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BOYS CHOIR OF HARLEM, HOLIDAY SOUNDS, 12/10/04
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GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY CENTER FOR THE ARTS WELCOMES
THE BOYS CHOIR OF HARLEM
Friday, December 10, 2004, 8PM
Fairfax, Virginia, November 5, 2004— Ebony Magazine claims, "Whether doing Vivaldi's 'Gloria', Benjamin Britten's 'Rejoice in the Lamb' Duke Ellington's 'Take the A Train' or Lee Cooper and Linda Twine's 'We are Heroes,' the The Boys Choir of Harlem shows over and over why music lovers across the country flock to its concerts." Now, in their highly anticipated debut at the Center for the Arts Concert Hall on the Fairfax campus of George Mason University on December 10 at 8:00 p.m., this group of tender and magnificent voices that have thrilled millions the world over will join in exuberant song to usher in the holiday season. A pre-performance discussion, free to ticketholders, begins 45-minutes prior to the concert on the Grand Tier of the Concert Hall.
Delighting audiences worldwide, the Choir often includes older tenor and bass voices to increase its vocal power and versatility. With a blend of classical and modern music, popular songs, spirituals, gospel and jazz -- highlighted by choreography and smooth showmanship, the ensemble’s talent reflects the group’s dedication to hard work and discipline.
Over 150,000 people see The Boys Choir of Harlem live in concert annually; millions more see and hear them in televised appearances and on recordings. The Choir has performed at the White House, the UN, and at major historic events such as the visits of Nelson Mandela and Pope John Paul II.
In 1968, twenty boys came to the basement of a Harlem church for their first choir rehearsal. Under the mastery and guidance of musical director Walter Turnbull, the choir grew in size and artistry. Today that modest ensemble is 250 members strong and has achieved international acclaim, performing its eclectic repertoire in major concert halls in the United States, on two GRAMMY Award-winning albums as well as in Europe, Israel and Japan.
"A choir is a good starting point for building character," says Turnbull. "Since the 14th century, choirs have been used to educate boys. What I'm doing is adapting that concept to a 20th-century inner-city model." That the choir is a success story without parallel is indisputable. Many of the young singers (grades 4 through 12) hail from some of the roughest and poorest sections of Harlem. Under the New York school system, the choir has established its own academy, which offers a rigorous education combined with conservatory-quality artistic instruction, and Turnbull's tough-love philosophy has paid off: 98 percent of choir graduates go on to college, expanding their lives far beyond the threshold of their old neighborhoods.
Selections for this joy filled concert include religious favorites of the season "Hark the Herald Angels Sing," "O Come All Ye Faithful," and "Joy to the World," as well as beloved family holiday tunes like "The Little Drummer Boy," and "The Christmas Song," and "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer."
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Tickets for THE BOYS CHOIR OF HARLEM are $44, $36, $22. FAMILY FRIENDLY! All children, 12 and under, half price! Charge by phone at 703-218-6500 or visit www.tickets.com. The Center for the Arts complex is located on the Fairfax campus of George Mason University at the intersection of Braddock Road and Route 123. Paid parking is located in the deck adjacent to the mainstage Concert Hall and FREE parking is located in university lot K. Visit www.gmu.edu/cfa
GREAT PERFORMANCES AT MASON is a program of George Mason University’s Center for the Arts, the professional presenting arm of the College of Visual and Performing Arts. The College of Visual and Performing Arts exists to create an academic environment in which the arts may be considered both as individual disciplines and as interdisciplinary forms that strengthen each other. Believing that an education in the arts is deepened by regular contact with the work of distinguished visiting artists, the College draws on a variety of professional presenting and producing units where artists from across the country and around the world regularly perform, give master classes, work with students during extended residencies, and interact with the community in a variety of other ways. These programs at the Center for the Arts Concert Hall, TheaterSpace, Galleries, Harris Theater, and other venues, provide a diverse selection of challenging and entertaining cultural experiences for the University community, as well as Northern Virginia and the greater Washington, D.C. area. The College houses four academic departments: Art and Visual Technology, Dance, Music and Theater.