Sounds from Boys of Harlem

Just when you thought you couldn't love a boy band, here they come. Fiercely dedicated, amazingly talented and even younger than Justin Timberlake, the Boys Choir of Harlem storms Page Auditorium this Sunday night at 8 pm. And while there will be no pop stars flying down from the ceiling, there will be beautiful music raising the roof.

Based in New York City, the Boys Choir of Harlem offers a conservatory-based education for New York children in grades 4-12. Over 500 kids are accepted each year into the program, which promotes scholarship and honor through musical achievement. The commitment to join the choir includes a pledge to excellence in the arts and academics. We bet the Backstreet Boys never dealt with any of that in their contract.

World renowned, the choir has sung in Jerusalem, The White House and all over the United States. Their pit-stop in the Gothic Wonderland is part of this year's tour, which also pulls into Georgia and the Big Apple. They also played the munchkins in the concert version of The Wiz, a soul-infused alter ego of the classic Judy Garland musical. While they won't sing "Ease on Down the Road" at the Duke concert, they will offer up some classic choral fare as well as holiday tunes and their trademark Gospel touches. After all, the Boy's Choir of Harlem lauds itself as the only chorus trained in classical technique but rooted in the musical tradition of African-American song.

So what will you hear at Page this Sunday? Part of the concert will be songs from the 19th century, like excerpts from Handel's Messiah. Part will be Christmas music like Little Drummer Boy and Joy to the World. No doubt the boys will bring the house down with "Ride on, My Brother" or another Gospel favorite from down South. And you may even hear one of over 14 pieces composed especially for the Boy's Choir by prominent African American composers.

Recess is stoked for the arrival of the Boy's Choir of Harlem. They're fabulous musicians, rigorous students and younger than Hanson. And you thought all boy bands sucked.


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