Media Releases & Coverage – KSB

Media Releases & Coverage – Keystone State Boychoir

KSB and PG Singers Give Voice to Philadelphia

Tuesday, May 9, 2017 : CY, CY Sampler, KSB, PG

PG singers with representative from the MIT Media Lab

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.

KSB singers with representative from MIT Media Lab

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.


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.


Introducing…”Men On A MISSION!”

Sunday, October 23, 2016 : CY, KSB

Whosoever Gospel MissionWednesday, October 19, we launched our “Song IS Home” Concert Series. The first performance of the series was held at the Whosoever Gospel Mission in Germantown, just two blocks from First Presbyterian Church in Germantown (FPCG) – KSB’s rehearsal home. Well over a hundred years old, it turns out that the Mission was founded in the late 1800’s by a member of FPCG.

Our KSB Grads brought a lot of joy to some admirable men who are striving to better their lives.

The purpose for the “Song IS Home” Concert Series is four fold.

  1. To help our young singers realize that there are many different kinds of places people call home.
  2. To remember that home is wherever one sings a song. No matter where we are in the world or in our lives, when we have a song on our lips, we are home in a way. This is the great gift of song.
  3. To bring the joy of song to people who might not always have the opportunity to enjoy choral music and whose spirit very well may need lifting through music.
  4.  To bring joy to our young singers by giving them the opportunity to sing with whom they might not ordinarily get the chance and, by doing so, expand their view of the world around them.

And so, we have invited the men of Whosoever Gospel Mission to join with our Grads to form a new ensemble …”Men On A MISSION!” We will rehearse each Wednesday at the Mission, with the goal of making our debut at the Germantown Friends School a cappella fest this coming February.

Stay tuned (get it?) for “Men on a MISSION!

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.

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