Ragazzi Boys Chorus
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|The Ragazzi Boys Chorus|
|Origin||San Mateo, California, USA|
|Genres||Choral, classical, opera|
|Associated acts||San Francisco Opera
San Francisco Symphony
|Past members||Julia Simon
The Ragazzi Boys Chorus is a boys' and young men's chorus in the San Francisco Bay Area San Francisco Bay Area and is known for winning a Grammy Award for Best Classical Album in 2000 for its participation in Perséphone with the San Francisco Symphony. The chorus was formed in 1987 with 6 boys, and it now includes more than 170 singers from 86 schools in 26 Bay Area communities including San Mateo, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties. The choir has placed highly in numerous international competitions. It also auditions the most singers to either national or state American Choral Directors Association honor choirs each year.
Since its founding, Ragazzi has performed regularly with the San Francisco Opera, San Francisco Symphony, Opera San Jose, West Bay Opera, Lawrence Pech Dance Company, Peninsula Symphony, Masterworks Chorale and the Stanford University Symphonic Chorus among others.
Ragazzi regularly tours in the United States and abroad. Ragazzi has toured internationally in Canada (1990), Russia (1992), Eastern Europe (1995), Italy (1998), Japan (1999), the British Isles (2001) where the choir won the fourth prize at the International Llangollen Eistedfodd, Spain and Portugal (2004), and Australia and New Zealand (2007). In summer 2008 Ragazzi was chosen to participate in the Kathaumixw Festival in British Columbia. They were second place finalists in two different age group categories. In the summer of 2010, the choir traveled to French area of Canada (i.e. Quebec and Montreal), where they participated in the yearly jazz festival. They also went to the island of Cuba in 2011 and, Los Angeles, California in the summer of 2012. They also went to Seoul, South Korea and participated in the World Vision 2013 International Children's Choir Festival.
Domestically Ragazzi has toured Minnesota where they attended AMERICAFEST (2003), Oregon where they attended PICCFEST (2005) as a feature choir, Montana where they attended the International Choral Festival (2006), and Arizona (2009).
In July 2009 Ragazzi's YME toured the San Francisco East Bay, attending the Golden Gate International Children's Choral Festival,. The group won the following awards:
2nd Place—Contemporary Music
2nd Place—Youth Vocal Solo (awarded to chorister)
3rd Place—Historical Music
3rd Place—Folk Music
- Good News! (1996) [Live Performance]
- A Holiday Collection (1998)
- San Francisco Symphony / Michael Tilson Thomas - Igor Stravinsky: Perséphone (2000), winner of 2000 Grammy Award
- Canciones de Alabanza (2001)
- Magnificat My Spirit Rejoices (2006)
- "Splendors of the Italian Baroque"(2009)
- Summer 2016 recording coming soon
Boys first join Ragazzi Boys Chorus in one of the Primary groups. From there they are promoted to Ragazzi Premier, conducted by Craig Morey. After spending one or more years in Premier the boys advance to Avanti which is a training group for Concert Group. After the boys learn 5 Standard Repetroire pieces and have finished the Monarch Theory Program, they can be promoted to Concert Group, which is the highest level for unchanged voices. This level is conducted by Joyce Keil. After boys' voices have changed, they can move onto YME, the Young Men's Ensemble, directed by Jesse Buddington. A select group of the YME are chosen every year to be part of the Choral Scholars. This select group of men sing SATB music with the Concert Group and have extra performances.