10/29/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 10/29/2019 09:39
Music enthusiasts' collective radar sounded with the announcement of the Vienna Boys Choir performance, and tickets went fast. CCU's Wheelwright Auditorium sold the house weeks before the Nov. 5 concert, which was booked more than 18 months prior. The program, titled 'Journey through the Americas,' features songs of North, Central, and South America interwoven with many of the traditional favorites associated with the choir. The performance is part of a two-month tour targeting the eastern, southern, and midwestern regions of the country.
The Vienna Boys Choir, which has been singing at Vienna's Imperial Chapel since 1296, is comprised of 100 boys between the ages of 10 and 14. Unlike the original assemblage, this choir is comprised of a diverse group of young singers from dozens of nations around the globe. The group is divided into four touring choirs named after Austrian composers Brucker, Haydn, Mozart, and Schubert, and each spends nine to 11 weeks of the school year on tour. The groups combined perform about 300 concerts per year before nearly 500,000 people.
Jason Aeisi, manager of Ticketing and Patron Services at CCU's Wheelwright Auditorium, said the area community is definitely on alert about the upcoming performance.
'There's been a lot of excitement for this event,' said Aeisi. 'Now that it's sold out, there's still a buzz and a stir; we're getting numerous requests daily from people who would like to attend.'
In 1498, Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I moved his court to Vienna, thus founding the Hofmusikkapelle (Chapel Imperial) and the Vienna Boys Choir. Over the centuries, the Viennese Court attracted musicians such as Heinrich Isaac, Johann Joseph Fux, Christoph Willibald Gluck, Wolfgang Amadaeus Mozart, and Anton Bruckner. Choirboys included Joseph Haydn, Michael Haydn, and Franz Schubert.
Until 1918, the choir sang exclusively for the imperial court, and in 1924, it was re-established as a private organization. Since that time, the group has sung more than 1,000 tours in 98 different countries. The choir's first American tour took place in 1931, and its first world tour in 1934-35.
Tim Koch, CCU director of choral activities and lecturer in the Department of Music, has visited the Vienna Boys Choir school in Vienna and seen the group perform multiple times.
'It's more than just a choir; it's a life,' said Koch. 'These boys are chosen from the most competitive auditions, they're given the highest level of training, they collaborate with the world's greatest performing organizations, and they sing in the biggest venues in the world. It's the most prestigious opportunity that a young boy could aspire to.'
Koch confirmed that the buzz surrounding the event is warranted.
'The audience will be astounded by the sound, by the level of virtuosic vocal talent that they display,' said Koch. 'The things they're able to achieve and sing are well beyond their years.'
The Vienna Boys Choir performance is one example of a concentrated effort by the Cultural Arts Committee of the Edwards College of Humanities and Fine Arts over the past several years to heighten the profile of arts events performing at CCU. However, as Aeisi noted, ill-timed hurricanes have interrupted the cultural arts fall lineup the past two years, preventing popular national acts such as the President's Own U.S. Marine Band and the U.S. Navy Band from performing.
'I think, finally, this is a good, positive thing after a few seasons that have been interrupted,' said Aeisi. 'This event is a great foundation, and our guests are looking forward to seeing the Edwards College moving forward and booking big cultural events like this.'
Upcoming cultural arts performances in Wheelwright Auditorium include the St. Lawrence String Quartet on Monday, Feb. 3, and 'Legally Blonde: The Musical' on select evenings Thursday, Feb. 20, through Saturday, Feb. 29.