January 20, 2015Pacific Boychoir Open House
The Pacific Boychoir Academy is: an all-boys day school for grades 4-8, where choral music and academics are equal partners in education an after-school choir program for grades Pre K-12 that brings the PBA experience to Bay Area boys from preschool through high school a Grammy Award-winning performing arts program of international renown Members of the Pacific Boychoir participate in a very old tradition. Boychoirs have been around for hundreds of years, dating back at least to the fourth century. Early modern boychoirs were trained to sing with the collegiate and cathedral choirs of Europe. Today, most American boychoirs are not affiliated with churches, though much of the great music written for boys came out of this tradition. PBA boys learn that extraordinary accomplishment teaches lifelong lessons. Hard work leads to mastery. Personal responsibility and teamwork go hand in hand. The challenge of improvement leads to the joy of success. The Pacific Boychoir Academy seeks boys of all ethnic, economic, and geographic backgrounds. We are not affiliated with any church, ethnic group, or specific geographic area. Pacific Boychoir Academy (PBA) was founded as an after school program in 1998 with six boys and today comprises over 170 boys and young men age 4-18. The Music Staff is selected for their expertise with boys’ voices and their passion for instilling a desire for achievement and a love of music in the choristers. Over the past 15 years, PBA has become known for its rich sound, musicianship, phrasing, and talented soloists. The Los Angeles Times described the PBA quality of sound and musicianship as “astonishing.” In addition to the extensive after-school training program, the Pacific Boychoir Academy is a full-time day school for grades 4-8, the only choir school in the Western USA. The choir school, a member of the East Bay Independent Schools Association, combines a full academic program with two hours of music instruction daily. The choir school students learn sightreading, music theory, vocal technique, and repertoire, as well as Math, English, History, Science, Art, PE, Latin, and Spanish. PBA has appeared frequently with the San Francisco Symphony (SFS), performing under the direction of Michael Tilson Thomas, Kurt Masur, Robert Spano, David Robertson, James Conlon, Charles Dutoit, Herbert Blomstedt, Donato Cabrera, Don Davis, and Vance George. Along with the San Francisco Girls Chorus, PBA recorded Mahler’s Third Symphony with the SFS, which was awarded the Grammy for Best Classical Album in February 2004. In January 2010, the SFS recording of Mahler’s Eighth Symphony, featuring the SF Symphony Chorus, the San Francisco Girls Chorus, and PBA, was awarded Grammys for Best Choral Performance and Best Classical Album. PBA has also sung with the Oakland-East Bay Symphony, the Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra, the American Bach Soloists, the San Francisco Opera, the Youth Orchestra of the Americas, the National Symphony Orchestra of Brasil, the Moscow Chamber Orchestra, the Marcus Shelby Jazz Orchestra, the Lithuanian State Orchestra, the University of Michigan and Harvard Men’s Glee Clubs, the Yale Whiffenpoofs, the Vienna Boys Choir, the Drakensberg Boys Choir, and the choirs and orchestras of UC Berkeley and UC Davis. A regular touring schedule has taken the Pacific Boychoir throughout the USA and to countries on six continents. Domestic concerts and international tours have included appearances at Davies Symphony Hall, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, War Memorial Opera House, Jackson Hall at Mondavi Center, the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, the Shanghai Oriental Arts Center, Zellerbach Hall, Yoshi’s Oakland, St. Peter’s Basilica, the Grahamstown Arts Festival in South Africa, Basilica San Marco, Sala Saõ Paulo, the Forbidden City Concert Hall in Beijing, Teatro Municipal in Rio de Janeiro, Dvorak Hall in Prague, Teatro Independencia in Mendoza, Notre Dame Cathedral, Chartres Cathedral, the International House of Music in Moscow, Linder Auditorium in Johannesburg, on Public Radio International (PRI), on Danish National Radio, at community events such as the 2013 Bay Bridge Opening and the Oakland A’s playoffs, and also several self-produced concerts annually. PBA has also performed with comedian Zach Galifianakis, has served as the voice of the Yahoo! yodel, and has offered dozens of free performances for local schools every year. The Pacific Boychoir has developed a reputation for presenting challenging works such as Mozart’s Requiem entirely with male voices, and Rachmaninoff’s All-Night Vigil performed for the first time in America with boy sopranos and altos. In addition to Mahler’s Symphonies No. 3 and 8 with SFS, the choir’s recordings feature Bach’s Cantata 150, Britten’s Ceremony of Carols, two of Bach’s “Lutheran” Masses, and two recordings of American spirituals, That Promised Land and Show Me the Way. In the 2013-2014 season, in addition to dozens of local solo appearances, the Pacific Boychoir will perform with the San Francisco Symphony, the California Symphony, the UC Davis Symphony Orchestra, and the Kronos Quartet. On December 11, PBA was honored to provide choirs for simultaneous services honoring Nelson Mandela in Washington DC and San Francisco.