Churchill Falls boys per­form­ing at Win­ter Olympics

At­lantic Boy­choir pro­vides plenty of op­por­tu­nity

The Aurora (Labrador City) - - EDITORIAL - BY DANETTE DOOLEY

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.

SUB­MIT­TED

The At­lantic Boy­choir was the first pro­vin­cial boy­choir for men aged 8 to 22.

SUB­MIT­TED

Cage Boily and Brady McEachren of Churchill Falls are mem­bers of the At­lantic Boy­choir, which has given them many op­por­tu­ni­ties to travel.

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