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Choir School Chicago Bound!

The St. Paul's Boys Choir of Harvard Square, Cambridge, Massachusetts will embark on their 2024 tour to Chicago, April 9-14. Conducted by Richard Webster and Brandon Straub, and comprised of 25 Choristers who sing treble, along with 5 Music Scholars (changed voices), they will perform at 5 events in Chicago and Evanston. All are free and open to the public.

On Wednesday, April 10 at 12:30 pm, the Choristers will perform Benjamin Britten's Ceremony of Carols in the magnificent acoustics of Chicago Union Station, 225 S. Canal Street. They will be accompanied by Lynn Williams, Principal Harpist with the Lyric Opera of Chicago. 

At 7:00 that same evening the choir will sing Vespers in the monastic style at St. Vincent de Paul Church, 1010 W. Webster Ave. They will be joined by period instrumentalists from the DePaul University Baroque Ensemble, under the direction of Jason Moy, in a setting of the Magnificat by Isabella Leonarda (1620-1704), an Ursuline nun and prolific composer of the early Baroque. 

On Friday, April 12, 7:00 PM at St. Luke's Episcopal Church, 939 Hinman Avenue in Evanston, the choir will again perform the Britten Ceremony of Carols with Lynn Williams, harp. The program will also feature works for boys' voices and organ, including A Song of Wisdom by Charles Villiers Stanford (1852-1924), a 3-part setting of the Magnificat by Philip Moore (b. 1943), a Nunc Dimittis by Richard Webster (b. 1952), O mysterium ineffabile by Jean Baptiste François Lalouette (1651-1728), and He delivered the poor, from Charles H.H. Parry's (1848-1918) Hear my words, ye people. Peter Morey, St. Luke's Associate Director of Music and Organist, will accompany the St. Paul's Boys Choir on the church's historic 1922 Ernest Skinner Organ. Richard Webster is Organist and Choirmaster Emeritus of St. Luke's, where he served from 1972 to 2003. 

The Choristers and Music Scholars will sing at two Chicago churches on Sunday, April 14. For the 9:00 am Mass at St. John Cantius Church, they will offer traditional Catholic music, including Plainsong. At 12:30 they will sing for Mass at Holy Name Cathedral, 730 N. Wabash Ave. 

The choir's trip to Chicago is partially supported by the Hymnathon, held on April 5, in which the choristers will sing all 400 pieces of the Saint Paul's hymnal in four hours! Pledge support for the singers, purchase dedications, buy extra verses, and more on the Hymnathon website here:

About the Choir:

St. Paul’s Church, Harvard Square is home to one of very few traditional choirs of boys in the USA. The Choir is supported by the only Roman Catholic Boys Choir School in America, with boys in grades 3-8.

As a primarily liturgical Choir, their principal focus of music-making is the Mass, in celebration of which the boys sing music from the great history of the Church, in the reverberant acoustics of St. Paul’s Church. Plainsong in original notation, Polyphony, Romantic and Contemporary composition are all represented in their repertoire. The boys sing for daily Mass at 12.10, at the High Mass on Sundays at 11:00, and frequently for Vespers on Thursdays.

They maintain a busy schedule of concerts and tours, both nationally and internationally, and have collaborated with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Boston Pops, Emmanuel Music, and other renowned ensembles. Last April their tour to Italy included Venice, Florence, Assisi and Rome, whey they sang for Pope Francis and rode with him in his "Popemobile." 



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