Oak Knoll Senior Aria Alva Sings in Summit Arts Festival

Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child senior Aria Alva ’22 of Summit, sang in a chorus concert on Saturday, May 14, 2022, as part of the Summit Arts Festival in downtown Summit.

The Summit Art Festival celebrates the power of expression through the fine arts and includes performances through music, art, theatre, and dance. The festival featured more than 100 artists from all over the country. 

Alva will sing in the festival’s closing concert event – The Promise of Living, a concert reflection on the lives we live – which was sponsored by the Continuo Arts Symphonic Chorus and Orchestra. Alva was one of hundreds of singers from the children and youth choirs of New Jersey, Civic Chorale of New Jersey, Seniors Sing, The Continuo Arts Orchestra, and world-class soloists. 

Alva has been a member of Continuo Arts Foundation since she was just 5 years old and is the current president of their Youth Choir. 

One of the songs in Alva’s performance was called “Letter to a Girl on Fire.” 

“We choose this song to represent the hopes and dreams that young girls have for themselves and the world,” said Alva, who will be attending Bard College in New York in the fall. “Music in general is important to me because it gifts me with the ability to connect with both myself and others in a way nothing else can replicate. I think music has always been special to me, even at a young age, because no two people take the exact same thing away from a song or performance and that music’s unique impact on every individual simultaneously brings people together.”

Oak Knoll’s Music Director, Ruby Robertson-Knox, first met Alva at 5 years old when she and her mother collaborated with Robertson-Knox during the Continuo Choir Foundation performance tour at the International Festival in Rome in 2012. 

“Both Aria and her mother joined the performance tour and the older girls adored her,” said Robertson-Knox. “She was very disciplined to be so young through long rehearsals in the Basilica in Rome. That year we also performed in a Mass at St. Peter’s in Vatican City. It was a life-changing experience for everyone that attended.” 

Robertson-Knox and Alva reconnected when Alva entered Oak Knoll’s Upper School in seventh grade, where she became involved in the school’s performing arts program while continuing her participation in the Continuo Choirs. 

“I believe developing her coloratura soprano techniques and her love for high choral music has always been a huge part of Aria’s life,” said Robertson-Knox.