WMU News

Boys Choir of Harlem here for one performance

Feb. 8, 2002

KALAMAZOO -- The Boys Choir of Harlem is celebrating more than 30 years of success and the internationally recognized group will deliver a virtuoso performance at Miller Auditorium on Thursday, Feb. 21, beginning at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets prices range from $27 to $12 and can be purchased through the Miller Auditorium Ticket Office at 269 387-2300, toll-free 800 228-9858, or on the Web <www.millerauditorium.com>.

Since its inception in 1968, The Boys Choir of Harlem has become known for its innovations in the thousand-year-old art of the boy choir. BCH is well-known for the breadth of its repertoire, which ranges from staples of the European canon such as Hadyn, Bach and Mozart though more modern composers such as Ginastera and Poulenc, to contemporary works from such artists as Bernstein and Hailstork. African-American spirituals, gospel, jazz, pop and hip-hop are choreographed to give The Choir a magnetic stage presence that has won critical and popular acclaim.

The Choir makes three or four national tours each year and averages 100 engagements in 24 states annually. Nine European tours have taken The Choir to some of Europe's most prestigious venues such as London's Cathedral of St. Paul and Royal Albert Hall; Paris' St. Germain-des-Près; and Amsterdam's Concertgebouw. Three Asian tours have included performances in Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore.

In addition to its regular schedule of performances, BCH has helped celebrate some of the late twentieth century's most significant milestones. The United Nations 50th Anniversary Concert at Avery Fisher Hall with the New York Philharmonic under the baton of Kurt Masur, the Centennial of the Statue of Liberty, Nelson Mandela's first visit to the United states, the 1993 Presidential Inaugural and many other prestigious events have features performances by BCH. The Choir and its founder, Dr. Walter J. Turnbull, were also awarded the National Medal of Arts by President Clinton in 1997.

The Choir has grown from a 20-member church choir to an artistic and educational institution. Today, The Boys Choir of Harlem, Inc. comprises a boys choir, a girls choir, The Choir Academy of Harlem, student and family support services, and a Summer Music Institute. The 35 to 40 boys who appear in the boys' Performing Choir are selected from the 250-member Concert Choir based on academic performance, attendance, and progress at rehearsals, as well as the vocal quality required for the chosen program. All 500-plus students at The Choir Academy of Harlem take daily classes in music history, theory, voice and an instrument.

The Miller Auditorium appearance of the Boys Choir of Harlem is sponsored by "The Touch," AM 1560 WFAT.

Media contact: Krista Iles, 269 387-2298, krista.iles@wmich.edu

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