Vienna Boys Choir to ring in holiday season with Christmas concert at Misericordia University
The Vienna Boys Choir will bring their “Christmas in Vienna” program to Misericordia University in December.
The choir will performat 7:30 p.m. Dec. 3 in the Lemmond Theater at the Dallas, Pa., university campus. The concert will include a variety of sacred and secular Christmas songs and holiday favorites, including a mixture of choral and solo pieces representing countries around theworld.
“In the first part of the concert, we’ll sing classical and secular music, from Europe. For example, ‘Ave Maria’ by Schubert,” said Bomi Kim, conductor for the Vienna Boys Choir. “And of course Bach and Handel ... and the second part of the concert, we sing Christmas songs from Germany, from Austria and from the United States.”
The 520-year-old Vienna Boys Choir is one of the three imperial Austrian musical groups along with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and the Vienna State Opera. Kim conducts the Vienna Boys Choir’s Mozart choir, one of the four equal sub-groups or touring choirs.
“We have a Schubert choir, a Haydn choir and a Bruckner choir (aswell), named for the famous Austrian composers,” Kim said. “Now, I have 23 boys inmy choir. And all together, we have about 100 boys. We are nowin the U.S., and the Haydn choir is in Hong Kong, and the two other choirs are now in Vienna preparing for Christmas concerts, and operas for children, and they also sing Mass. We have lots to do.”
Working with the boys can be fun and tough as there’s a lot going on, Kim said. They’re like a big family, spending all day together on their trips, and they travel with two “wonderful” chaperones, Kim said.
“They help us very much,” she said. “Butwe have a lot of fun.”
The Vienna Boys Choir was founded in the late 1400s by Emperor Maximilian I as the Vienna Chapel Imperial. The original choir was comprised of boys from different parts of the Holy Roman Empire who sang for imperial court, at Mass, concerts and on state occasions.
More than 500 years later, the tradition lives on with 100 choristers, ages 10 to 14, from 30 different nations divided into four touring groups who give more than 300 performances a year throughout Europe, Asia, Australia and the Americas.
Kim studied at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna and earned her master’s degree in choir conducting, vocal music and Gregorian chants. She was appointed conductor in 2012.
“My professor for conducting, he recommended me for this position,” she said. “I like playing the piano, I like singing, I like conducting— all parts of the concert.”
Visiting different countries is also a perk of the position, she said.
“We’ve been to Japan, to China, in Germany, and all around theworld,” she said. “It’s very exciting.”
The Vienna Boys Choir will perform Dec. 3 at Misericordia University.