Atlanta Boy Choir
The Atlanta Boy Choir is a renowned choral group for boys and men in Atlanta, Georgia. It was founded in 1959 by Fletcher Wolfe. In this half a century, the choir has become an ambassador internationally, performing across North America and Europe in many of the most renowned concert halls and cathedrals in the world.
The choir has sung for Pope John Paul II at the Vatican City five times. In 2005, the choir marked its Carnegie Hall debut under David White. In 2006, the choir returned to Italy where it performed for Pope Benedict XVI in the Sistine Chapel of St. Peter's Basilica. In 2009, the choir sang at Vienna's Musikverein during the International Haydn Festival commemorating the 200th anniversary of the death of Austrian composer, Joseph Haydn.
Other notable places where the choir has performed include St. Peter's Basilica in Rome, the White House in Washington, DC, St. Paul's Cathedral in London, Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, the Kennedy Center in Washington DC, the Great Hall of the Philharmonic in St. Petersburg, and Westminster Abbey in London.
In 1946, the Atlanta Boys Choir was founded as part of the music program for the Atlanta City School System in 1946. That early boy choir gave annual concerts locally and was composed of boys with unchanged voices. In 1953, another boy choir, known as the Atlanta Boy Choir was founded by George Crawford. That choir met at a local church. When Mr. Crawford relocated to Alabama, parents of the members of that early choir formed a new choir and chose Fletcher Wolfe as the founding director. That choir was incorporated as the Atlanta Boy Choir, Inc., in November 1959.
Fletcher Wolfe continued to conduct the choir until the fall of 2001 when he retired and David White was hired to replace him. In the summer of 2009, there was a division in the choir when the board of directors dismissed Mr. White. While the board mentioned artistic differences, David White wanted to audition the choir for the reality TV talent show, America's Got Talent. the majority of the reasons given were financial. Mr. White and a large group of parents who supported him formed a new organization called the Georgia Boy Choir. Fletcher Wolfe returned to lead the Atlanta Boy Choir once again.
In more than 50 years, the Atlanta Boy Choir has established a reputation for being one of the world's finest boy choirs and has become known for its diversity of members and broad repertoire which includes choral masterworks of early composers such as Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina and Claudio Monteverdi, and the contemporary masterworks of such composers as Benjamin Britten and Krzysztof Penderecki. The choir has collaborated numerous times with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, and with conductors Robert Shaw and Yoel Levi.
Performances and concert tours
According to the Boy Choir & Soloist Directory, the choir has notably appeared before presidents, popes, foreign dignitaries, crowned heads of state, and U.S. soldiers. in 1961, the choir performed at the Palacio de Bellas Artes with the National Symphony Orchestra (Mexico) preceding the visit of newly elected U.S. President, John F. Kennedy. In 2004, the Atlanta Boy Choir toured Greece as part of the 2004 Cultural Olympiad before the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens. the choir has also visited England, Scotland, Wales, France, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Austria, Belgium, Spain, Morocco, Hungary, Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, Finland, Russia, Portugal, Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, Canada, and Mexico.
In 1989, the choir won a Grammy Award for its performance and recording of Britten’s [War Requiem] with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. The choir has been featured on television, radio, and participated in solos and backups on various recordings such as The Power & The Majesty: Essential Choral Classics (1995) with conductor Robert Shaw and Classics for All Seasons (1994) with various composers/conductors.
Recent years: 2009-2017
Fletcher Wolfe returned as conductor of the Atlanta Boy Choir, and the boy choir and the men's choir completed a concert tour of Italy. They performed Sunday Mass at St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican City and gave performances at the Basilica of St. Francis in Assisi and Siena Cathedral in Siena. In 2011, the choir took a tour to Alaska. In 2012, the boy choir toured to Russia where it performed at the Great Hall of the Philharmonic and the Winter Palace. During the summer of 2013, the choir took a tour of Nova Scotia in Canada. The Choir was invited to concertize in Poland and The Czech Republic in 2014.