on their way to successful careers in music...and what better way to get there than performing at one of the most prestigious concert halls in the world, the Lincoln Center in New York!   Read their story and who knows?  Maybe you'll be inspired to start preparing for your own singing career!

The amazing San Pedro High Vocal Ensemble posing for publicity photos prior to their departure for the New York Choral Festival.

San Pedro High Vocalists Get a Taste of The Big Apple

On April 6, 2000 the talented singers in the San Pedro High School Vocal Ensemble got to taste what it's like to be a professional choral performer when they sang in the New York Choral Festival 2000, presented by World Projects International Music Productions.  This was their first year attending the yearly festival, and at the end of the competition, these amazing young singers were given the prestigious Silver Award!  The Festival award levels ranged from "Appreciation" to "Gold" awards.  The group from San Pedro missed the Gold Award, the top honor, by just one point!  Wow!

These lucky young vocalists were chosen after a taped audition to be one of just 12 choral groups from across the United States to perform in the prestigious festival!  They were one of only 3 choral groups to be chosen from California! 

This award-winning group hails from San Pedro, home to the world famous Port of Los Angeles, located on the southern tip of the beautiful South Bay Peninsula on the blue Pacific coastline.  They are led by their dynamic and dedicated director, Mrs. Sheila Havens Ryle.  Mrs. Ryle has been teaching chorale music and directing theatre in the San Pedro community for fifteen years, and has been instrumental in helping mold the San Pedro High Vocal Ensemble into the highly-acclaimed choral group it has become.

In the past, the Ensemble has toured throughout California and Nevada and has achieved perfect scores in several Southern California vocal competitions!  They have been invited to perform annually with the world-renown Los Angeles Master Chorale at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles.  Most recently, they earned "Superiors," the highest honor possible, at the 2000 Los Angeles Unified School District Chorale Festival Competition!

The amazing Mrs. Ryle, the Ensemble's Director, 
posing with the Ensemble's young male singers

New York or Bust!

When the group learned of their selection as participants in the New York Choral Festival, these enterprising singers from "Pedro" went right to work preparing for their trip.  Being chosen for the festival was one thing, but how were they going to get all the way to New York City?  They needed to raise money--and fast!

An expert fundraiser (after many years of experience helping her singers raise money for their group), Sheila Ryle rallied the hard-working singers and they began a serious fund raising campaign.  Their goal?  $30,000!!!  They were hired to sing for several functions in their community.  They had bake sales.  They had a car wash.  They even tried "e-fundraising," signing up on a fundraising website called

And finally, after a lot of hard work and much support from their families, their school and the community, they raised the $30,000 they needed to be able to participate in the Festival!  Now that's amazing!

At the Car Wash
San Pedro High Vocal Ensemble members hard
at work raising money for their trip to New York!


It's Showtime!

New York, New York! 
The San Pedro High School Ensemble has arrived!

The empty stage at the Lincoln Center,
before the Festival began... 

Finally, they had arrived!  New York City!  A place famous the world over!  Most of the singers in the group had never been to New York, so just being in the city was a special treat for them. 

All of the groups were given time to rehearse the day before of the competition.  Then, the morning of the competition, they performed "sound checks," technical rehearsals to make sure the microphones and speakers were working properly and that the groups could be heard in the audience.

The Ensemble members rehearse
before their performance

Finally, it was showtime!  After a stunning performance, the much-relieved singers had some time to relax and do some sight seeing.  The next day, all of the choral groups enjoyed performing for each other in a "Sing Around" at the magnificent Cathedral of St. Paul the Apostle. 

One of the highlights of their trip was getting to work with the esteemed Choral Maestros Mr. Weston Nobel and Mr. Moses Hogan.  The students also enjoyed getting a chance to play in the snow!

Then it was time for the awards ceremony.  When the awards were handed out, they were thrilled to learn they had gotten the Silver Award!  Wait till they tell their friends and families back home!

It's showtime! 
The San Pedro High Vocal Ensemble performs live at Lincoln Center! 

After some final sightseeing, the group was ready to head back to California.  They could now return home, feeling satisfied to know they had done their best and had been recognized by a select group of judges for their impressive achievement.  They felt proud of their accomplishments, and perhaps best of all, they looked forward to more exciting performances and competitions next year!

The Festival's Silver Award winners
let loose and have some much-deserved fun!

Some members of the San Pedro High Vocal Ensemble and 
Mrs. Ryle pose for one last photo in NYC before heading back home...

To contact the amazing San Pedro High School Vocal Ensemble, send an email to Mrs. Ryle at:

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A Special Message from Amazing Kids! for all you kids:

It's no secret...every person has an "amazing-ness" inside of them, just waiting to be discovered.  (Sometimes we just need a little help in finding out what that "amazing-ness" is!) 

If you are doing some amazing things too, we want to hear about it!  Send us your stories about your amazing accomplishments, so we can tell the world just how amazing you are!  We are always looking for new stories.  And don't be shy!  We'd love to hear from you!

Here's an idea you might want to try:


If you know someone who needs a little encouragement, why not tell them what you think is special about them?  Maybe you can be the one to help them uncover their own special talents! 

Amazing Kids! is looking for teens to be Amazing Teen Volunteers and Ambassadors. If you'd like to join Amazing Kids! in helping to spread the word, please email us at:


 It's cool to be an Amazing Kid!


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