The American Boychoir’s (= ABC) rich sonorities, musical sophistication, expressive power and innovative programming have established its reputation as the USA’s premier concert boys’ choir. The ABC was founded in Columbus, Ohio in 1937, and has been located in Princeton, New Jersey since 1950.
The 2000-2001 season is rich with prestigious performances by The ABC. The ABC kicked off the season with the annual National Choral Conference, this year led by Drs. Anton Armstrong and André Thomas, featuring the ABC and the Newark Boys Chorus directed by Donald Morris. Following that, the ABC had its first engagement of the season with the New York Philharmonic singing Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, followed shortly by Mendelssohn’s St. Paul, conducted by Maestro Kurt Masur. The ABC also sang in Brahms’ Ein Deutches Requiem with the New York Philharmonic in January. Tours this year bring the ABC’s music to the West Coast, the Deep South, New England and America’s Heartland. The ABC appeared at the Bermuda Festival in January, with the Boston Symphony in February, and with the Vienna Philharmonic in March.
Highlights of the 1999-2000 season included 13 performances with the New York Philharmonic (including 2 world premieres and a special performance of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony on New Year’s Eve); tours to Japan, Taiwan, the Midwest and the South; the National Choral Conference with Dr. George Guest; and two recordings due out shortly.
The ABC has an extensive “Arts in Education” outreach program which targets schools and communities nationwide. In Spring 2000, the Resident Training Choir of The ABC and the Training Choir of the Newark Boys Chorus teamed up to tour rural South Jersey schools. During February 1998, the ABC presented an educational residency in Mississippi. Locally, the ABC completed a two-year music education project involving students and teachers from New Brunswick, New Jersey, a traditionally under-served city in the central section of the state. The project was designed to revitalize the district’s middle school music program and culminated in joint concerts with the New Brunswick students and the Princeton Chamber Symphony at the State Theatre in New Brunswick.
The ABC has appeared many times on television: Live! With Regis and Kathie Lee, CBS This Morning, NBC’s Today, and can be seen regularly on PBS in the award-winning documentary Journey of Butterfly, based on Cantor Charles Davidson’s 1968 memorial composition to the Holocaust survivors called I Never Saw Another Butterfly written specifically for The ABC. The ABC can also be recognized on many television commercial soundtracks including Monster.com, Salomon Smith-Barney and the Clio-winning “True Colors” campaign for Kodak.
The ABC can be heard on many recordings, most recently Holy Innocents by J. Michael Haydn on Linn Records. The ABC can also be heard on the Angel label in Carol and Hymn. A live performance recording of B. Britten’s War Requiem featuring The ABC with the New York Philharmonic conducted by Kurt Masur was released in May 1998. The ABC also appears on Jonathan Elias’s The Prayer Cycle featuring Alanis Morissette, James Taylor and Linda Ronstadt, Jessye Norman’s In the Spirit, Kathleen Battle’s Grace, Michael W. Smith’s Christmastime and the soundtrack of Rosie O’Donnell’s 1998 movie Wide Awake.