Media Releases & Coverage – FYI!

Media Releases & Coverage – Find Your Instrument!

Powerful Performance of “The Children’s March”

Wednesday, May 3, 2017 : CY, CY Sampler, FYI, KSB, PG

The Children's MArch - animated slide show

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.


One Book, One Philly inspires local choirs in Northwest Philly

Sunday, February 28, 2016 : CY, FYI, KSB, PG

The Good Raised Up!

Bastiaan Slabbers, Newsworks

WHYY’s Newsworks on February 25, 2016 reported: “The Keystone State Boychoir, Pennsylvania Girlchoir, and choirs from several local schools performed ‘The Good Raised Up!,’ at the Johnson House in Germantown last week. The performance is an original work about the Underground Railroad composed by jazz musician John Blake. It is part of The Free Library’s One Book, One Philadelphia celebration this year.

See Newsworks‘ Bastiaan Slabbers’ photo essay on the Newsworks  site.

Pennsylvania Girlchoir and Keystone State Boychoir recognized by National Endowment for the Arts

Thursday, December 24, 2015 : CY, FYI, GMM, KSB, PG

Dear CY Family and Friends,

What a month December has been for Pennsylvania Girlchoir and Keystone State Boychoir – a thrilling end to 2015!

  • ​First ever funding from National Endowment for the Arts
  • Release of the breathtaking How Can I Keep for Singing? – Pennsylvania Girlchoir’s latest CD
  • Release of Microsoft Xbox “Halo 5″ including animated film Halo: The Fall of Reach with soundtrack featuring Keystone State Boychoir
  • Sold out concert at Church of the Holy Trinity for our annual joint PG and KSB Concert on the Square
    Holiday Concert on the Square
  • Keystone State Boychoir sings for an audience numbering over 8,000 people in Antofagasta, Chile
    KSB in Concert: Antofagasta, Chile 2015

Exactly 6 years ago today, on December 23, 2009, KSB landed in Antarctica and made history! On this sixth anniversary we celebrate all of this month’s accomplishments and anticipate what awaits us in 2016!

In honor of our 15th Anniversary Season, we are aiming to raise $150,000 to support our mission of transforming the lives of every one of our 600 young singers through the power of making music together – one song at a time. I hope you’ll consider helping us reach our goal. You can make a gift online here.

Profound thanks,


Steve Fisher
CY Founder and Artistic Director

P.S.: We’ve decided to go paperless with our Appeal this year. By making a gift online, you’ll be investing in our 600 plus young singers and our environment. Please share your reason for supporting the programs with your Facebook friends and on the Facebook walls of Keystone State Boychoir and Pennsylvania Girlchoir.

Miss America Hosts CY Gala – Composer Ned Rorem Honored

Monday, June 16, 2014 : CY, FYI, GMM, KSB, PG

Miss America Nina Davuluri“Here she comes…” Miss America Nina Davuluri was host for the Commonwealth Youthchoirs (CY) Gala on June 16, 2014 at Verizon Hall of the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, 300 S. Broad St., Philadelphia.  The grand event honor the 90th birthday of Grammy and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Ned Rorem. In addition, the Pennsylvania Girlchoir celebrates their 10th anniversary. Prominent Philadelphia lawyer Ajay Raju and and his wife Pamela were Honorary Co-Chairs.

There was a very special surprise in store for Miss America when she was be treated to a “Bollywood” style performance to honor her heritage and recreate a portion of her personal talent performance from the pageant (singers from Keystone State Boychoir toured India in January with Arun Gandhi, grandson of Mahatma Gandhi). Additional select repetoire from the India tour also were part of the performance.

Ned RoremHighlights of the Gala also included the honor for Rorem, a Pulitzer Prize winning American composer, who was celebrating his 90th birthday. While the composer was ill and not able to be physically at Verizon Hall, he was represented by his sister, who received the recognition in Rorem’s absence. In addition, Pennsylvania Girlchoir celebrated their 10th anniversary.

The concert featured more than 500 singers from all four of CY’s musical programs. In addition to Keystone State Boychoir and Pennsylvania Girlchoir – two distinguished ensembles with worldwide reputations, Find Your Instrument!, a music program at several Philadelphia public schools that otherwise would have no vocal music training and Good Mornin’ Music!, an early music education experience for children PreK through Grade 2, were also represented on stage.

CY was founded in 2001 by Joseph Fitzmartin and Steven Fisher as a non-profit organization to bring music to kids, ages 8-18, from a range of socioeconomic backgrounds. The singers represent all five Pennsylvania counties in the greater Philadelphia region, as well as New Jersey and Delaware. They are ambassadors for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania at home and abroad.

Jai Ho Singers and dancers

KSB and PG perform Jai Ho – with the Jai Ho dancers – while Miss America watches (left)


The choirs at Gala

The choirs combine to perform at the 2014 Gala


PG with Alumni sing Total Praise

Pennsylvania Girlchoir joined by PG alumni celebrate the choir’s 10th Anniversary singing their signature “Total Praise”


Find Your Instrument! (FYI!) finalist in Impact 100 Philadelphia Grant Competition

Wednesday, May 29, 2013 : CY, FYI

Find Your Instrument! (FYI!), Commonwealth Youthchoirs’ initiative to bring music education to Philadelphia schools without core music programs, is one of five finalists – and the only Arts and Culture program – in the Impact 100 Philadelphia competition for one of two $100,000 grants to be awarded by the organization on June 3, 2013.

FYI! logoImpact 100 started as a group of civic minded women who each contribute toward annual awards for initiatives based on community impact and past successes. The members will vote on the finalists at the group’s annual meeting. The three finalists who are not awarded $100,000 will share the remaining $84,000 raised toward this year’s awards.

Impact 100 PhiladelphiaIf awarded one of the $100,000 grants, FYI! will expand to two more after-school programs in additon to John Wister Elementary School in Germantown. FYI! is under the direction of Keystone State Boychoir’s Associate Music Director Steven Fisher, and the expanded program will partner with the School District of Philadelphia and the music education department at Temple University.

View the WHYY/Newsworks report on FYI! and Impact 100 Philadelphia

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