After nine months of study and performance in the Los Angeles area, longtime Kenai Peninsula resident Joyce Sikorski returned this week from Los Angeles to share with the community what she has learned from what she calls "an incredible infusion of arts training in an incredibly short amount of time."
Joyce and her daughter, Arianna, have both been in California for the winter for educational purposes. Arianna was accepted as a scholarship student to the prestigious Idyllwild Academy of the Arts, and Joyce has been completing a master's degree and performing in the Los Angeles area.
The Academy, a private fine arts high school of about 200 students, is situated in a small community outside of Los Angeles a mile up in the San Jacinto Mountains and draws from gifted and talented students from all over the world. Its Youth Orchestra is noted as one of the finest in the world, and its music, drama, dance and visual art students regularly go on to top universities in the country, often with full scholarships. Both Arianna and Joyce will be working in its summer program this year.
Arianna is a member of the Theater Department, training in the area of technical theater, and will be auditioning and presenting her portfolio in Chicago next winter, along with other students from the school. The Chicago audition process is a yearly event in which representatives from major national universities come to cull talent from the top students in the nation.
Joyce has been busily involved in rigorous training and master studies. In addition to other performances during the winter, she sang for the Westside Theater Group in Los Angeles and will be presenting a concert later in June for the Idyllwild Associates, a group that raises scholarship money for the arts academy. She has also been composing music, networking with other musicians and conductors, and plans to do extensive performing next year in the Los Angeles basin area.
"I am still amazed that I am here," Joyce said. "It has been a miraculous experience, and the gratitude I feel for the opportunities that are opening up, and the people I am working with fill me with a sense of quiet awe. I am thrilled to come back to Alaska and give to the community all I can of what I have learned."
Joyce, a member of the International Association of Women in Music, is well known to the peninsula. She has taught and performed in the area and outside of the state since 1975. One of her compositions, "Lullaby," based on a Soldotna plane crash in 1985, gained national prominence in 1998, when it was performed in Washington, D.C., and Ohio by the Northwind Quartet as part of a Rwandan fund-raising effort by the District of Columbia based humanitarian group Women for Women.
While pursuing her studies and continuing to compose and perform, Joyce also hikes up to the 8,880-foot level in the San Jacinto Wilderness area, writes poetry and volunteers her time for various community projects.
While on the peninsula, she will teach voice classes and hold two workshops. The first one, for adults and teens, will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday. The second class, for children, will be held at 9 a.m. Monday. For more information about the workshops, contact Darlene Keman at 283-8155.
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