News Column

Boys give energy to Frederick Children's Chorus

May 11, 2014

By Jen Bondeson, The Frederick News-Post, Md.

May 11--To Judy DuBose, the sound of young boys singing is heavenly.

"It's a real clear, pure sound," DuBose said. "It has real resonance."

With more boys in the Frederick Children's Chorus this year than in years past, DuBose, the founder of the chorus, said her performance groups have a brighter energy and different tone.

The chorus took the stage Saturday at the Weinberg Center for the Arts for their spring concert, "Great Songs -- Great Britain," featuring songs from the British Isles.

There were still more skirts on the stage than vests and button-downs, but DuBose said this is the most boys she has seen in her organization.

There are 25 boys in the Treble Chorus out of 70 children total, when sometimes the chorus has had fewer than 10 boys, she said.

The Treble Chorus is made of the Concert and Training choruses, with students in fourth through eighth grade. The children's chorus also has a high school group.

As the Concert Chorus sang the Welsh Lullaby on Saturday, the full, mellow sound of a French horn was accompanied by high and low notes alike.

During the next song, a group of boys danced and acted out scenes from "A Midsummer Night's Dream" in front of the rest of the group.

The boys filled center stage later on in the night for a Welsh folk song on their own.

You make friends right away when you join the chorus because there are so many nice people around, said Easten Emswiler, a member of the Concert Chorus.

While normally in chorus girls sing more, in the children's chorus the boys sing just as much, he said.

Kim Emswiler, Easten's mother, said she is glad to see more boys in the chorus each year.

Easten has always loved singing, she said.

"I even have a nickname for him," she said. "He's my little songbird."

The chorus attracted more boys over the last few years by offering summer camps appealing to boys, one with a pirates theme and another with a heroes-villains theme, DuBose said.

Hollie Mercier, who has two boys in the chorus, said the boys are all very close, and often get together socially outside of chorus.

"They are a fun, very close group," she said. "They laugh a lot, and they have a lot in common."

Jonah Milam, a member of the Concert Chorus, said he, too, has made a lot of friends since he joined two years ago. He and his brother, Micah, are both in the children's chorus.

Milam, who is in sixth grade, said middle school is tough.

"Chorus helps me cool down from a long day," he said.

Jonah's mother, Alicia Cosby, said our society makes it hard for young boys to be musical.

"Our society kind of portrays it as a girl thing to do," Cosby said. "This gives him a safe place to sing."

Daniel Becker-Cornblatt, another member of the Concert Chorus, said it's nice having a large group of boys who all get along.

"There is no bullying," he said. "Sometimes, at school, we get bullied about it."

Ann DuBose, who run's the Little Music Makers program for 5- to 8-year-olds, pointed out to the audience Saturday how about half of the group is boys.

"Which is really exciting," she said. "We hope they keep singing."

Some of the girls in the Concert Chorus said Saturday they like having the boys around.

It sounds better, said Sophia Brusco.

"It's different," she said. "There are lower parts."


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Source: Frederick News-Post (MD)

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