daddy 's Little Girls
Twin recording artists will take to the stage at Ann Arbor Father's Day fest.
Special to the Jewish News
atthew Engelbert's best Father's
Day gift could very well be
entwined with what he is try-
ing to accomplish for his 9-year-old twin
Engelbert, an Ann Arbor resident who
had dreamed about having his own music
career, is taking steps to launch a music
career for Ariel and Zoey, and they are
making a public appearance on the holi-
day that celebrates his role.
The girls, expressing enthusiasm with
dad's activities to establish them as the
singing duo Ariel & Zoey, will be perform-
ing selections from their upcoming, dad-
produced CD, In Your Heart, during the
Ann Arbor Summer Festival.
The two will be part of the free Top of
the Park program and are scheduled for
6:30 p.m. Sunday, June 15, along Ingalls
Mall in front of the Rackham School of
Graduate Studies, 915 E. Washington. They
will be followed by Zippity2dads, Orquesta
Sensacional and the film Harry Potter:
June 12 • 2008
Order of the Phoenix.
Matthew Engelbert, prior to this book-
ing, arranged to have the girls make a
demo recording, sent the CD to music
pros, initiated contacts for special appear-
ances and established a Web site
(www.arielandzoey.com) to showcase his
"I heard the girls sing "Rainbow
Connection" at school, and I suggested
they go into the studio and make a CD:'
says Engelbert, president of the Benard L.
Maas Foundation and a business consul-
tant for nonprofit organizations.
"I thought the experience would be
something they would really enjoy, and
I reserved a couple of hours to do the
recording and mixing. They came up with
harmonies the first time through!"
Since the demo was sent out last year,
Ariel and Zoey have appeared on WOMC-
FM radio with Dick Purtan and have
sung the national anthem before a Detroit
Pistons game and at the dedication of the
University of Michigan Wilpon Baseball
and Softball Complex.
The twins, who take private Hebrew les-
sons, performed "Hatikvah" at an event to
tackle the hunger problem in Israel. Plans
are in the works to join with the Thank You
Foundation so the twins can entertain and
meet with children visiting hospitalized
parents injured during military service.
The two already are booked to sing the
national anthem in July at a Mets game in
"I always loved to sing:' says Ariel, a
fourth-grader at Thurston Elementary
School. "We've had private singing lessons,
gone to music day camp and done vocal-
izing. It's a lot of fun to be with my sister
because we get along really well!'
Beginning Of Individualism
The sisters, who are identical, have shared
an interest in performing since going to
Disney theme parks before beginning
school. Although they would prefer being
in the same classes, school administrators
have thought it best to place them apart.
The girls dressed alike until recently, when
they began having individual preferences.
Ariel likes pink, but Zoey chooses blue.
Matthew Engelbert, who sang with
college friends and appeared in school
musicals as a student at the University of
Michigan, also sang before a Pistons game
with the booking secured through the help
of a family friend.
Another friend, Gary Adler, who attend-
ed Berkley High School and went on to
compose music for Disney's Johnny and
the Sprites, wrote the title song for the new
recording, which has nine tracks and also
includes "What I've Been Looking For:'
Ariel's favorite, and "I Don't Want to Live
on the Moon:' Zoey's favorite.
"My sister and I like the same music and
dances',' Zoey says. "So far, we've found it
easier to sing in front of other kids."
To draw kids to the Web site, the girls
are inviting questions from peers, who get
answers based on what Ariel and Zoey have
experienced. This summer, they will add
cooking segments and conduct interviews.
"My wife, Caroline, who was a theater
major, is as proud of the girls as I am:'
"We're also proud that our son, Eli, 7,
will debut as master of ceremonies when
his sisters entertain at Top of the Park.
"We wanted Ariel and Zoey to under-
stand that they are entrepreneurs. Beyond
performing, they were to learn about
branding, marketing, licensing and mer-
chandising. For this, alone, it has been a
very valuable experience!" ❑