After a year bereft of singing, the 30-year-old children’s chorus will reopen in September under the direction of Ryan LaBoy.
When the Berkshire Children’s Chorus reconvenes to sing this September, it will be launching its 30th season and a new chapter of its history. The Board of Trustees is pleased to announce that it has hired Ryan LaBoy as the new Artistic Director of the Chorus. LaBoy is a children’s chorus conductor with a particular expertise in working with youth from diverse backgrounds and experiences, and holds degrees in Choral Conducting and Music Education from the University of Minnesota and Westminster Choir College respectively. The Berkshire Children’s Chorus invites families to meet LaBoy and learn more about singing in the Chorus at an Ice Cream Social, sponsored by Soco Creamery, on Saturday, June 26th from 1:00 to 3:00 at Old Parish Church in Sheffield, MA.
LaBoy takes up the mantle of Artistic Director for the Berkshire Children’s Chorus after moving to Pittsfield with his husband, Joel Bergeland, who was recently called as pastor at Zion Lutheran Church. For the last eight years, LaBoy was based in the Twin Cities, where he earned his Master of Music in Choral Conducting, with distinction, from the University of Minnesota while also serving as the founding Music Director of ComMUSICation— an after-school youth program offering high quality choral music programming to disadvantaged youth in St. Paul. Under his leadership, the organization grew to include three ensembles and free piano lessons, and performed in every corner of the community: from senior centers to the 2018 Super Bowl.
LaBoy was chosen from a competitive pool of candidates for the position as a result of a five month search conducted by the Berkshire Children’s Chorus Board of Trustees. The search committee was bolstered by the participation of Nancy Loder, who founded the Berkshire Children’s Chorus in 1990.
After a hiatus during the pandemic, the Chorus will resume singing in September. Registration is now open for rising 4th-9th grade singers. All interested youth will have the opportunity to meet LaBoy ahead of registration for a simple audition to help with ensemble placement. Auditions will also be offered at our upcoming Ice Cream Social at Old Parish Church in Sheffield on Saturday, June 26.
The Berkshire Children’s Chorus is a 30-year-old community organization with 501(c)3 status dedicated to providing Berkshire area students with musical experiences that develop personal and artistic excellence, support the growth of positive values, and enrich our community. The Chorus has performed across the Berkshires, as well as at Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center, Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, and Canterbury Cathedral in England.
Alice Maggio, Vice President said, “Ryan is really everything we were hoping for: he studied at the best school for children’s choral directing in the U.S and went on to develop a children’s choir in Minnesota, so he has incredible credentials. During the interview process he demonstrated curiosity and creativity, and when we asked him to teach a workshop with some of our Chorus members over Zoom, they gave him glowing reviews.”
New Artistic Director Ryan LaBoy said, “Being offered the position of Artistic Director with Berkshire Children’s Chorus is both exciting and serendipitous! While I may be a new resident, I am no stranger to the Berkshires or its incredible art scene. Nearly a decade ago, I had the opportunity to sing here under the baton of Kathy Romey as a scholar at the Berkshire Choral International Festival in Sheffield– a chance meeting that would take me from New Jersey to Minnesota to earn my masters degree under her tutelage and launch my singing and conducting career. Now, I am thrilled to call the Berkshires home and to share my love of music making with local youth. Having worked in unique contexts with ComMUSICation, GALA Youth Choruses, and Albert C Wagner Youth Correctional Facility– and having a life-changing experience as a youth singer at the New York State Summer School of the Arts (NYSSSA) during my own high school experience — I come to this position understanding the coequal social and musical value of singing together and it is my privilege to “take the lead” with Berkshire Children’s Chorus this season.”
To schedule an audition or RSVP for the Social, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Learn more at berkshirechildrenschorus.org