The Boy Singers of Maine provides an opportunity for boys who enjoy singing to come together, in an atmosphere that supports the whole boy, to study music and perform an exciting repertoire that comes from a wide range of cultures and traditions.
The Boy Singers of Maine is a non-profit educational organization incorporated in December 1979 and managed by a volunteer Board of Directors. Our choirs rehearse once or twice a week at St. Mary’s Church in Falmouth and perform in two self-produced concerts each season.
The Concert Choir
The Concert Choir is the principal performing treble choir of the Boy Singers and regularly makes public appearances both within and outside Maine. The Concert Choir is comprised of boys with choral and concert experience whose voices have not yet changed. The boys attend six rehearsals a month and receive an outstanding musical education in the course of preparing for their concerts and tours.
The Lower Octave
The Lower Octave, a young men’s choir, comprises boys of middle and high school age whose voices are changing or have changed. Like the Concert Choir, the Lower Octave is an active performing choir. It offers to any young man an opportunity to sing a challenging, sophisticated and varied choral repertoire. While many Lower Octave singers come from the Concert Choir when their voices change, prior Boy Singers experience is not required. Newcomers are always welcome to audition to join the Lower Octave.
The Lyric Choir
Boys who are new to choral music begin their training in the Lyric Choir, starting as early as age 6. Although this is primarily an instructional choir, rehearsals and performance opportunities help to hone the boys’ skills. The Lyric Choir performs several times each year as a group and with the other choirs. Boys are placed in the Concert Choir as their musical ability and personal maturity develop. Placement in any of the choirs is at the discretion of our experienced vocal directors whose goal is to teach, nurture and protect the developing male voice.
Over the past 30 years, the choirs of the Boy Singers of Maine have performed throughout Maine, New England and other states, Canada, England, France and the former Yugoslavia. They performed at the White House for the National Festival for Peace, at inaugural festivities at the Maine State Inaugural Ball and at the New England Governors’ Conference. They have performed for Senators William Cohen and George Mitchell and for three Maine Governors.
Important for the boys’ musical growth is the opportunity to collaborate with many renowned orchestras, directors, choral groups and individual performers. They were honored to perform Britten’s War Requiem with the Leningrad Symphony Orchestra. In a less classical vein, they accompanied Judy Collins at the State Theater Christmas Concert. As guest artists with the Portland Symphony, the boys performed Mahler’s Third Symphony and numerous times in the Magic of Christmas, singing both by themselves as well as accompanying Maine ‘s own young star vocalist, Laura Darrell.
The boys have appeared in Maine State Ballet’s The Nutcracker and with the Choral Art Society in Orff’s Carmina Burana. The boys also collaborated with the Portland Youth Symphony to debut The Lighthouse, composed by Michael Braz, a former music director of the Boy Singers of Maine. In December 2005, the Concert Choir performed in the opening set with the Barenaked Ladies in their holiday concert at the Cumberland County Civic Center. In May 2014, the Concert Choir was honored to perform in The Summer King, an opera based on the life of Negro League baseball player Josh Gibson, written by Maine–based composer Daniel Sonenberg.
The boys have demonstrated their talent and broadened their musical education and experience on tour. They performed in London, Ontario, at the International Boy Choir Festival under the direction of Dr. James Litton, then director of the American Boy Choir. In 1998, they performed at AmericaFest, a choir festival for men and boys held at St. John’s University in Minnesota. In April of 2000, the Concert Choir traveled to Toronto to participate in the Toronto International Choir Festival under the direction of internationally renowned children’s conductor, Jean Ashworth Bartle. That same year, Lower Octave travelled abroad, performing in France and England. In 2002, the boys toured within Maine, sharing their music with their fellow Mainers at venues in the central and northern regions of the state. In 2004, the Concert Choir participated in a national children’s choir festival in Philadelphia while the Lower Octave took part in an international choir festival in Stowe, Vermont. In 2007 and again in 2009, Concert Choir and Lower Octave toured together to Laval, Canada, neighboring Montreal, to participate in the international choral festival, the Mondial Choral Loto-Québec.