March 29, 2004

The American Boychoir

Yesterday afternoon I went to see the Spring concert of the Nova Singers, a professional choral group based in Galesburg and the Quad Cities. Their singing was excellent (as, apparently, usual).

Performing with them was the American Boychoir, which is a few dozen boys in grade 5--8 recruited from all over the country to attend a residential school in NJ and tour the country singing. It was really wild to hear them. I never would have expected such a full sound; they had a bass section that sang impossibly low, given that nobody there was over 14 or so. And loud, too---the low bass section appeared to be just two, or maybe three, boys, with another couple that seemed to be singing a baritone. They blended really well, and they weren't standing in sections, so it was difficult to tell who was in which section except during the very polyphonic parts. :)

Oddly enough, I found that in many of the pieces where they were singing as a whole choir, the sound was almost indistinguishable from an adult mixed chorus. It was only when the solos and duets were brought out that I could really hear the distinctive "boy soprano" sound.

The weird thing, though, was how they acted. While a few seemed like, y'know, normal boys, many of them seemed to move very stiffly with "don't want to get punished for screwing up" looks on their faces. And all of them bowed in the most alarming, creepy fashion---while in their rows on the risers, they just slowly bent at the waist, letting their arms hang like rag dolls; they looked like marionettes or something. And they did it after every song. I have never seen anything like it. In curtain calls for plays, I've seen lines grab hands, raise them, and then fold at the waist; in more solo contexts, people put one arm across the waist and extend the other, or keep their arms at their sides and bow a little more shallowly with a nod of the head. Done individually this would have looked like some sort of stretching exercise; done as a group and in sync it just looked creepy.

"Maintenance, cleanup on aisle three please. We have a can of worms opened on aisle three." --Eva Schillace

Posted by blahedo at 10:11pm on 29 Mar 2004
Gostaria de receber, todas as partituras do CD THE AMERICAN BOYCHOIR ON TOUR, POR FAVOR ME MANDE UMA RESPOSTAS Posted by Leandro Dantas at 1:10pm on 4 Oct 2004
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