North Central News

Choir gets creative to keep boys connected

Phoenix Boys Choir is keeping the music going despite the Coronavirus pandemic and is even seeking new members.

The choir closed its doors to in-person rehearsals and had to cancel concerts that would have been held in concert venues in March, April and May due to COVID-19. However, the choir provided a free online Memorial Day “Voices of Valor” concert in May. Video was posted online of the Phoenix Boys Choir singing patriotic songs for the concert that honored first responders helping the community during this healthcare crisis. Lt. Col. Kenneth “Scott” Morley of the U.S. Army Phoenix Recruiting Battalion, recorded a message posted in the concert video talking about how members of the Army are prepared for careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). He also talked about how former Army soldiers have entered the civilian sector, where some of them are leading the way in hospitals and schools amid the COVID-19 crisis.

Phoenix Boys Choir member Ben Whitsett played his dulcimer recently during an online talent show. The choir held rehearsals and a talent show, as well as recorded a song virtually recently as it wanted to keep the boys connected and singing but safe during this COVID-19 crisis (photo by Andrea Whitsett).

Phoenix Boys Choir released a song its members sang virtually, “Sing On,” as its final project of the year in May. The recording involved almost 100 boys and men singing individual parts, then their voices were layered together. The choir’s artistic director Herbert Washington chose “Sing On” for his debut concert and the song illustrates how music has the power to help people persevere during hard times.

Members of the Town and Tour choirs of the Phoenix Boys Choir recently participated in a virtual camp, where they got to know each other in a “big brother, little brother Bingo card game/competition,” learned music theory, received voice lessons and learned new music. This online camp replaced the overnight, week-long camp ordinarily held in Payson. The 2020-21 season was scheduled to start the second week of this month (August).

Boys who want to join Phoenix Boys Choir can participate in virtual/online auditions through the end of September due to the COVID-19 cases increasing in Arizona. Parents may sign up on the choir’s website for auditions.

There are five choir levels including four that require auditions to join: Cadet, for boys 7 to 9 years old with little or no singing experience; Town, an intermediate choir for boys ages 10 to 12 with some music experience; Tour, an advanced treble choir for boys ages 10-14 and Master’s/Young Men’s Ensemble, an advanced choir with boys and men whose voices have changed. Boys ages 7 to 18 can audition for the various choirs.

To learn more about auditions for the Phoenix Boys Choir, visit boyschoir.org/join.

 

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