Lo­cal youth hope to sing at Olympics

Car­bon­ear youth in run­ning for gig at 2018 Win­ter Olympics

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE - We­blink: www.at­lanticboy­choir.ca BY ANDREW ROBINSON ed­i­tor@cb­n­com­pass.ca

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

TC MEDIA FILE PHOT

Matthew Cooper per­forms dur­ing the 2016 grand con­certs for the Ki­wa­nis Mu­sic Fes­ti­val in Car­bon­ear.

SUBMITTED PHOTO

Liam Rowe, eight, hopes to travel with the At­lantic BoyChoir for the 2018 Win­ter Olympics in South Korea.

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