In Celebration of the Human Voice - The Essential Musical Instrument
Francis D.C. Stockwell, born in New Zealand, began his musical career at a very early age. At age six he was studying piano and later violin. He was also a soloist in a local church choir. At age 15 he received his first concert diploma for piano from the Trinity College of Music, London. In 1968 he gained two further concert diplomas for piano: one from the Royal Schools of Music, London, the other a Fellowship from the Trinity College of Music, London. In the same year he graduated from the University of Canterbury with a Bachelor of Arts degree in music and languages. In 1969 he left New Zealand for Switzerland to continue his piano studies at the Conservatoire de Musique in Geneva. At the same time he accepted a teaching position in Zug, Switzerland at Institut Montana, a renowned international boys' school. There he taught English, music and Latin.
In 1970 he gained a teacher's diploma in German from Hamburg and in the late 70's he went to Vienna where he lived and worked with the Vienna Boys' Choir Institute and with Ingrid Doll-Kallinger, Professor of Singing at the Musikhochschule in Vienna. In 1984 he returned to New Zealand to accept a position as Director of Music at Southwell Boy's School. Two years later he returned to Switzerland where he taught at Institut Montana and lectured in singing at the Konservatorium of Lucerne. In the fall of 1997 he arrived in Elk River, Minnesota to accept the post of Artistic Director of the Land of Lakes Choirboys.
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Review: Pride of Elk River, MN, the Choirboys are nationally and internationally known as one of the best boys' choirs in the world. Ably led by Director and pianist Francis Stockwell, The 20 cuts begin with the title tune by Donato, and include some fine classical works, "Gloria in Excelsis Deo," "Laudemus Te," Bach's "Gloria sei Dir gesungen," Schubert's "Ave Maria" and "Die Nacht," and many others. The spiritual "Little David, Play on Your Harp," "An Irish Blessing," "Auld Lang Syne," "The Last Rose of Summer" and "Danny Boy" are other favorites. Some piano accompaniment. A beautifully-sung collection from beginning to end!
Review: "Minnesota's Singing Boys" had humble beginnings in 1976 when 18 Elk River, MN boys gathered for their first choir practice under director Craig Carmody Anderson. Today the Choir has grown to an organization of 120 boys making up 6 different choirs of varying levels, ranging in age from 5 to 18 years, that draws boys from all over the Twin Cities. The Choirboys have a rich history of travel and concert appearances, especially the Viking Choir, which is featured on this recording. The group has an international reputation for its pure and hauntingly-beautiful sound. "Home for Christmas" is a lovely Christmas collection of 18 songs, of which "Lo, How a Rose E'er Blooming," "O Little Town of Bethlehem," "In Dulci Jubilo," "Angels from the Realms of Glory," "Leise rieselt der Schnee," "O Salutaris Hostia," and the Caribbean spiritual "De Virgin Mary had a Baby Boy," all a cappella cuts that emphasize the beautiful voices of these talented boys! This is a wonderful album for yourself and your family, or as a gift that will sure to be treasured.
Review: "Let Us All Be Grateful" is another stellar collection from Elk River, MN's famous Land of Lakes Choirboys Viking Choir. One of the best boys' choirs in the world, the Choirboys are known nationally and internationally for their perfect intonation and pure, clear sound. "Let Us" is a mix of patriotic tunes, "The Star Spangled Banner," "America the Beautiful" and "God Bless America;" traditional folk songs like "Der Almsee is trueab," "Der Dui-Dui," Australia's "The Wild Colonial Boy" and the Serbian Gypsy Dance "Niska Banja;" spiritual tunes (Purcell's "Rejoice in the Lord Always," Maierhofer's "Mater Dei" and Bestor's "The Prayer of the Children); and other favorites such as Rossini's "The Carnovale" and the Beatles' "Here Comes the Sun." There is some piano accompaniment. Beautiful!
Review: "Steal Away" is wonderful collection of sacred and spiritual tunes, from the Viking Choir, the national and international touring choir and one of 6 choirs of different levels that form the renowned Land of Lakes Choirboys. Favorites are a cappella tunes "Phos Hilaron," the haunting spiritual and title tune, "Steal Away," "Dixit Dominus," "O Hear the Joyful Music," "Der Dui-Dui," Brahms' "In stiller Nacht," the traditional Austrian song "Fein sein" and Haydn's "Die Landlust." But all the other tunes, piano and organ accompanied, are equally lovely. A beautiful collection!
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