KSB in the Media

KSB in the Media

Philadelphia Magazine: Fame, Fate, and the Boy Soprano

Tuesday, December 1, 2015 : KSB in the News, KSBlog

An unexpected performance for Pope Francis made 14-year-old Bobby Hill a celebrity overnight. But with the phone ringing off the hook, Hill and those around him are facing an implacable foe: Mother Nature.

Bobby Hill - Philadelphia Sunday coverKSB singer Bobby Hill is profiled by Philadelphia Magazine writer Victor Fiorillo (December 6, 2015):

Three months after unexpectedly sharing the stage with Pope Francis on the Parkway, Bobby Hill is still being recognized everywhere he goes.

Consider just this past week: On Monday, Bobby’s father took him shopping for a new suit, and whether they were at Joseph A. Bank at Liberty Place or the Boscov’s in Plymouth Meeting, people would point and whisper Isn’t that the kid who sang for the pope?

On Wednesday, in Beverly Hills, where the 14-year-old was honored at the Ebony Power 100 gala along with John Legend, Prince, and U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch, music managers and agents shoved business cards in his face while members of the African-American power crowd snapped selfies with him.

And this Sunday afternoon, someone will no doubt recognize him as he walks the red carpet at the Broadway premiere of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s School of Rock. Certainly Sir Andrew will know who he is — Hill is going as the legendary composer’s invited guest.

Bobby Hill’s newfound fame arose because the millions who saw him sing for Pope Francis — a performance that Hill didn’t even know would happen until five minutes before he walked out on stage — fell in love with his heavenly voice. But at 14 and on a collision course with puberty, will he still be an angelic soprano by the time he is to perform with the Philadelphia Orchestra at the Academy Ball in January — or will his voice go all Peter Brady on him?

“He is supposed to sing with the Orchestra, yes,” says longtime mentor and instructor Steven Fisher, co-founder of the Keystone State Boychoir. “But I am worried that he is not going to make it. His voice is a ticking time bomb.”

Read more of the story: Bobby’s headaches, how the choir and Bobby ended up singing for Pope Francis, that “ticking time bomb” of Bobby’s voice, and Bobby’s future possibilities on PhillyMag.com

Bobby in hockey gear around age 9. Photograph courtesy of the Hill family

Bobby in hockey gear around age 9. (photograph courtesy of the Hill family)

Philly Magazine: Bobby Hill Named One of Ebony Magazine’s 2015 Power 100

Tuesday, December 1, 2015 : KSB in the News, KSBlog

The young soprano will perform at its Los Angeles gala this Wednesday.

Bobby Hill (front center) with Keystone State Boychoir

Bobby Hill (front center) with Keystone State Boychoir

PhillyMag.com’s Sarah Jordan reported in the Ticket section on November 30, 2015:

Remember Bobby Hill? He’s the 14-year-old with the “voice of an angel” who wowed the world during Pope Francis’s papal visit with his last-minute a cappella performance of “Pie Jesu.” He’s a soloist with the Keystone State Boychoir and is having quite the autumn since that breakout performance. 

Selected as one of Ebony magazine’s 2015 Power 100, Hill is flying out to Los Angeles to sing at the magazine’s 70th Anniversary Gala this Wednesday, December 2nd at the Beverly Hilton. This Central High School student should have plenty to keep him from getting bored as he’ll be honored alongside Prince, Penn alum John Legend, Janet Jackson and Viola Davis.

Three weeks ago, he and 50 members of the Keystone State Boychoir auditioned at Queens College on November 14th for Simon Cowell’s America’s Got TalentSteve Fisher, founder and artistic director of the choir, says that Cowell has followed Bobby’s story since the papal concert and has a soft spot for the sound of boy choirs.”We’re not through yet,” says Fisher, “but we didn’t have to wait in line. It’s really a screen test with one producer and a camera. Bobby sang four different pieces with the choir behind him. We’ll find out next month, if we go through to the next step.” That would entail flying 50 members of the choir out to Hollywood for a week to film the initial episodes for the season, which airs sometime this summer.

When asked to make a prediction about the ensemble heading to Tinselftown, Fisher says, “It’s hard to know. These shows are so quirky, but they’re always looking for a great narrative in addition to talent.”

“As a nonprofit celebrating its 15th year, we are always scrounging and being frugal,” says Fisher. “But they wanted as many boys there as possible. I asked how they’d have the budget to fly out 50 kids. They laughed and said, ‘This is Hollywood. If Simon wanted 100 boys there, that’s what he’d get.’”

While Hill waits for the results, he can rehearse for another upcoming special performance. He is scheduled to perform with the Philadelphia Orchestra at its Academy Ball in late January.

Read more on PhillyMag.com

Philly.com: Papal performer Bobby Hill honored by ‘Ebony’ magazine

Monday, November 30, 2015 : KSB in the News, KSBlog

Philly.com: Papal performer Bobby Hill honored by ‘Ebony’ magazine

Bobby Hill after performing for Pope Francis at Festival of Families

Bobby Hill after performing for Pope Francis at Festival of Families (source: Philly.com)

Philly.com Entertainment blogger writes (Monday, November 30, 2015):

Central High School student Bobby Hill has been selected as one of Ebony magazine’s 2015 Power 100 honorees. The list spotlights “the heroes of the black community.”

The 14-year-old breakout star, who is a soloist with the Keystone State Boychoir, rose to prominence during Pope Francis’ Philadelphia visit when he sang an a cappella version of “Pie Jesu.” Hill’s once-in-a-lifetime papal performance was a last-minute affair, said Steve Fisher, founder and artistic director of the choir. Fisher was approached by a producer of the papal concert who asked if the choir could sing during a short set change. Instead, Fisher sent Hill out to sing alone.

Read more 0n Philly.com.

KSB one of 14 “Philadelphia Charities to Support” this Year

Monday, December 29, 2014 : KSB in the News

A panel of Philadelphia business and thought leaders was asked by Philadelphia magazine to name Philadelphia-based and -focused organizations they support personally and why whey would recommend them to others.

Keystone State Boychoir was recommended by Ajay Raju, co-chairman and CEO of Dilworth Paxson. Here’s what he shared:

“Keystone State Boychoir, the only choir in the world to have sung in Antarctica and on all seven continents, serves 190 boys from diverse racial and socioeconomic backgrounds ranging from ages 8 to 18. They are our region’s finest global ambassadors.”

You can join Ajay Raju with an end of year gift by visiting our online giving page here:

See the full article on Phillymag.com


kNOw Tech-a-Thon story in the Sunday Philadelphia Inquirer

Sunday, September 21, 2014 : KSB in the News

kNOw Tech-a-Thon at the Kimmel Center

Mr. Fisher (right) and PG and KSB teens at the Kimmel Center for the overnight lockdown (photo Philadelphia Inquirer – click the story link for more)

The first kNOw Tech-a-Thon, where Pennsylvania Girlchoir and Keystone State Boychoir teens gave up their technology for 24 hours, was held the weekend of September 20-21, 2014, with a highlight being an overnight, technology-free lock in at the Kimmel Center. The Philadelphia Inquirer covered the event in its Sunday, September 21 edition.

The story, including a photo gallery and details of the kNOw Tech-a-Thon, is online on the Philly.com website here.

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