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'The joy that singing brings to people': Winnipeg Boys Choir returns for 98th season


After being silenced for two years by COVID-19, choirs across Winnipeg are gearing up for the return of Christmas concerts. And one nearly century-old choir is celebrating an important milestone this month.

The Winnipeg Boys Choir was first formed in 1925. Artistic Director Carolyn Boyes said it is one of the city's oldest choirs. "It's the second-oldest in Winnipeg, and perhaps the longest freestanding boy's choir in the entire country."

The choir is kicking off its 98th season with its "Peace, Joy & Love" concert next week at the Crescent Fort Rouge United Church.

"We've all missed it," said Boyes. "all of my choral colleagues and choristers across the city – across the country – have been looking forward to this season."

Members of the choir range in age from 7 to 18 years old. The choir recruits new members through schools, churches, and word of mouth.

Boyes credits the longevity of the choir to the power of music, "The joy that singing brings to people and always has," she said. "We've had a rich heritage in our city of fine music educators and conductors who have always thought it very important to find opportunities for children to sing."

Another reason for the choir's success, according to Boyes, are the rich friendships that grow within the group, "You really become a team. You develop a kinship, a brotherhood. And those are important bonds that last and last and last."

Boyes said it's also a great learning experience for the boys to work with guest artists on the performance.

"That excitement of being surrounded by professionals makes the boys sit up and work harder and achieve more beauty," she said.

The Winnipeg Boys Choir performs at Crescent Fort Rouge United Church, 525 Wardlaw Avenue, on Tuesday, Dec. 13 at 7 p.m. Top Stories

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