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Communique: Wilmington Boys Choir Sings One More Spring Concert Saturday, June 3

Wilmington Boys Choir
Boys from the Choir

The Wilmington Boys Choir is performing one more time before summer, on Saturday, June 3 at Winter Park Presbyterian Church at 7:00pm. The concert is free and followed by a reception. Listen to Director Ronnie Wise talk about how the Choir was reformed after a 15+ year hiatus and about the concert; read a transcript below. 

The Boys Choir is holding summer camp July 17-20 at St. Therese-by-the-Sea in Wrightsville Beach. This free camp is for boys age 7 through voice change. It runs 9:00am-12:30pm. 

Credit WHQR/gg
Ronnie Wise, Director of Wilmington Boys Choir and Music Director at St. Paul's Episcopal Church

Find out information about auditions and commitments of the choir here. The Choir currently has about 25 boys.

Gina:  This is Communique from WHQR in Wilmington North Carolina. I'm Gina Gambony. 

Wilmington had a boys choir back in the 20th century-through the 1990s. Sandy Errante used to direct that choir until she shifted gears to create the Girls Choir of Wilmington. No one picked up the baton for boys until Ronnie Weiss came to town four years ago to become the Music Director at St. Paul's Episcopal Church.

Ronnie: I was actually going through some boxes in a closet at St. Paul's. When I first started I started in September. Ad this would have been probably November of 2013. And so I was going through boxes and ran across photo albums that said WBC on them. I looked through them and it was all of these archives of concert programs and photographs and tours of what was the Wilmington Boys Choir. The church was looking for some outreach opportunities and I spoke to the rector about this. It was actually Christmas Eve when I talked to her and so she said well, let's get through Christmas Eve first and then we'll talk about this. So we did and we formed an exploratory committee just to find out if it would be even feasible to get this up and running. The Boys Choir really been out for about 15 years.  And we decided that it would be feasible to start the Boys Choir back up.

Gina: Boys join the choir through audition and are eligible to sing in the choir from nine years old through voice change. I asked Ronnie if boys ever try to hide changes in their voices as puberty takes over.

Ronnie: We do have that happen, yeah. And surprisingly, they can hang on to it even after their voice changes. They can hang on to the soprano sound for a while. So it's not, you're not immediately out. You can you can usually make it through the season, but we do have some who are approaching that age and so that's why we're always hoping to get new boys in. It's a little different than the girls choir because the girls choir can- they can hang on to the girls for a long, long time, all the way through high school. But for us it's that brief period of time that the voice is going to be just perfect.

And so we always talk to parents about that, if there are sports and other activities we say, you can play baseball for the rest of your life but you have a short window in which your voice will sound like this.

Gina: The Wilmington Boys Choir is performing next Saturday, June 3rd at Winter Park Presbyterian Church. The performance begins at 7 o'clock.

Ronnie: We have a lot of really interesting pieces on this program, one being “One Voice” by Barry Manilow. The boys really love that piece. There are certain ones that they just automatically cling to and that that seems to be one of them. It’s a really beautiful piece. Another piece they really enjoy is Sir Arthur Sullivan’s “The last chord.”

Also John Rutger's “Lord of the Dance,” that seems to be another one that’s very popular. So all of those pieces are on this spring concert.

Gina: That was Ronnie Wise, Director of the Wilmington Boys Choir. Find details about the June 3rd performance at Winter Park Presbyterian and information about the Boys Choir summer camp at WHQR.org.

Ronnie Wise is the Music Director at St. Paul's Episcopal Church and the Director of the Wilmington Boys Choir. Gina Gambony is the host and producer of WHQR's Communique.

On the sound file above, you’ll hear a snippet of St. Philips Boys Choir singing “One Voice.”

Transcription from popuparchive.com