RAYMOND - Sunday Afternoon Live will bring the internationally acclaimed All-American Boys Chorus (AABC) in concert to the Raymond Theatre on July 22 at 2 p.m. as a special thank you to a supportive community. Financed entirely by concert fees and tours, private and corporate donations, fundraisers and CD/tape sales, all proceeds will be allocated to the 32-voice ensemble.
Founded in 1970, the chorus quickly expanded to encompass boys of all races, faiths and socio-economic backgrounds. Boys are admitted to the program after completing an arduous eight-week audition process and must then undergo a rigorous training schedule for an additional six to 12 months, learning the basic concert repertoire of 40 songs before they are accepted into the concert chorus. The touring chorus is selected from among members of the Concert Chorus.
The youthful singers, who are not required to pay tuition, range in age from 9 to 14 years of age. Their program includes favorites from America's musical history, nest of Broadway tunes, a medley of the Beach Boys' California sounds, toe-tapping rhythms from the Roaring Twenties, swinging notes from the Big Band era, dynamic Dixieland melodies and jazz classics. A patriotic tribute to past and present members of the Armed Forces spotlights the music of George M. Cohan and John Philip Sousa.
Described as "outstanding, pure energy and simply wonderful," the chorus has developed a strong reputation for theatricality - "for doing more than just standing and singing," according to Wesley Martin who was appointed music director and concert master in July 2002 after an international search.
Executive Director Anthony S. Manrique began his career with the AABC in March 1970 at the age of 11 and is one of the 10 original members of the chorus. He notes that throughout its 36-year history, the ensemble has provided more than 900 boys with the training, motivation and opportunity to develop an exceptional program of choral music within an environment of the highest moral standards, while fulfilling the vision of making "a positive difference in the world community by way of its philosophy and principles and through the leadership and example of its members and alumni."
Advance tickets for this outstanding musical experience are now on sale for $10 at South Bend Pharmacy, Sandra's Art and Frame and Pacific County Historical Society & Museum in South Bend, and at Sagen's Pharmacy and the Raymond Theatre in Raymond. Call 360-875-5831, e-mail email@example.com, or forward a SASE to SAL, Box 41, South Bend, WA 98586 to reserve tickets. Day of performance tickets will be sold for $12 at the theatre box office. Visit their Web site at (www.allamericanboyschorus.org) for more information.