Shenandoah Valley Children’s Choir Hosts American Boychoir

The American Boychoir, regarded as the United States’ premier concert boys’ choir will present a full concert on October 24 at 7:30 p.m. at EMU’s Lehman Auditorium (see campus map).

This is the sixth time the ABC has performed in Harrisonburg by invitation as guest of the Shenandoah Valley Children’s Choir (SVCC) part of the music department at EMU.

American Boychoir
The American Boychoir, regarded as the United States’ premier concert boys’ choir

The concert will consist of a variety of advanced choral music from standard composers, folk songs, and new compositions sung by the thirty boys who make up the touring choir.

The SVCC will sing songs by themselves and with the American Boychoir, including the gospel song “Praise His Holy Name.”

Choir to total 200

New this year is an invitational Festival Choir made of up area school children’s choirs, including children from Harrisonburg City Schools, Jerrilyn MacDanel, coordinator; Grace Christian School in Staunton, Marie Masincup, director; Hunter McGuire School in Verona, Judy Bomberger, director; and Wilson Middle School Eighth Grade Choir in Fishersville, Paige Edwards, director.

The area schools will join with the ABC and SVCC to total 200 and youth in singing South African Freedom Songs “O Freedom and Siyahamba” as part of the program.

The American Boychoir will continue their stay in Harrisonburg for masterclasses with all three SVCC choirs on Monday afternoon, October 25, which are free and open to the public.

Two school performances for Rockingham County Middle Schools will take place on Tuesday, October 26 in collaboration with the SVCC event. The boys will be hosted on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday nights by SVCC families.

The SVCC connection

SVCC Founder and Artistic Director, Julia White, worked at the American Boychoir School when she was a master’s student at Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey, in the late ’80s and has enjoyed the long-standing relationship with the ABC.

“That beautiful sound has stayed with me, and the ongoing education I have received from the Boychoir School and directors has shaped my teaching and the SVCC program for many years.”

Several SVCC boys have gone on to attend the school.

About the American Boychoir

Under the leadership of Fernando Malvar-Ruiz, Litton-Lodal Music Director, The American Boychoir continues to dazzle audiences with its unique blend of musical sophistication, effervescent spirit, and ensemble virtuosity.

Boys in grades 4 through 8, reflecting the ethnic, religious, and cultural diversity of the United States, come from across the country and around the world to pursue a rigorous musical and academic curriculum at the school.

The American Boychoir School, the only non-sectarian boys’ choir school in the nation, was founded in Columbus, Ohio in 1937 and has been located in Princeton, New Jersey since 1950.

Auditions for the American Boychoir will be held after Sunday evening’s concert on the Lehman Auditorium Stage. All boys in grades 3-6 are invited to audition.

Learn more about the American Boychoir

World-class collaborations and performances

Maintaining an active national and international touring schedule, the Boychoir performs with world-class ensembles including the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Philadelphia Orchestra, and the New York Philharmonic.

The Boychoir appears regularly as featured artists with James Levine at the Tanglewood Music Festival, and has performed with the internationally renowned soprano Jessye Norman, prominent jazz musician Wynton Marsalis, pop diva Beyonce, and at Carnegie Hall with Sir Paul McCartney.

The choir has been extensively recorded on its own label, Albemarle Records, and broadcast on radio and television, with over forty-five commercial recordings.

About the SVCC, now in its 19th year

Now in its 19th year, the acclaimed Shenandoah Valley Children’s Choir serves children and youth in public, private, and home schools, from Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley and the surrounding region.

The choir’s mission is to foster artistry and excellence through musical study and performance and includes the Concert Choir, ages 11-18; the Treble Choir, ages 9-15; and the Preparatory Choir, ages 8-11.

Early-elementary “Explorers” classes are also offered for children in Kindergarten through 3rd grade.

SVCC performance highlights

Some of SVCC’s performance highlights include:

  • three Southern Division ACDA conferences (Orlando in ’00 and Charlotte in ’02, under the direction of Sir David Willcocks, and Charleston, WV in ’06)
  • the Carnegie Hall Children’s Choir Festival (’98 and ’07)
  • the Tuscany International Children’s Chorus Festival in Italy (’01)
  • the Pacific Rim Children’s Chorus Festival in Hawaii (’05 and ’09)
  • three performances with members of the Washington Symphonic Brass Quintet
  • at the White House, with Opera singer, Placido Domingo.

The choir has performed for such dignitaries as President and Mrs. Bill Clinton, President and Mrs. Jimmy Carter, and Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

Ticket info

Tickets may be purchased through the EMU box office at 432-4582 (10:30-2:30 Monday through Friday) or online.

Ticket prices are:

  • Special Reserved Section: $20.00 advanced/$22.00 at the door
  • Adults: $15.00 advanced/$17.00 at the door
  • Students (ages 12-22) $10.00 advanced/$12.00 at the door
  • Children (under 12) $5.00 advanced/$7.00 at the door.

For more information about the SVCC see or call 432-4650.

More info