Friday, May 10, 2013

Ilana Melmed and Young Avenue Kids - Whatever I Want To Be: A CD Review

LOS ANGELES -- With an Academics' Choice "Smart Media Award"proudly in hand, Ilana Melmed and Young Avenue Kids are set to send their first CD out into the world!  Whatever I Want To Be features Ilana and the children of Young Avenue Kids singing catchy, original lyrics set to well-loved melodies by Rossini, Hayden, Grieg, von Suppé, and more, providing a joyous introduction to classical tunes that all children should know.

With a full schedule as a lecturer at USC, Ilana Melmed never envisioned that she would find herself producing a children's CD.  However, inspired by her children and grandchildren, and motivated by a strong desire to share her passion for classical music with families, Ilana took on the roles of producer, singer, and lyricist for Whatever I Want To Be, recruiting a superlative cast of talent to participate in the project, including Emmy Award winner Stephen Cohn as production supervisor and vocal arranger.

A "family" feeling permeates Whatever I Want To Be with a sense of sharing and belonging and is part of the album's considerable charm.  The vivacity of the kids (six of whom are Ilana Melmed's grandchildren) is endearing, not only when they sing, but also when they're heard sharing their enthusiasm and a treasure trove of information through a special eleven-track feature of this CD titled "The Kids Speak About the Composers."

Whatever I Want To Be takes off in grand style with everyone singing the "rocket ship" lyrics to the fanfare from Franz von Suppé's "Light Cavalry Overture" and proceeds in jolly fashion to "The Orchestra Families," which employs a marching tune by Johann Schrammel to capture the thrill and excitement of an outing to a symphony concert. Other highlights include the clever lyrics of "The Gorgeous Butterfly," which grace a Johann Strauss march, and the galloping tune from Rossini's "William Tell Overture," which finds new life as the humorous "William Tell Is Oh So Swell." 

Whatever I Want To Be will be available online at, iTunes, CDBaby, and in select retail stores throughout the U.S.

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Check out the Young Avenue Kids website for information about the instruments of the orchestra, a fun-filled quiz, coloring pages, and more!

My Review:

What an absolutely amazing debut CD! My girls have had a blast singing and dancing along with each of the songs on this beautiful set of classical songs! I have always loved using classical music in my work with children and this CD has been a welcome addition to my children's music collection. I love that there are two versions of each song, one with lyrics and one without. Our family favorite tracks from Whatever I Want To Be have been "Clean Up Time", "Whatever I Want To Be", "The Gorgeous Butterfly" and I also LOVED the song, "The Orchestra Family" for teaching the children in my home daycare about classical music. I also love all the extras on the official website like coloring sheets, ways to learn about composers and classical music and a quiz that you can take!

If you are looking for a great new CD for your family or child care program, I highly recommend Whatever I Want To Be from Illan Melmed and Young Avenue Kids! You will not regret it!

BUY IT: You can purchase Whatever I Want To Be online through CDBaby, iTunes and Amazon when it releases May 28, 2013

***I received a complimentary copy of this CD, courtesy of Waldmania PR, for the purpose of review on this blog. All opinions expressed are my own, and I have not been compensated in any other manner***

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