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Fall 2020 VIRTUAL Programs

Rhode Island Youth Theatre Virtual Choir: The Ghost Light Project

Limited to 32 Middle and High School Students.

Fee: $60. Scholarships available. Register at

The Rhode Island Youth Theatre (RIYT) Virtual Choir will debut an original song composed and arranged especially for our company by instructors Helena Widmann and Nikita Zabinski with RIYT teens Molly Wrenn, Thomas Fitzgerald, and Sadie Swanson. The original composition will include four-part backup harmony as well as solo performances.  This initial song writing part of the project was supported in part by a grant made available to RIYT through the Rhode Island State Council of the Arts (RISCA).

The final virtual choir product will be a published digital video performance that will be available on various streaming platforms by the end of January of 2021.

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)


ghost light is an electric light on a stand that is left turned on the stage of a theater to cast a 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.

By Tues., Dec. 15th, students signing up for the choir will submit to music director Helena Widmann ( a vocal or audio recording of up to 16 bars of any song that showcases their voice. This will help Helena group students into soprano, alto, tenor, and bass parts and will help her choose soloists.)

On Sunday, Dec. 27th  students (cc to parents) will be emailed a Zoom link and their designated vocal part (soprano, alto, tenor, or bass) which determines their rehearsal time.

Monday, Dec. 28th (School vacation)

1-hour group rehearsals per vocal part. Students will also be provided reference tracks to practice throughout the week on their own.

  • Soprano rehearsal: 10 am to 11 am
  • Alto rehearsal: 11 to noon
  • Tenor rehearsal: noon to 1 pm
  • Bass rehearsal: 1 to 2 pm

Thursday, Dec. 31st:  Additional (optional) rehearsal time is available for those who need it.

  • Soprano rehearsal: 10 am to 11 am
  • Alto rehearsal: 11 to noon
  • Tenor rehearsal: noon to 1 pm
  • Bass rehearsal: 1 to 2 pm

By January 15:  Vocal submission deadline for individual parts

Each student will listen to the audio recording using iPhone/in-ear headphones and create a video recording singing their own individual part, using another device. (Only the student singing will be on the video recording.)  The parts of all the students will then be edited together. Additional information for recording and uploading individual videos will be provided.

Instructor Bios

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.

CLICK HERE for more info and registration.

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Have a question about our mission and programs? Contact:
Ann O’Grady, Ph. D., Executive Director
Rhode Island Youth Theatre (formerly Fantasy Works)  |  401-447-0458 |
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