Boy’s Choir to perform at St. Peter Evangelical Church June 12

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By Rachel Mergen

 

Award-winning North Star Boy’s Choir will make a stop in Prairie du Chien, Monday, June 12. The concert, one of many on their national riverboat tour, will be held at the St. Peter Evangelical Church sanctuary starting at 7 p.m. 

The 28 boys will travel down the Mississippi River in the upcoming weeks by boat and bus. The boys will start their tour in Winona, Minn., and will stop at many major cities including St. Louis, Memphis and New Orleans. In addition, they will find themselves at Tom Sawyer’s birthplace, Hannibal, Mo., and the Civil War town of Vicksburg, Miss. 

In preparation for the history of these stops, the boys have been learning about Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn. Director of the choir, Francis Stockwell, said, “The boys are really enjoying those old stories, hopefully not giving them too many ideas.” 

They may not have too much time to follow through with such ideas though. Stockwell stated, “They are, of course, working very hard to perfect their sound for the tour.” The boys, some being as young as 8 years old, practice every Tuesday and Thursday evening in Corcoran, Minn. 

The boy’s choir seems to benefit greatly from such practice, having won two medals at the World Choir Games in 2012, only one year after their founding. Last year, they were busy touring Germany’s, Switzerland’s and Austria’s old cathedrals. 

Stockwell, along with executive director Craig Anderson, both have experience in European culture, which led to the North Star Boy’s Choir being based upon European boy choir tradition. 

Stockwell studied in England, Germany and Austria. He is internationally recognized for his ability to lead boy’s choirs to excellence. 

Anderson, who found himself in Vienna to study, has 35 years of experience in working with choirs. With such experience and hard work, the performance will certainly be a standout memory for all who attend. 

Folk, spiritual and barbershop music all find a home in the choir’s set list. A few of the songs included will be “Old Man River,” “Shenandoah” and “Amazing Grace.” 

Associate Pastor Kyle Svennungsen, of St. Peter Evangelical Church, said he knows the night will be one of great music. He believes anyone with an appreciation for beautiful music will enjoy the concert. It will also be a great experience for children who are around the same age as the boys performing, he said.

Svennungsen is thrilled to host the boys. “It is a part of the Christian identity to be hospitable,” he said, “I’m excited to meet all the ambitious young men. It’ll be a unique opportunity.”

In addition to stopping in Prairie du Chien, the North Star Boy’s Choir will be in nearby Dubuque, Iowa, on Tuesday, June 13, and Davenport, Iowa, on Wednesday, June 14. 

No tickets are required for the concert, but free-will offerings are requested. 

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