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St. John's Boys' Choir

St. John's Boys' Choir


The St. John's Boys' Choir was founded in 1981 by the monks of Saint John's Abbey. The St. John's Boys' Choir has been delighting audiences for more than a decade with their performances throughout the Midwest, East Coast, The Caribbean, Europe, Japan and Canada. The St. John's Boys' Choir was established to provide Central Minnesota boys the opportunity to develop self-discipline, strong motivation, self-confidence and an appreciation of excellence through a well structured music program. Br. Paul Richards has been the music director since the choir began in 1981. He was replaced as conductor for two years by James Cacciatore while away for graduate work in choral conducting at the University of Iowa. Since his return, the program has grown to include a strong Training and Junior Varsity program to complement the established Concert Choir. Each choir has its own concert and touring schedule. Initially 120 boys auditioned for the 35 member choir. Since then, auditions have been held every January to replace boys who have graduated from the program. There are currently 70 boys participating in the choir program.

The establishment in 1990 of the Junior Varsity Choir increased the experience and musical knowledge of boys entering the Concert Choir. It continues to give a greater number of boys from the area an opportunity to participate in the boys' choir experience. The Junior Varsity Choir has been conducted by Mimi Meidl for the past five years. The choir boys, ages 9-14, come from a 50 mile radius around Saint John's Abbey once or twice a week for rehearsals. These boys are not prodigies. They are ordinary kids who like music and singing. The boys chosen to participate in the St. John's Boys' Choir decide to center a few years of their lives on music. They work on voice training, recorder, music theory and choral singing through rehearsals and home practice, as well as performing throughout the year. The St. John's Boys' Choir performs regularly in their home area with several annual concerts.

The choir has performed with the Minnesota Center Chorale, Saint John's Abbey Schola, Saint John's University Men's Chorus, St. Cloud Symphony Orchestra, and the Twin Cities Youth Symphony. They have taken part in two productions of Lionel Bart's Oliver with the CSB|SJU Opera Workshops and The New Tradition Theater Company. They have sung with national recording artist Amy Grant in honor of her receiving the Pax Christi Award in 1994 and have sung with the American Boy Choir. The organization currently has six divisions. In addition to the Concert and Junior Varsity Choirs, which do over 50 performances each year, there is the Training Choir, which meets from February through May each year and sings at the annual spring Donor Dinner; the Alumni Choir, which consists of past member of the organization who gather to sing at the annual Concert and Tea in Honour of Saint Cecilia, Patroness of Music; the Recorder Consort and Stile Antico. The St. John's Boys' Choir has a healthy Alumni group of 200, most of whom are still active in music programs in their schools, churches, and communities.


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St. John's Boys' Choir : Clear Voices : 1 CD : Joann Weber :  : st j

St. John's Boys' Choir : Clear Voices

Review: The organization of the St. John's Boys' choir of central Minnesota consists of several divisions, including "Stile Antico," which performs sacred music of the Renaissance," The Recorder Ensemble, The Training Choir, The Junior Varsity Choir focuses on the musical development of the boys in the 5th and 6th grades, and The Concert Choir is the principal touring division. "Clear Voices" features 15 mostly lightly accompanied, mostly sacred songs: Joseph M. Martin's "A Festive Call to Praise," Haydn's lovely "Kyrie and Gloria," di Lasso's "Hodie," Ralph Williams' "My Master Hath a Garden," "For Unto Us A Child is Born," from Handel's "Messiah," Brian Kay's "Gaudette," the spirituals "Hush, Somebody's Callin' My Name," "Great Getting' Up Mornin'," Rutter's "The Lord Bless You and Keep You" and others. What's Clear? That the sweet, high voices of the boys are the perfect complement to this fine, well-chosen material.

Songlist: A Festive Call to Praise, Kyrie and Gloria, Hodie, My Master Hath a Garden, For Unto Us A Child Is Born from "Messiah", Gaudete, The Nightengale, Allez Souspirs, Hollis Berrie, Elijah Rock, Hush! Somebody's Callin' My Name, Great Getting Up Morning, She Shall Have Music, O, Colored Earth, The Lord Bless You and Keep You

7134c | 1 CD | $15.98 | Some a cappella Boys Choirs CDs

St. John's Boys' Choir : The Promise of Living : 1 CD : Joann Weber : 

St. John's Boys' Choir : The Promise of Living

Review: The St. John's Boys' Choir has been delighting audiences from their base in central Minnesota, throughout the U.S., Europe, Asia, the Caribbean, Canada and England since their founding in 1981. Consisting of several divisions, including the Recorder Ensemble, Training Choir, Junior Varsity Choir and Concert Choir, the Choir seeks to teach music literacy to the boys, who come from many parts of Minnesota. "The Promise of Living" commemorates the 25th Anniversary of the Choir, and is a compilation of live performances and recording sessions from 2001-05, and includes the Alumni Choir. 16 songs, all lightly accompanied: Aaron Copland's "Zion's Walls" and the title tune, Karl Jenkins' lovely "Adieamus," Morten Lauridsen's "Dirait-on," Brant Adams' "Exsultate justi in Domino," "Ave Marias" by Franz Biebl and Zoltan Kodaly, Pablo Casals' "Nigra Sum," the American Folk Song "Dance, Boatman, Dance," and Douglas E. Wagner's "Bright is the Ring of Words" are some favorites. You may count us among the SJBC's many delighted audiences!

Songlist: Zion's Walls, Adieamus, Ave Maria, Dirait On, Salve Regina, Exsultate justi in Domino, Ave Maria, Prayer of the Children, Ave Maria, Tota pulchra es, Yo Le Canto Todo El Dia, Nigra Sum, Dance Boatman, Dance, Songs Eternity, Bright is the Ring of Words, The Promise of Living

8651c | 1 CD | $15.95 | Some a cappella Boys Choirs CDs

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