Zach Crenshaw, age 13, was disappointed that he wouldn’t be doing anything exciting during his Spring Break from Germantown Friends School. Then he got a call from his choir director inviting him to travel to Japan during spring break and participate in a worldwide musical event for peace.
On April 1, 2013, musicians from the city of Hiroshima and musicians representing the five nuclear weapon states performed together and appealed for nuclear abolition at the “Concert for Peace in Hiroshima” at Aster Plaza in downtown Hiroshima. Keystone State Boychoir (KSB) was selected to send six members to represent the United States.
KSB members joined about 35 mainly younger musicians from Russia, France, the United Kingdom and China to perform in the concert. Also performing were about 100 musicians from Hiroshima. Concert organizer Yasuko Mitsui said, “I would like to convey our wish to leave a peaceful world for future generations”.
It is fitting that KSB was selected to represent the United States, as KSB is the only choir in the world to have toured all seven continents. In 2009, KSB made history as the first choir to perform in Antarctica. More recently, KSB sang at a ceremony in Oslo, Norway for Nobel Peace Prize-winner Aung San Suu Kyi and presented her with a Liberty Bell. Internationally, KSB has performed in the world’s major concert halls, including the Manaus Opera House in Brazil, the Petronas Philharmonik Hall in Malaysia, and the Hanoi Opera House in Vietnam, as well as in venues throughout Canada, Brazil, Chile, South Africa, Japan, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Australia, Monaco, France, Germany, Austria, Bulgaria and Norway. Recently, KSB made its Broadway debut with Tony Award-winner Brian Stokes Mitchell.
KSB brings together 175 boys, ages 8-18, under the direction of Joseph P. Fitzmartin and Steven M. Fisher. The Keystone State Boychoir encourages and welcomes boys of all experience levels to audition for the choir.
See more from the Hiroshima trip on the KSB Blog.