The American Boychoir
May 19, 2002
First Lutheran Church
The American Boychoir
The American Boychoir's rich sonorities, musical sophistication, expressive power, and innovative programming have established its reputation as the United States' premier concert boys' choir. The American Boychoir was founded in Columbus, Ohio in 1937, and has been located in Princeton, New Jersey since 1950.
The 2001-2002 season is rich with prestigious performances by The American Boychoir. The Choir began the season performing Brahm's Ein Deutsches Requiem with the New York Philharmonic in a Memorial Concert for the victims of September 11th. This concert aired on Live from Lincoln Center on PBS. The Choir also performed at an event titled Remembrance and Reflection, an observance of New Jersey's victims of September 11th. This concert, organized by the Office of the Governor of New Jersey, aired on the New Jersey Network and also featured Christopher Reeve and Ray Charles. Next, the Choir had its first engagement of the season at Carnegie Hall, performing Britten's War Requiem with the Cincinnati Symphony. The Choir performed Beethoven's Ninth Symphony on New Year's Eve with the New York Philharmonic and again appeared with the Philharmonic for Mahler's Symphony No. 3 in January and February. In April, the Choir is scheduled to sing at the newly opened Kimmel Center in Philadelphia with the Philadelphia Orchestra in the U.S. premiere of Quickening by Scottish composer James MacMillan. Tours this year will bring the Boychoir's music to the South, Mid-Atlantic, New England, the Midwest and Canada. The Choir will also appear wit the Chicago Symphony in May, again singing the War Requiem.
Highlights of the 2000-2001 season included 11 performances with the New York Philharmonic; concerts with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, and Vienna Philharmonic; tours to Japan, Taiwan, Bermuda, the West, Midwest, and the South; the National Choral Conference wit Drs. Anton Armstrong and André Thomas; and two recordings due out shortly. The Choir also recorded a Christmas program for Public Radio International (PRI) that aired on 188 stations throughout the country. It was the second most popular program on PRI during the holiday season.
The American Boychoir has an extensive "Arts in Education" outreach program which targets schools and communities nationwide. Locally, as well as on tour, the Choir performs at schools for those who may not necessarily have access to the performing arts. The Boychoir has completed school residencies in Mississippi, West Virginia, and Kansas as well as a two-year education project involving students and teachers from New Brunswick, New Jersey.
The Choir has appeared many times on television: A&E's Breakfast with the Arts, Live! With Regis and Kathie Lee, CBS This Morning. NBC's Today. and can be seen regularly on PBS in the award-winning documentary Journey of Butterfly, based on Cantor Charles Davidson's 1968 memorial composition to the Holocaust survivors called I Never Saw Another Butterfly, written specifically for The American Boychoir. The Choir can also be recognized on many television commercial soundtracks including Monster.com, Salomon Smith-Barney, and the Clio-winning "True Colors" campaign for Kodak.
The American Boychoir can be heard on many recordings, most recently Mass &Vespers for the Feast of Holy Innocents by J. Michael Haydn on LINN Records. The choir can also be heard on the Virgin Classics label in Fast Cats and Mysterious Cows, and on the Angel label in Carol and Hymn. A live performance recording of Benjamin Britten's War Requiem featuring The American Boychoir with the New York Philharmonic cunducted by Kurt Masur was released in May 1998. The Choir also appears on Jonathan Elias's The Prayer Cycle featuring Alanis Morissette, James Taylor, and Linda Ronstadt, Jessye Norman's In the Spirit, Kathleen Battle's Grace, Michael W. Smith's Christmastime, and the soundtrack of Rosie O'Donnell's 1998 movie Wide Awake.
Associate Music Director
Fernando Malvar-Ruiz, now in his second season as Associate Music Director, brings extensive experience in choral conducting to The American Boychoir. He has conducted the Columbus (Ohio) Youth Choir and the Central Illinois Children's Choir, and he has served as the Director of Choirs at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Champaign, Illinois. He has also taught choral music at Parkland College where he conducted the school's Chamber Singers.
Mr. Malvar-Ruiz, who is a native of Spain, received Bachelor's degrees in piano performance and music theory from the Real Conservatorio Superior de Música in Madrid. He also attended the Kodály Institute in Kécskemet, Hungary, where he was awarded the Sharolta Kodály scholarship by unanimous decision of the faculty. In 1996, he graduated from the Ohio State University with a Master's degree in choral conducting. He is currently pursuing a Doctoral degree in musical arts from the University of Illinois.
A popular lecturer and clinician, Mr. Malvar-Ruiz was featured in 1997 as a guest conductor of the Children's Bach Festival in Hoboken, New Jersey. For the past 5 summers, he has been an instructor in the Master's program at the Kodály Summer Institute at Capital University in Columbus, Ohio, where he teaches conducting and musicianship.
Having recently received his master's degree studying with Anton Nel at the University of Michigan, Mr. Dolan was a 1999 winner of the University's concerto competition. He received his bachelor's degree in piano performance from the Blair School of Music at Vanderbilt University, where he was a student of Craig Nies. In addition to graduating "summa cum laude" and salutatorian of the music school, he won Vanderbilt's concerto competition as a freshman and was awarded the Margaret Branscomb Prize, David Rabin Prize, and the Presser Scholarship: the most prestigious honor available at the school. He has had concerto performances with the University of Michigan Chamber Orchestra and the Vanderbilt Symphony and has made an appearance with the Nashville Symphony under the baton of Kenneth Schermerhorn.
Mr. Dolan is also an accomplished vocal, instrumental, and choral accompanist. While at the University of Michigan he studied with famed accompanist Martin Katz. Currently, he is studying with José Ramos-Santana in Princeton, New Jersey.
Note: The above material was furnished in the form of a concert program by John Speck.
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