Media Releases & Coverage – Commonwealth Youthchoirs
On Thursday, May 4, members of the Graduate and Motet choirs participated in the launch of a collaborative work by composer Tod Machover commissioned by the Philadelphia Orchestra, Philadelphia Voices.
MIT’s Media Lab was at the event, demonstrating the mobile recording app that will help create the piece. Calvin Wamser, a member of the Grad Choir, observed, “Philadelphia Voices is the future of music; it especially interests me because it takes technology that people often say is a waste of time (like cell phones) and combines it with the community building power of music.” Anyone in the city can take part by downloading the Philadelphia Voices app to submit their own recordings of the “voice of Philadelphia.” Learn more here from the Philadelphia Orchestra.
Members from the Philadelphia Orchestra — violinists Yiying Li and Daniel Han, violist Marvin Moon; cellist Gloria dePasquale, and bassist David Fay ― performed works by Machover, and KSB and PG singers took part in improvisatory experiences. “It was an incredible experience to collaborate with the Philadelphia Orchestra and a composer as respected as Tod Machover,” noted KSB singer Matthew Flynn, “Especially when the piece is inspired by my home!”
Keystone State Boychoir and Pennsylvania Girlchoir are proud to be part of the collaboration along with the choir from the High School of the Creative and Performing Arts (CAPA), Sister Cities Girlchoir, and Al Bustan Seeds of Culture and others. A period of discovery will include in-depth discussions, workshops, interactive music sessions, recording “safaris,” and vocal explorations, all of which will inform the final composition.
Sound, voice collection, and community workshops will continue through the fall of 2017. The world premiere of the finished composition takes place April 6-8, 2018, in Philadelphia, followed by its New York premiere at Carnegie Hall on April 10, 2018.
On Tuesday, May 2, 2017, fifty-four years to the day after the Children’s’ Crusade of Birmingham, Alabama, began, hundreds of young singers from Find Your Instrument! Choir, Keystone State Boychoir, and Pennsylvania Girlchoir continued the message of heroism and hope when they performed The Children’s March at Girard College in Philadelphia. In the 1960s, the Children’s Crusade was a pivotal event in the Civil Rights Movement that exemplified bravery by hundreds of children who used non-violent protest in the face arrests and fire hoses.
The Children’s March was written by two Philadelphia artists: composer Andrew Bleckner and internationally renowned storyteller and librettist Charlotte Blake Alston. A grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) helped fund this performance of The Children’s March, which was originally commissioned by Singing City in 2013. Many remember news reports and TV footage of the heroic actions of hundreds of children in the face of police dogs, fire hoses and batons which brought national attention to the Civil Rights Movement and helped end segregation in Birmingham. The youngest marcher, who was jailed for a week, was only 9 years old.
Some of the singers performing at Girard College are the same age as the protesters were at the time. “The message of this piece is powerful,” said Steven Fisher, founder and artistic director of Keystone State Boychoir. He added, “We want our singers to know that they matter, that their voices matter, and that by singing together, they have the power to change the world.”
The Children’s March garnered public attention including articles in The Philadelphia Citizen, The Philadelphia Tribune, and coverage by 6ABC.
April 27, 2017
Commonwealth Youthchoirs—which wowed the Pope in 2015—presents “The Children’s March” to commemorate the children of the 1963 Birmingham protest and to inspire young people today
BY SARAH JORDAN
“This work reminds our children of the power of standing up for something they believe in,” says Fisher. “It also reminds the adults that children have a lot of power. We tend to say kids are too idealistic or say, ‘You don’t understand how the world works,’ but back in 1963, when those kids marched against segregation, their idealism worked to everyone’s advantage.”
Channeling the boundless energy of boys…
into unforgettable music making
At Keystone State Boychoir, we harness the boundless energy of boys to create remarkable music.
Through moments of pure goofiness as well as moments remarkably profound, our boys learn to express themselves with gusto and heart.
Your support helps celebrate boys being boys. If you have already made a gift to Commonwealth Youthchoirs this year, thank you for your generosity!
And if you haven’t, you still can give today!
Join us for our traditional CY Holiday Concert in a new venue, Girard College Chapel, THIS Sunday, December 18 at 5:00 pm.
Three great reasons to buy your tickets:
- Great music! Jason Robert Brown’s Chanukah Suite and Benjamin Britten’s Ceremony of Carols
- KSB 15th Anniversary CDs will be available for holiday gift giving
- Alumni can join the choirs to sing “Hope for Resolution”
Get your tickets now!