Ragazzi Boys Chorus to Share Stage With Girls “From Near and Far”

Janos Gereben on February 25, 2019
Ragazzi Boys Chorus | Credit: David Allen

The well-traveled Ragazzi Boys Chorus will stay at home to welcome visitors, sharing the stage at St. Ignatius Church on March 23 with the girls of iSing Silicon Valley and the Copenhagen Girls’ Choir (Sankt Annæ Pigekor).

“Friends From Near and Far” features individual performances by the three choirs, which also join together in several songs, including the concert finale of Panis Angelicus by César Franck set on an excerpt from the hymn Sacris solemniis by Thomas Aquinas.

The Copenhagen Girls’ Choir will perform the newly commissioned Gallop of Fire by Danish composer Kim Nyberg, written to text by Australian poet Marie E.J. Pitts, commemorating last year’s devastating California wildfires. Nyberg’s compositions are often described as a mix between classical music and Scandinavian folk music, with the rounded beat of Eastern European music.

Copenhagen Girls’ Choir comes to San Francisco to sing with both Ragazzi (March 23) and the S.F. Girls Chorus (March 22)

Ragazzi Boys Chorus and iSing perform together Flight Song, the first collaboration between Norwegian composer Kim André Arnesen and Welsh poet Euan Tait. The imagery of the piece paints a compelling picture of music, drawing out each singer’s hidden song, unfolding life stories.

iSing will perform Debussy’s Salut Printemps, an ode to nature’s reawakening in the spring. Written by Debussy at the age of 20, the song mirrors the atmosphere in French impressionist painter Claude Monet’s works with a light, fresh, and sentimental mood.

Ragazzi Boys Chorus will sing Glory, Glory, Glory to the Newborn King by Moses Hogan, an African-American composer and arranger of choral music; and Heinrich Schütz’s O Lieber Herre Gott. Accompanying the chorus on cello will be Brian Wu, a current member of Ragazzi.

iSing Silicon Valley

Peninsula-based Ragazzi Boys Chorus has more than 250 singers from over 100 schools in more than 30 Bay Area communities participating in the program. The group has toured throughout the United States and internationally. Ragazzi was honored for its contribution to the San Francisco Symphony’s triple Grammy Award-winning recording of Stravinsky’s Perséphone, and has produced five CDs: A Holiday Collection, Canciones de Alabanza, Magnificat: My Spirit Rejoices, Splendors of the Italian Baroque, and I Dream A World.

Founded in 2013, iSing Silicon Valley brings together more than 300 young female singers, providing them with musical education. In 2018, iSing won Chorus America’s prestigious Dale Warland Singers Commission Award for a work to be premiered later this Spring; iSing also competed in the 8th International Robert Schumann Choral Competition, winning the Grand Prize.

Ragazzi Boys Chorus Artistic Director Joyce Keil is a co-founder of the group | Credit: David Allen

Copenhagen Girls’ Choir was founded in 1973 and based at the Copenhagen Municipal Choir School. It consists of some 130 girls from grades 6-9. The group is characterized by its homogeneous sound, resulting from meticulous training and similar age groups.

The Copenhagen Girls’ Choir has toured throughout the world, performing in the U.S., Canada, China, Iceland, and most of Europe, acting as ambassadors for the city of Copenhagen and for Danish cultural life.

The Danish choir also appears with the S.F. Girls Choir’s Premier Ensemble on March 22, in Herbst Theater.