Singing Boys of Pennsylvania

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Singing Boys of Pennsylvania
Wind Gap, Pennsylvania
United States of America
Type Private
Established 1970 (1970)

The Singing Boys of Pennsylvania was an American boys' choir, established in 1970 as the Pocono Boy Singers, which ceased operation in 2014. A 501(c) organization organized in 1970 as the Pocono Boy Singers, the choir was incorporated in 1972. It was located in Wind Gap, Pennsylvania and drew its membership primarily from Monroe, Northampton, Lehigh, and Warren counties. The choir consisted of about 40 boys in grades 4 through 8. Membership was by invitation.[1]

The choir performed throughout the United States, Canada, Japan, England, Wales, and Mexico. Its website claimed an annual budget of $110,000, and 2013 Songwriter's Market listed it as having more than 100 concerts per year, paying $300–$3,000 for outright purchase of material. The choir performed approximately 100 concerts a year in the United States, Canada, and Mexico.[2]

The Singing Boys had a sister organization, the Keystone Girls Choir, founded in 1986. The Keystone Girls Choir initially performed with the Singing Boys; they had their first concert alone in May 1991.

The choir's founder and long-time director (1970-2014) was Dr. Kenneth Bernard Schade, a graduate of the University of Texas at El Paso, Union Theological Seminary in New York (Institute of Sacred Music, now at Yale University), and the Pennsylvania State University (Ed.D). He served many Lutheran, Episcopal and Methodist churches in the region as an organist and choirmaster for several decades.

In 2014, Schade pleaded guilty to sexually abusing one boy and admitted to abusing another in 1996, both of whom were choir members, as well as two counts of possession of child pornography.[3] He was sentenced to 4.5 to 10 years and is currently incarcerated.[4] During his sentencing, several spoke highly of his music, while others spoke of the trauma received in his care.[5]

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  1. ^ "About". Singing Boys of Pennsylvania. Retrieved 8 January 2015. 
  2. ^ "The Singing Boys of Pennsylvania Will Perform March 27". SUNY Cortland. March 17, 1011. Retrieved 8 January 2015. 
  3. ^ "Bernard Schade, boys choir founder, pleads guilty to sex assault, possession of child pornography". Lehigh Valley Live. Retrieved 8 January 2015. 
  4. ^ "Singing Boys of Pa. director, 75, sentenced to 4½ to 10 years". Pocono Record. Retrieved 8 January 2015. 
  5. ^ "Supporters of former choir director Bernard Schade describe man vastly different from man who sexually assaulted teen". Lehigh Valley Live. Retrieved 8 January 2015.