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NJ Youth Chorus hosts Drakensber​g Boys Choir from South Africa at Mayo Center on June 11

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NJ Youth Chorus hosts Drakensber​g Boys Choir from South Africa at Mayo Center on June 11
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As a kick-off to its 20th Anniversary Season, the New Jersey Youth Chorus will proudly present The Drakensberg Boys Choir from South Africa at the Mayo Center for the Arts, 100 South Street in Morristown, NJ at 8 PM on Saturday, June 11.  This is the second time the NJ Youth Chorus has hosted the Drakensberg Boys Choir, and it has remained one of the most exciting concerts in the Chorus’ history. 
 
The Boys Choir, South Africa’s Singing Ambassadors, is representative of the multi-faceted cultures that make up South Africa.  Their unique diverse style – Classical, Rock, Pop, Jazz, African, Folk, modern Art Music – captivates audiences.  The Choir is internationally acclaimed for its unique African repertoire, which includes accompaniment by authentic African instruments, body percussion and gum-boot dancing.
 
The Choir travels extensively across South Africa annually, and has sung in Egypt, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia and Swaziland.    They have been to the United States four times, and to Canada. During their second visit, four soloists took the top honours at an International Singing Competition in Des Moines. In Europe, they have sung in Hungary, Switzerland, Italy, France, Portugal, Greece, Poland, and, by Papal request, at the Vatican City before 25,000 people. During the Choir School’s 25th anniversary year, the Choir was acclaimed one of the best in the world in the triennial World Boys’ Choir Festival in Poznan, Poland.  The boys have also undertaken tours to England, the Netherlands, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Korea, Mauritius, Australia, Japan, Turkey, Finland and Scandinavia.
 
The New Jersey Youth Chorus, founded in 1992, is an auditioned choral program for children in grades two through twelve, divided into four ensembles:  Advanced (grades 7-12), Young Men’s Ensemble (grades 7 – 12 for changing and changed voices), Intermediate (grades 4-6), and a Musicianship Class (grades 2-4). The Advanced Chorus performs frequently with many professional ensembles, including the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra and Canadian Brass at NJPAC in Newark.  They sang at the State Theater’s Gala under Marvin Hamlisch and Bill Conti, composer of television and movie themes, including Rocky.  The Chorus has sung at the American Choral Director’s Eastern Division Convention, and at the National Chorus America Conference in Philadelphia.  They have also sung with Ronan Tynan, and appeared on the Today Show.  The Advanced Chorus has participated in numerous festivals in Hawaii, New Orleans, Canada, England, and in 2007, toured Italy.  The Chorus toured Poland, the Czech Republic and Germany in the summer of 2010. 
 
The Chorus regularly hosts visiting youth choirs, such as the Bach Children’s Chorus from Canada, the Crypt Choir from King's School in Canterbury, England, and the Lincoln Boys Choir from Nebraska.  The choir’s "Kids for Kids" mission includes opportunities to perform and assist children’s organizations and charities.
 
In the concert on June 11, the New Jersey Youth Chorus’ Advanced Treble Choir, and its Young Men’s Ensemble will also be featured in the concert.  Repertoire will include international folk music, gospel music, and pieces by contemporary composers, including O Yo-Yo by Stephen Hatfield, Kevin Riehl’s arrangement of Shenandoah, Finish folk song Mina Olen Harman Kankaanpaasta, Walk in Jerusalem by Rollo Dilworth, Set Me as a Seal by Richard Nance, and Marco Leite’s arrangement of Tres Cantos Nativos dos Indios Krao.  The Drakensberg boys will be featured in various pieces from their touring repertoire. [specific repertoire to follow]   All three choirs will join together in the African pieces “Shosholoza” and “Kwangena thina bo” as well as Caldwell and Ivory’s “Hope for Resolution.” 
 
For further information about the New Jersey Youth Chorus’ program, please visit www.njyouthchorus.org .   Tickets for the June 11 concert may be purchased directly through the Mayo Center by visiting www.mayoarts.org or by calling the box office at (973) 539-8008. 
  

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