Featured activities this afternoon ( Day 3) of our second National Youth Choral Festival included an
Honors Choir session led by Ragnar, the IPA deconstructed by Ben Johns, and a performance practice class led by Marques working on music from Schubert to Beyonce. We got together with our orchestra for a rehearsal of the Larsson "God in Disguise" (with Alan as narrator, and Marques as baritone soloist.) The orchestra is made of up members of local youth orchestras and other young instrumentalists who graciously volunteered to join us, with our own Adam Ward taking up the French horn again for this occasion. (Adam majored in French horn at Yale.)
If you are wondering how choirs get to participate in our festival, here's the answer. As Chanticleer travels the U.S., and as Ben Johns keeps up with the Bay Area school choir scene, we identify -usually through workshops or masterclasses- which ones might be a good fit for this festival. We met the Staples High School chorus, for instance, at our Youth Choral Festival in Fairfield County, Connecticut. If the choir directors decide that they should come, they then set about the heroic work of raising funds so that the choir can come. The Festival is free to the participants, but they have to fund their travel and their stay in San Francisco.
Several foundations helped us out this time, notably the Carol Frank Buck Foundation, and the Osher Pro Suecia Foundation ( because between Ragnar Bohlin and Lars-Erik Larsson we have a heavy Swedish component). Some very generous individuals also gave us major gifts, for which we thank them: Ken Grant, Ed and Sumaya Minor, and Kathleen Henschel and John Dewes.