The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

December 6, 2012

Vienna Boys Choir performs Tuesday evening at Bucknell University


The Daily Item

— LEWISBURG — The Vienna Boys Choir will present a family friendly holiday show at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Weis Center for the Performing Arts at Bucknell University.

The choir is a group, based in Vienna, of trebles and altos. Today there are about 100 young singers between the ages of 10 and 14, divided into four touring choirs. The choir’s repertoire includes everything from medieval to contemporary and experimental music, plus holiday classics, and is an ideal concert for adults and children alike.

The program will include contemporary songs by artists like Billy Joel and Freddy Mercury, sacred carols and holidays classics like “Noel,” “Jingle Bells,” “Oh Come Little Children” and “O Come All Ye Faithful,” as well as music from Mozart, Brahms, Beethoven and Haydn.

“The Vienna Boys Choir continues to delight audiences across the globe with their purity of tone, distinctive charm and a diverse, crowd-pleasing repertoire that encompasses Austrian folk songs and waltzes, classical masterpieces, beloved pop songs, holiday favorites and medieval chant,” said Kathryn Maguet, executive director of the Weis Center.

“Gifted musicians with voices of unforgettable beauty, they carry on the Vienna Boys Choir’s illustrious tradition as the world’s pre-eminent boy choir. The Weis Center is pleased to bring this special holiday concert to central Pennsylvania this season.”

Boys have been singing at the court of the Holy Roman emperor since the early 15th century. In 1498, more than half a millennium ago, Emperor Maximilian I moved his court and his court musicians to Vienna. He gave instructions that there were to be six singing boys among his musicians. Historians have settled on 1498 as the foundation date of the Vienna Hofmusikkapelle and in consequence the Vienna Boys Choir. Until 1918, the choir sang exclusively for the imperial court, at mass, at private concerts and functions, and on state occasions.

Musicians like Heinrich Isaac, Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber, Johann Joseph Fux, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Antonio Caldara, Antonio Salieri and Anton Bruckner worked with the choir. Composers Jacobus Gallus and Franz Schubert were themselves choristers. Brothers Joseph and Michael Haydn, members of the choir of St. Stephen’s Cathedral, and frequently sang with the imperial boys’ choir.

The event is sponsored, in part, by Coldwell Banker Penn One Real Estate and Martha and Alan Barrick.

The next event in the Weis Center’s series is a free children’s show by the Paper Bag Players at 1 p.m. Dec. 15. The Paper Bag Players is a company of adults who create and perform original, contemporary, musical theater for children ages 4 through 8. “Saddles and Sunshine” has everything: funny plays, unforgettable songs, jokes, dances, paper bag sets and opportunities for the audience to become involved in the fun. Guests are asked to bring a canned food item, which will be donated to a local organization and distributed to local families in need during the holiday season.

For more information about this event, contact Lisa Leighton, marketing and outreach coordinator, at 577-3727 or by e-mail at lisa.leighton@bucknell.edu.

For more information about future programming at the Weis Center for the Performing Arts, go to www.facebook.com/WeisCenter or www.bucknell.edu/WeisCenter.