Local youth hope to sing at Olympics
Carbonear youth in running for gig at 2018 Winter Olympics
Liam Rowe of Carbonear joined the Atlantic BoyChoir last summer, and the young singer is more than happy with the decision he made. Later this year, the group is set to travel to Germany to perform, and there’s also talk of appearing at the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea.
Eight-year-old Liam Rowe loves to sing, and when he heard of an opportunity last summer to join a new choir for boys like him, he was fully on board.
“We have all these special guests, like university students, professors and stuff,” the Carbonear Academy Grade 3 student recently told The Compass, adding it’s a great opportunity to learn more about singing.
Now the Carbonear native has even more to be excited about. The Atlantic BoyChoir has a chance to perform national anthems at three hockey games during the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea.
In order to attend, choir members will need to engage in some fundraising. The choir, lead by the husband-and-wife duo of Jakub and Jennifer Martinec, is also looking to attract corporate sponsors. It feature youth ages eight to 22.
Liam takes voice lessons with Calvin Powell and has previously participated in the local Kiwanis Music Festival. He has also performed in local concerts organized by Leslie Forward.
In December, the choir is scheduled to fly to Germany for a concert series with the German Symphony Orchestra. Jakub Martinec, the director of choral studies at Memorial University, established the choir specifically for this event. They perform songs in a variety of languages, including Latin and German, and tackles a number of classical compositions.
The choir is also set to take part in the Experiences Canada exchange program in April, travelling to London, Ont.
Beyond the singing and potential travel opportunities, there are additional aspects of being a choir member that Liam appreciates.
“I like when at the end of the choir (practices), sometimes they give us snacks,” he said. “The last time we had fruit and cookies, and then sometimes we have cake. So that’s fun.”
He also enjoyed accompanying the choir on a five-day retreat in Gros Morne last fall.
“It was really cool,” Liam said, adding he hopes to go back there this spring.
Liam is not the lone youth involved with the choir from Carbonear. Matthew Cooper, last year’s Senior Rose Bowl winner at the local Kiwanis festival, is now in his first-year at MUN’s School of Music.
“I want to be teacher, so what interests me the most is that (with) the more younger boys, I get a chance to be kind of a section leader,” he explained. “All the other tenors are a bit younger than me, so sometimes I get to help out and stuff like that … I kind of get to be a group leader to the little kids.”
Cooper is thrilled about the potential opportunity to sing at the Winter Olympics.
“It’s a really, really big deal, and at first I was overwhelmed, like you would be,” he told The Compass. “Actually getting to watch some of the games is going to be pretty cool.”
The choir holds weekly rehearsals in St. John’s.
I want to be teacher, so what interests me the most is that (with) the more younger boys, I get a chance to be kind of a section leader. — Matthew Cooper
Matthew Cooper performs during the 2016 grand concerts for the Kiwanis Music Festival in Carbonear.
Liam Rowe, eight, hopes to travel with the Atlantic BoyChoir for the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea.