Funding provided in part by a grant from the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, through the Rhode Island Culture, Humanities, and Arts Recovery Grant (RI CHARG) program. * This program was made possible thanks to the National Endowment for the Arts, via funds from the federal American Rescue Plan Act.
Rhode Island Youth Theatre Virtual Choir: The Ghost Light Project.
This year, RIYT Virtual Choir introduced an original song composed and arranged especially for our company by instructors Helena Widmann and Nikita Zabinski with RIYT teens Molly Wren, Thomas Fitzgerald, and Sadie Swanson. The original composition includes four-part backup harmony as well as solo performances. This initial songwriting portion of the project was supported in part by a grant made available to RIYT through the Rhode Island State Council of the Arts (RISCA).
A ghost light is an electric light on a stand that is left turned on the stage of a theater to cast light when the theater is unoccupied and would otherwise be completely dark. With theatres now closed, we chose this symbol to be the inspiration for our song.
Instructors (See bios below.)
Helena Widmann, (B.A. RIC; studied vocal performance at Berklee School of Music) and
Nikita Zabinski (B.M The Boston Conservatory, M.A. Berklee School of Music)
Nikita Zabinski is a classical pianist, composer and sound engineer. He earned his B.M. in Piano Performance from The Boston Conservatory and M.A. in Global Entertainment and Music Business from Berklee College of Music. A seasoned and dynamic music industry professional, Nikita is highly regarded for his superior technical expertise, passion for developing artists, and using his vast musicological knowledge to create effective mechanisms for instruction and promotion. In 2017 Nikita worked as Content Creator and Producer for Disrupcion Records, where he managed A&R, marketing, and social media content for the record company. As a sound engineer, Nikita has produced and composed music both independently and in collaboration with clients throughout Providence, Boston, NYC, LA and Valencia, ES. Currently, Nikita holds a position at The Rhode Island Philharmonic Music School where he is a piano and music theory faculty member.
Helena Widmann is a Rhode Island-based contemporary singer-songwriter and vocal teacher with 20 years of performance experience. Her career started at the age of 5, when she began acting and singing in musical theatre productions with Rhode Island Youth Theatre. Throughout her high school and college career Helena studied classical voice. She was a member of the jazz select choir for her high school and was the lead singer for jazz combo groups at Rhode Island College (RIC). She also sang in concert, chamber, and select choir, frequently auditioning and being chosen for solo performances. Her interest in jazz and contemporary music influenced her decision to audition for and later study voice at Berklee College of Music.