Monday, January 4, 2016

Electric Youth 2016 Debuts Two Shows At THE BLACK BOX

Electric Youth (EY) 2016, the international touring ensemble of talented singer-dancers trained at the Franklin School for the Performing Arts (FSPA), headlines at THE BLACK BOX in downtown Franklin on Saturday, January 9, debuting two shows at 6:30 and 8:30 p.m. Backed by an eight-piece band of world-class musicians, Electric Youth delivers a fun, high-energy evening of family entertainment with an extensive range of contemporary pop, classic rock, Broadway and country hits for audiences all ages. The EY shows at THE BLACK BOX will feature fully choreographed performances of Adele, Pat Benatar, Beyonce, The Black Crowes, Gladys Night, Queen, Sugarland, Stevie Wonder and more.
Electric Youth - 2016
Electric Youth - 2016

Selected annually by audition, the group is chosen for superior musicianship, stage presence, and “triple threat” accomplishments in voice, dance, and acting. This season’s ensemble of performers, ages 14-18, studies multiple dance disciplines, voice, and acting at FSPA. Electric Youth 2016 includes Madison Asgeirsson, Brooke Collins, Aaron Frongillo, Jocelyn Jones, Lauren Szczepanowski and Melissa Wyner of Franklin; Michael Fajardo of Hopkinton; Sam Evans and Colie Vancura of Medfield; Katie Gray of Milford; Kylee Rollins of North Attleboro; Griffin Wilkins of Walpole; and Jenna McDermott and Susauna Wickstrom of Wrentham.

The EY singer-dancers are backed by Boston musicians who’ve performed, recorded and toured with music legends Tony Bennett, Aretha Franklin, Dizzy Gillespie, B.B. King, Diana Ross, The Temptations, Van Morrison and many others.

“The band that tours with EY really raises the level of experience for our singer-dancers and audiences alike,” says Director Raye Lynn Mercer. “These musicians have performed with A-list entertainers, and the music is first-rate. The arranging team for Electric Youth, including several of the band members, writes custom arrangements for EY that allow the group to take classic songs and make them their own.”

EY’s show band features Kenny Hadley on drums, Arnie Krakowsky on tenor saxophone, Bill Miele on bass, Artie Montanaro on trombone, Walter Platt on trumpet, Ken Reid on baritone saxophone, Mark White on guitar and Mercer on piano. Under the direction of Mark Poniatowski, musical arrangers for Electric Youth are Rick Hammett, Jeff Perry, Walter Platt, Poniatowski, Mark White and Ben Whiting. Hallie Wetzell is Electric Youth’s Vocal Director. Choreographers include Mercer, Casey Andrade, Cheryl Madeux, Nick Paone and Kellie Stamp.

Electric Youth has released six professional albums and toured Europe 12 times, with performances at England’s Arundel Festival, Disneyland Paris, professional theaters in Bristol, London and Windsor, and such renowned venues as Sanremo’s Ariston Theatre and Vienna’s Konzerthaus, Musikverein and Schonbrunn Palace. 

EY has also headlined Fourth of July shows for U.S. troops and their families stationed in Italy at Camp Ederle, Camp Darby, and Aviano Air Force Base. The ensemble has performed on Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas, on Fox-TV and WBZ Radio, and at Fenway Park, Gillette Stadium, Mechanics Hall, the Smithsonian Museum Theater and the United Nations. EY’s music, including the 2014 album Power Chord is available at and iTunes. Electric Youth 2016 will tour Austria and Italy this summer.

Tickets for Electric Youth In Concert at THE BLACK BOX are $26, with $18 tickets available for children 12 and under at the first show only. To purchase tickets, visit, stop by the box office at 34 Main Street in Franklin, or call (508) 528-3370. THE BLACK BOX is located at 15 West Central Street in downtown Franklin. Light pub fare and cash bar are available. For more information about Electric Youth, visit

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