(MT. LAUREL, NJ) -- Get ready for a big summer full of big plans and big fun. Big Idea Committee, co-created by veteran professional performers Christine Petrini and Melissa Brun, blends musical theatre vocals and live cello instrumentals to create an interactive and theatrical experience for kids ages 3-8. Petrini and Brun, who have been celebrated by families for creating unique immersive musical theatre experiences, will release their first ever full-length self-titled album on June 17, 2022. Additionally, families will be able to get a chance to experience Big Idea Committee live and in person in West Chester, PA on June 21 and Mt. Laurel Township, NJ on July 10.
“We are so excited for families of all ages to go on a musical journey of make-believe, imaginative play, adventure and exploration, and, of course, song and dance,” notes Petrini and Brun. “At Big Idea Committee, we believe in the power of the performing arts to inspire early learners to become big thinkers. We hope that through our live theatrical shows and upcoming album, we provide youth the opportunity to learn about the enjoyment of music and movement, all while having a great time.”
Creative collaborators Christine Petrini (songwriter/vocals) and Melissa Brun (songwriter/cello/vocals), along with the charming and dapper Karl the Cello, invite families to join the committee and see what’s on the agenda. At Big Idea Committee performances, guests can experience 40 minutes of immersive and interactive musical theatre that includes imaginative play, kindness, lessons on conflict resolution, movement, and original, live songs performed by Petrini, Brun, and Karl.
Their self-titled album, which launches on June 17, includes Big Idea Committee's award-winning “Spring!” (John Lennon Songwriting Contest), as heard on WXPN’s Kids Corner, along with 10 additional tracks. The album follows the sequence of a meeting where big thinkers gather to make plans for a year of fun.
Big Idea Committee is all about collaboration, as Rodney Whittenberg (Producer/Recording Engineer), Peter Humphreys (Mastering Engineer), along with featured artists Lucy Kalantari (Grammy Award winner), Jordan McCree, Vince di Mura, Paula Breslin-Perry, Liz Filios, Monet Sudler, Tim Wolfe, Marybeth Kern, Kanako Omae Neale, and 21 young performers all contributed their “big ideas” to the album.
Melissa Brun is a professional cellist and sought after freelance teaching artist. As a theater arts educator, she was the head of the preschool theater department at the West Chester Studio for the Performing Arts from 2016-2020, and directs productions at schools across Chester County.
As a cellist, Melissa hosts her own private teaching studio at her home in Phoenixville, and has been on faculty at Millersville University and Waldron Mercy Academy. She manages the Chester County Youth Orchestra, and is a founding member of the chamber-folk sextet, The Sound Accord, with whom she has presented with at various Pennsylvania Music Educators Association conferences across the country. As the Educational Outreach Supervisor and String Clinician for D’Addario Orchestral, Melissa presents free educational workshops to students and teachers in the Philadelphia area about the string-making process, why strings make a difference, and how to make thoughtful string choices.
As a singer and actor, Melissa has been seen in productions of The World Goes ‘Round, Guys and Dolls (General Cartwright), Pippin (Catherine), Beauty and the Beast (Mrs. Potts), and Into the Woods (Witch). As a cellist, Melissa played in the house band at the American Music Theater in Lancaster from 2011-2014, and has recently played in the pit for shows at the Walnut Street Theater (South Pacific, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Matilda) and The Fulton Opera House (Ghost, Treasure Island). She has also played with touring Broadway companies (Cinderella, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, Matilda) and has soloed with Broadway stars Kristin Chenoweth and Jonathan Groff.
Christine Petrini is a performer/writer/teaching artist/arts administrator. She premiered her one-woman musical, I Can Dress Myself, at Villanova University where she earned an MA in theatre and a graduate certificate in nonprofit management. Christine’s experience as a solo performer launched a love of songwriting and storytelling. When she became a mother, her passion for music and arts education collided. She began writing children’s songs and, before long, created the Big Idea Committee (interactive music theatre for young audiences) with collaborator Melissa Brun.
Christine’s favorite credits include Tokyo Disney Resort in Japan (Vocalist), Sleeping Beauty (Queen) at Storybook Musical Theatre, and The Light in the Piazza (Clara), Everyman (Good Deeds), and The Drowsy Chaperone (Janet van de Graaff) at VIllanova Theatre. She performed Bernstein’s Mass at The Kennedy Center and toured the U.S. with Babes in Toyland. Christine is a vocalist for cabarets, weddings, funerals and more.
Christine is the Co-founder and Managing Director of the Philadelphia Women’s Theatre Festival and is committed to creating opportunities for women+ in theatre. She is founder and Program Director of Lyceum Studio for the Performing Arts, a theatre education program for youth in Burlington, NJ. She has a great love for collaboration, theatre-making and art for social change.
The Big Idea Committee is looking forward to welcoming families and friends to several upcoming concert events in the greater Philadelphia region:
West Chester, PA: Part of Fete de la Musique, Tuesday, June 21, 2022, 12PM-2PM, West Chester Historical Center, 225 N High St, West Chester, PA. This is a non-ticketed, free event.
Mt. Laurel Township, NJ: Rancocas Woods Farmer’s Market, Sunday, July 10, 2022, 10:00am and 12:00pm, 118 Creek Rd, Mt Laurel Township, NJ. This is a non-ticketed, free series of concerts.