Churchill Falls boys performing at Winter Olympics
Atlantic Boychoir provides plenty of opportunity
Cage Boily of Churchill Falls joined the Atlantic Boychoir because he likes to sing. The 12-year-old said he also felt being a choir member would be a great opportunity for him to travel. He wasn’t far off the mark.
Cage and 13-year-old Brady McEachren of Churchill Falls will head to Germany in December as members of the choir.
The choristers have also been invited to perform at the Winter Olympics in South Korea in February 2018.
Touted as singing ambassadors of Newfoundland and Labrador, the choir was the first Provincial BoyChoir in Canada for boys and young men ages eight to 22.
While in Europe in December the choir will perform with the Czech Boys Choir in the German Symphony Orchestra Christmas series at Meistersingerhalle concert hall.
When asked what he likes about being part of the choir, Cage said there are many talented singers in the choir he has made friends with.
He’s looking forward to going to Germany, he said, and “hopefully more great places such as the Olympics in South Korea.”
Brady’s mother Penny McEachren is the Labrador representative for the choir’s concert tour planning committee.
McEachren also heads the boys’ fundraising initiatives in order for them to travel to St. John’s where the choir is based.
Travel costs from the Big Land to the province’s capital city comes with a hefty price tag. However, she said, travel is necessary for the boys to fully participate in choir.
“The boys sometime miss important events of the choir, such as training with various guests of the Atlantic Boychoir. They cannot possibly be in St. John’s for every practice so they miss rehearsing with the group,” she said.
While travel is challenging, McEachren said, the boys, along with their families, are proud and honoured to be a part of the choir.
“The boys are gaining so much from being a part of (the choir), self-confidence, selfdiscipline, international exposure, and lasting friendships with people from all over our world. These things are once in a lifetime opportunities for Brady and Cage.”
The boys work hard with their school’s music teacher, Chris Ryan, to be prepared for choir events, McEachren said. Brady also takes voice lessons from Janet Campbell, she said, and has flourished under her direction.
McEachren said while her son has always loved singing and music, never in her wildest dreams did she imagine he would one day be singing in famous concert halls in Germany, the national anthems at hockey games in the Czech Republic or attending the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea as singing ambassadors of Canada.
Jakub Martinec and Jennifer Beynon Martinec are the choir’s directors. Jakub Martinec is director of choral studies at Memorial University’s School of Music. He is also the former artistic director of the Czech Boys Choir. Jennifer Martinec is a Ph.D. candidate in Music, Medicine and Education at Memorial University.
Chris Ryan is the artistic director for the choir’s Labrador region.
Ryan has a bachelor of music education from Memorial and is currently the music teacher at Eric G. Lambert School in Churchill Falls.
While Cage and Brady are currently the only two boys in the choir from Labrador, Ryan said, the aim is to welcome new members from the area.
“As funding grows, our hope is to get the boys out for semiregular practices,” he said.
Ryan agrees with McEachren, however, that – because of travel costs - recruiting boys from Labrador is even more challenging than welcoming new members from the province’s West coast.
In addition to St. John’s, Labrador and the province’s West coast there are also boys from the Central region of the province in the choir, Ryan said.
Inviting boys to the choir from rural areas of the province is important, he said.
“Choral music shouldn’t end at the overpass,” Ryan said.
The Atlantic BoyChoir upcoming performances include a concert in Corner Brook on March 9, Grand Falls-Windsor on March 10 and Carbonear on March 11.
A performance will also take place in St. John’s before the choir heads to Ontario in April, Ryan said.
Anyone or any organization that would like to donate to the boys from Churchill Falls’ travel initiatives can reach McEachren at pennyjmc@hotmail. com.
For more information on the choir www.atlanticboychoir.ca.
The Atlantic Boychoir was the first provincial boychoir for men aged 8 to 22.
Cage Boily and Brady McEachren of Churchill Falls are members of the Atlantic Boychoir, which has given them many opportunities to travel.