Youth Performers Get Involved

The NUTCRACKER! Magical Christmas Ballet offers a unique and unforgettable experience for both the audience and young musicians and vocalists. The Musical Wunderkind Strings program features talented young string musicians who accompany the Principal Ballerina in Saint Saens’ “Dying Swan” before the NUTCRACKER! performance. Meanwhile, the Musical Wunderkind Choirs program provides an opportunity for local student choirs to perform alongside the ballet company in the “Waltz of the Snowflakes” scene. These community engagement programs are part of NUTCRACKER! Magical Christmas Ballet’s educational mission to provide arts enrichment for local communities.

Want to participate? Email [email protected]


Youth string performers have the opportunity to play the main stage in your city with NUTCRACKER! Magical Christmas Ballet Prima Ballerinas. Pre-show, top performing young musicians are invited to play Saint Saens famous “Dying Swan”, accompanied by the Principal Artist performing that evening.

“NUTCRACKER! Magical Christmas Ballet’s “Musical Wunderkind” was…exquisite [violinist] Champney expertly conveyed all of the complexities in the beauty of life and death that the piece ‘Dying Swan” illustrates, while ballerina Bortiakova danced in sync with fluid perfection to each note.”

DC Metro and Theatre Arts, Bethesda Saint Saens famous 3 minute “Dying Swan” was inspired by swans that legendary ballerina Anna Pavlova saw in public parks just months after becoming a ballerina at Saint Petersburg’s Imperial Mariinsky Opera/Ballet Theatre. Choreographer Michel Fokine, who choreographed the work exclusively at Anna’s request, remarked in Dance Magazine (August 1931), “It was almost an improvisation… she danced and I walked alongside her, curving her arms and correcting details of poses.”


In many cities on the tour local student choirs accompany the ballet company in the “Waltz of the Snowflakes” scene. The choristers are 7 to 18 years old and rehearse prior to their performance with experienced and award-winning music directors. The live performance experience, in some of the country’s finest theaters and performing art centers, is an invaluable and rare opportunity for the young vocalists!

Many people are not aware that Pytor Tchaikovsky’s score for The Nutcracker’s The Waltz of the Snowflakes includes a wordless chorus. Tchaikovsky instructed that “This chorus should comprise 12 sopranos and 12 altos. It is all the more desirable that they should be youths from a choir.”

NUTCRACKER! Magical Christmas Ballet’s Musical Wunderkind is just one community engagement program fulfilling NUTCRACKER! Magical Christmas Ballet’s educational mission to provide arts enrichment for the local communities it performs in. Other programs include Musical Wunderkind StringsNew HorizonsFine Art, and Dance with Us programs.