Posts filed under: KSBlog

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KSB chaperone and son at Machu Picchu

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Keystone State Boychoir New Jersey Holiday Concert December 3!

Keystone State Boychoir New Jersey Holiday Concert!

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With soloist Bobby Hill! Saturday, December 3,  2016 | 5:00 pm

Unitarian Universalist Church in Cherry Hill
401 Kings Highway N, Cherry Hill, NJ 08034

Order your tickets online today!
General Admission $15.00 | Students under 12 Free | For more information call 215.849.1762

Auditions for Garden State Girlchoir and New Jersey Boychoir will be held immediately following the concert for 2nd-8th graders

Download and share the flyer! (pdf)

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KSBoychoir Festival January 28 – Learn more!

Do you know a boy who loves to sing?

2017 KSBoychoir Festival!

What: A one-day festival for boys in grades 4-7 with unchanged voices who love to sing, who have found their singing voices and who have some choral experience.

When: Saturday, January 28, 2017, from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm (3:00 pm concert). A second festival will be held Wednesday, May 24, 2017.

Where: First Presbyterian Church in Germantown (KSB rehearsal home) 35 W. Chelten Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19144

Who: Hosted by the Keystone State Boychoir (KSB) and led by its directors, Mr. Joseph Fitzmartin and Mr. Steven Fisher

Why: The boys will spend the day singing great music with other boys. When a boy sings with a mass choir of two hundred boys, it is empowering beyond words. Such an experience builds his esteem as a male singer and will motivate him to keep singing in his current choirs and in choirs throughout his life. The KSBoychoir Festival will culminate with a concert that will feature the Festival Choir and the world-renowned Keystone State Boychoir. Families and friends are welcome to attend.

Download a flyer (pdf – opens in a new browser window)

Learn more on the Festival website!

There’s a Festival for Girls, too!

GETMusic Festival

What: A one-day festival for girls grades 4-6 who love to sing, who have found their singing voices, and who have some choral experience.

When: Saturday, January 14, 2017, from 10:00 am to 7:30 pm (6:15 pm concert). A second festival is planned for Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Where: Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill, 8855 Germantown Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19118

Who: Hosted by the Pennsylvania Girlchoir (PG) and led by Festival Conductors Mr. Vincent Metallo and Dr. Elizabeth Parker.

Why: The girls will spend the day singing great music with other girls. When a girl sings with a mass choir of one hundred girls, it is empowering beyond words. Such an experience builds her esteem as a female singer and will motivate her to keep singing in her current choirs and in choirs throughout her life. The GETMusic! Festival will culminate with a concert that will feature the Festival Choir and the world-renowned Pennsylvania Girlchoir. Families and friends are welcome to attend.

Download a flyer (pdf – opens in a new browser window)

Learn more on the GETMusic Festival website!

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Introducing…”Men On A MISSION!”

Whosoever Gospel MissionTonight we launched our “Song IS Home” Concert Series. The first performance of the series was held at the Whosoever Gospel Mission in Germantown, just two blocks from First Presbyterian Church in Germantown (FPCG) – KSB’s rehearsal home. Well over a hundred years old, it turns out that the Mission was founded in the late 1800’s by a member of FPCG.

Our KSB Grads brought a lot of joy to some admirable men who are striving to better their lives.

The purpose for the “Song IS Home” Concert Series is four fold.

  1. To help our young singers realize that there are many different kinds of places people call home.
  2. To remember that home is wherever one sings a song. No matter where we are in the world or in our lives, when we have a song on our lips, we are home in a way. This is the great gift of song.
  3. To bring the joy of song to people who might not always have the opportunity to enjoy choral music and whose spirit very well may need lifting through music.
  4.  To bring joy to our young singers by giving them the opportunity to sing with whom they might not ordinarily get the chance and, by doing so, expand their view of the world around them.

And so, we have invited the men of Whosoever Gospel Mission to join with our Grads to form a new ensemble …”Men On A MISSION!” We will rehearse each Wednesday at the Mission, with the goal of making our debut at the Germantown Friends School a cappella fest this coming February.

Stay tuned (get it?) for “Men on a MISSION!

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Know a boy who loves to sing? Open House this Saturday 9/24!

KSB Open House!

Know a boy who loves to sing? We had so much fun last week that we’re holding another Open House this Saturday!

9:00am – 10:15am Boys in 3rd and 4th grades
10:00am – 12:30pm Boys in 5th – 8th grades (unchanged voices)
12:00pm – 2:30pm Boys in 8th – 12th grades (changing & changed voices)

35 W. Chelten Ave. | Philadelphia PA 19144
First Presbyterian Church in Germantown

Please register using this form:

Questions? 215.849.1762

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Know a boy who loves to sing? Open House 9/17!

KSB Open House

Know a boy who loves to sing?
Open House this Saturday!

9:00am – 10:15am Boys in 3rd and 4th grades
10:00am – 12:30pm Boys in 5th – 8th grades (unchanged voices)
12:00pm – 2:30pm Boys in 8th – 12th grades (changing & changed voices)

35 W. Chelten Ave. | Philadelphia PA 19144
First Presbyterian Church in Germantown

Questions? 215.849.1762

download and share the flyer (pdf)

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Back in Helskinki!

With minimal wifi,  we will have to wait until we get home to see the rest of Laurie’s pictures.

Back in Helsinki after our third and final overnight ferry, with our final concert on Sunday night, and the end of tour.

St. Petersburg left a huge impression on all of us such that everyone is struggling to come up with words to express what we just experienced. From the Winter Palace to the Cathedral on Spilled Blood to the Hermitage,  it’s just so much larger than life.

We saw the city from the top of St Isaac Cathedral, from the water, and from walking between our various destinations. The scale of the city certainly reflects the dreams of the Russian Imperial family, especially Peter the Great and Catherine the Great, as we learned from various tour guides.

The Hermitage is a pretty good representation of the scale of St Petersburg, and the grandeur we experienced. To start with, it’s by far the largest museum in the world, with over 3 million objects in the collection. Add to that, one of the buildings is the Winter Palace, which has 1,057 rooms. One of the Ceremonial Halls that we saw was so big that boys decided the they could have played soccer in there when the weather was bad, and would have room to spare. And then there’s the chapel. So much gold…

Throughout, we’ve enjoyed our connections with Russians. Remember the response of the audience to the post-concert South African sing, where they sang back to us? That happened on Friday, too, in a most unexpected way. We had gathered on one of the bridges to head for some shopping at an open air market near the Cathedral on Spilled Blood. The bridge is a natural destination for wedding photos, with the cathedral in the background. As the photographer captured the bride and groom’s special day, Mr Fisher called the boys to standing order, and started Shumeyela, and the bride and groom started dancing, clearly loving the serenade for their photo session. Then the grads surrounded another couple and sang “In the Still of the Night”. As the boys started walking away, the groom, the bride and a couple of their friends broke into song themselves, a beautiful song in that incredible Russian harmony. We returned the gesture, and the grads sang Salvation is Created, in Russian. Cheers back and forth, with good wishes for the bride and groom, and for our safe travels.IMG_2639 (1)

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Final view of the port of St Petersburg, with a vestige of Soviet days – Wiley pointed out the sign that reads Leningrad in Russian

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Friday, July 1 – St. Petersburg!

When last we blogged, Keystone State Boychoir was enjoying a final day in the idyllic quiet of Rättvik, Sweden.

Since then? Two overnight ferries, 600 miles across the Baltic Sea, a brief stop in Helsinki, and now? Russia!

There’s been lots of informal singing, lots of rehearsing. Boat Adventures! A brief pass through Helsinki, with more to come on Sunday.

And then we got to Russia.

St Petersburg is beautiful with a grandeur and scale unlike any other city. Our first day was taken up with getting everyone settled in four different hotels, and then in getting ready for the biggest concert on this tour at Kapella Hall. St. Petersburg deserves nothing but the best for KSB, including a great venue, even if we have to rent it ourselves.

What you can’t see in pictures, or even in videos, is how great the choir sounds on this tour, and how enthusiastically the boys have been received by the audience at every concert, each one more than the last. Last night was no exception! The Russians LOVED the choir, from the prelude — our two talented pianists, Ben and Immanuel each played a piece —  to the end, an additional 45 minutes of singing in the courtyard outside the concert.

Over the past couple of years, the South African set has moved from its longstanding place at the end of the concert to a post-concert party outside the venue. On this tour, Mr Fisher has been introducing the final(ish) song, Shosholoza by asking the audience to name a song with a similar place in their country’s culture as Shosholoza for South Africans. Last night, the Russians did more than name the song – the whole audience sang the song themselves. It’s a rare moment on tour when the audience sings back to the boys!

A final note to highlight one of our boys who has been a star on this tour, and who leaves us today, not only from the concert tour (heading to Italy for a performance) but also (for now) from KSB, as his family is moving to Texas. Immanuel Mykyta-Chomsky joined KSB as a trainer in 2009, is one of the 8 Sopranos, and for this tour, is our accompanist. In addition to being a standout singer, Immanuel is an accomplished pianist, and an amazing young musician. His sight reading of the 1st movement of Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms during rehearsal last week will be the stuff of KSB legends. While we say goodbye to Immanuel today, we expect that we haven’t seen the last of him wearing a KSB jacket, at least as an accompanist!

Lots of sightSINGing today!

Once again, the wifi is very slow, but at least we have some!

We’ll be adding photos to this blog, hopefully tonight. For now, keep an eye on facebook and instagram for pictures!

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Last Day in Sweden – updated!

Update – Pictures uploaded!

Quick post about yesterday, our last day in Rättvik!

After morning rehearsals, we headed into town for some shopping, then to the summer luge – fun!

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It’s been a perfect weekend of Swedish tradition and basically Boychoir Camp!

On to our next adventure!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Reflections on Day 3 Appalachian Festival

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Singers began the morning with a hearty breakfast and rousing rehearsal with Dr. Dilworth. At breakfast, chaperones overheard singers discussing their overall rating of the festival. One singer suggested the festival earned 4 out of 5 stars because the hotel air-conditioning was a bit chilly at times, another chimed in, “Yes, but don’t forget the pool.” They came to consensus of 4.5 stars!

Singers continued to receive positive praise today regarding their solo performance from peers . Without prompting, many singers socialized with other choir members, further expanding their circles. Their joy and energy was contagious!

After a fairly busy rehearsal day on Saturday, singers were excited for Sunday afternoon free time. After lunch, they began with choice activities (swimming or mall shopping), and then attended Festivall, a juried artisan fair including more than 100 artists.  Singers asked questions of those specializing in wood carving, soaps, photography, painting, and jewelry-making, One singer sat very still while an artist sketched his portrait.

Singers returned to the hotel for a lovely meal in the ballroom followed by the last solo sharing from two additional choirs—directly after, they folk danced in squares, long ways sets, mixers, and circles with live traditional music and a well-seasoned caller. It was inspiring to watch the singers demonstrate new facility with right, left, and two hand turns, do-si-dos, cast aways, and bridges. The dancing was great fun!

Day 3 was another wonderfully joyful day. We look forward to our last full day in Charleston where we will perform together in the Civic Center on Monday evening.

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