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120-Member Group Expanding Rehearsal and Performance Space to Over-the-Rhine
At a time when many “boy choirs” throughout the country are dissolving because of financial constraints, the Cincinnati Boychoir is expanding into Over-the-Rhine’s Memorial Hall to accommodate its growing membership. Memorial Hall will become the Boychoir’s “home” for rehearsals and concerts for the 2012-2013 Season.
Beginning in August, all 120 members of the Choir will begin rehearsing every Monday night at Memorial Hall, located next to Music Hall, and across the street from Washington Park and the School for Creative & Performing Arts. The Choir will also perform a minimum four concerts at Memorial Hall in the 2012-2013 season.
“We’ve worked diligently for years to preserve Memorial Hall and are thrilled to have this treasured performance hall utilized by the highly regarded Cincinnati Boychoir,” said Marge Hammelrath, president of the Memorial Hall Society.
“Memorial Hall is a perfect venue for the Cincinnati Boychoir in so many ways,” said Boychoir Artistic Director Chris Eanes. “This puts us right at the center of an energized and growing performing arts district. We look forward to playing a more active role in the downtown arts community.”
The Cincinnati Boychoir includes boys in grades three to eight, representing about 40 local schools. Members audition for the choir by recommendation of school music teachers from throughout the region. The choir performs about 40 concerts per year at schools, churches, community centers and other venues.
The Choir is currently based in Norwood and its Tour Choir and Men’s Glee Club will continue to rehearse there. But the Choir has outgrown the space to accommodate a rehearsal that includes all 120 members. Memorial Hall will not only allow all members of the Boychoir to practice together, but also perform in the same space.
“With its excellent acoustics and audience seating capacity of 600, Memorial Hall is an ideal facility for choral performances,” said William Baumann, a Memorial Hall Society trustee who has been working with Eanes for the past several months to bring these two Cincinnati arts institutions together. “We welcome the Boychoir as it joins the growing number of arts organizations using Memorial Hall during the 2012-2013 season.”
The Choir’s partial move to Memorial Hall comes just months before the re-opening of Washington Park, following a $48 million renovation and the impending renovation of Music Hall.
The Cincinnati Boychoir is recognized internationally as one of America’s finest boy choirs. The choir has performed with the Cincinnati Opera, the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and May Festival Chorus, the Metropolitan Festival Choir and Orchestra of Detroit, the Honolulu Symphony Orchestra and in March 2011 made its first appearance at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. The choir has also performed with the world-famous Vienna Boys’ Choir and six Cincinnati Boychoir members have gone on to join the Vienna Boys’ Choir.
Members of the Boychoir will represent Cincinnati and compete in two categories in the World Choir Games, coming to Cincinnati in July 2012. It is one of the few boys’ choirs still in existence. The Ohio Boychoir disbanded in 2009 because of financial struggles and declining membership.
The Cincinnati Boychoir is funded through member tuition and donations. Financial aid is available for eligible students. Eanes plans to use the move to OTR as a way to reach out to children who live within walking distance of Memorial Hall who previously may not have been aware of the Choir or have the financial means to cover the full cost of tuition.
ABOUT MEMORIAL HALL: Located in the historic Over-the-Rhine neighborhood listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Memorial Hall is a magnificent Beaux Arts building dedicated in 1908. It houses a beautiful, 600-seat performance hall with excellent acoustics and also contains two large reception/rehearsal rooms. The Hall is regularly used by a growing number of leading national and Cincinnati-based performing arts and music groups. The Trustees of the Memorial Hall Society manage Memorial Hall on behalf of Hamilton County, which owns the building.
MissionThe Cincinnati Boychoir experience provides exceptional concert opportunities and music education in a safe, diverse, and respectful environment.