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Atlanta Boy Choir visits Peninsula

Posted: June 9, 2011 - 9:38am
The Atlanta Boy Choir
The Atlanta Boy Choir sings at Brevard College’s Porter Arts Center. The choir will be singing in high school auditoriums around the Kenai Peninsula this weekend. They are scheduled to take the stage at Homer’s Mariner Theater on Friday night at 7:30 p.m., Kenai Central High School’s Renee C. Henderson Auditorium on Saturday at 7:30 p.m., and Seward High School on Sunday at 7 p.m.

Homer’s Mariner Theater and Kenai’s Renee C. Henderson Auditorium will be filled with the sounds of male vocalists this weekend.

The Atlanta Boy Choir is stopping in Homer and Kenai on Friday and Saturday as part of their summer Alaska Concert tour. The choir includes 31 boys, ages 9 to 13. They will be joined by the choir’s Alumni Men’s singing group, and a range of instrumentalists.

“The knowledgeable people (in the Kenai Peninsula Orchestra) told me this is not something to be missed,” said Jack Will, a board member and violinist for the Kenai Peninsula Orchestra, which is sponsoring the choir’s visit.

When the boys and men take the stage at 7:30 each night, they’ll sing a variety of traditional and classical music. Representative Molly McKim said their repertoire includes “We Are The World,” a commissioned arrangement for the first parade honoring Martin Luther King, Jr. King and his wife, Coretta Scott King, were fans of the choir that is now in its 53rd season, McKim said.

The choir’s Homer and Kenai stops are sponsored by the Kenai Peninsula Orchestra. The orchestra helped line up the venues, publicize the event, will run the house each night and is even helping the choir make sure they find food and other necessities while visiting.

Any profits from the Homer and Kenai shows — general admission is $15, but contributing members to the orchestra pay $10 and students under age 21 pay $5 — will go back to the orchestra after they cover the costs of the performances.

“They asked if we would sponsor them, and we said yes,” Will said.
Will said the orchestra tries to be part of the music community beyond just performing their own shows, and always wants to connect with musicians from outside of Alaska.

“We always like to have varied connections in the music world,” Will said.

The choir routinely travels — they list churches and concert halls in Rome, France and Austria as sites of past performances — and isn’t entirely new to Alaska. McKim said the choir came to Alaska in the 1980s. Some of the men in the Alumni Chorus were part of that tour, she said.

Concert tickets are available at the door, or can be picked up at the Homer Book Store or Etude Music Studio in Homer, or at River City Books in Kenai. They also can be reserved over the phone for Homer and Kenai by calling 235-7579.

The choir is also stopping in Anchorage and Seward on Thursday and Sunday. The Seward performance is at the high school, sponsored by the Seward Arts Council. In Anchorage, the choir performs at a church — Our Lady of Gudalupe. Both shows are at 7 p.m.

The orchestra’s work won’t end after the Atlanta Boy Choir moves on. Rehearsals have started, and the group is already preparing for its annual Summer Music Festival. This year, the symphony is performing Beethoven’s 9th Symphony and Russian Easter Overture by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov.

Those performances will be at the end of the two-week festival, on August 12 and 13. Earlier that month, the group will split into smaller ensembles for free noontime concerts around the Peninsula, and rehearse with guest artists for the big performances.

There’s also a cruise on the schedule, with desserts, champagne, music and ocean views on the docket for that August 7 event, Will said.

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