The acclaimed Maryland State Boychoir performs at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church at 7:30 p.m. Friday.
A program of Evensong with a short concert afterwards will include contemporary, gospel, spirituals and folksongs. Admission is free and all are invited.
According to Norman Scribner, artistic director of the Choral Arts Society of Washington, the MSB’s “ravishing tone quality, superb vocal production, and immaculate musicianship sets them apart as one of the premiere choirs of this or any area.”
Headquartered in Baltimore, singers represent a wide range of ethnic, socioeconomic and religious backgrounds. Over a quarter-century old, the MSB has some 150 choristers, ranging in age from 7 to 20, in five ensembles. The most advanced and skilled choristers enter the Tour Choir, which is performing at St. Peter’s. This choir usually consists of a maximum of 20 unchanged voices (trebles and altos) and 15 changed voices (tenors and basses). According to the MSB, those hoping for membership must possess outstanding sight-singing skills, have demonstrated a high level of self-discipline, and achieved scholastic success.
One of the state’s popular “Official Goodwill Ambassadors,” they have sung at the White House, Kennedy Center, National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., and St. Patrick’s and Holy Trinity cathedrals in New York. They have toured throughout North America and Europe performing at Saint Patrick’s Cathedral in Ireland, Coventry Cathedral in England and St. Peter’s Basilica, the Vatican, among others.
The MSB has been heard on National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered,” and Maryland Public Television. Music from their six CDs has been broadcasted nationally. Its repertoire is rich and varied, from Gregorian chant and Renaissance polyphony, to classical and contemporary.
Like a sports team, the boys learn to work together toward a common goal, developing self-discipline, concentration and the confidence that comes from mastery of a challenging subject. Music is approached much like learning a foreign language, with reading and understanding, then conveying that understanding in performance. In many ways, their approach is similar to athletes in training.
“Evensong is part of the Episcopal Church’s discipline of daily prayer and is an important part of our Anglican choral heritage,” said Father David Michaud, rector of St. Peter’s. “This is the fourth year in a row that the Maryland State Boychoir has come to St. Peter’s … If you have been part of this service in years past, you know how wonderful they are – and if this is your first time, prepare to be moved and spiritually delighted.”
The performance is accessible to all who love good singing. A free will offering will be collected for the choir to help it with expenses. St. Peter’s is located at 115 St. Peter’s Street downtown. For more information call 410-742-5118.