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Spring 2000

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They got rhythm, they got music

     I n February the Boston alumni club joined a large crowd at Symphony Hall for a Sunday matinee by the Boys Choir of Harlem. Organized by club volunteer Gretchen Lundgren ’96, the concert drew nearly 80 alumni, parents, and friends, many of whom had never seen BCH perform but knew they were in for a treat.

     The choir presented a selection of tunes ranging from staples of the classical canon by Haydn, Bach, and Mozart to spirituals, jazz, hip hop, and gospel by such composers as George Gershwin, Duke Ellington, and Stevie Wonder. As always, BCH put on a performance that evoked tapping toes, bobbing heads, and enthusiastic applause. Numerous costume changes and original choreography complemented the boys’ well-trained voices.

     Between numbers, the choir’s founder and director, Walter Turnbull, introduced many of the choir members and described the history of the group, which began in 1968 as a small church choir and has developed into an internationally recognized educational institution known for its virtuoso performances and innovative approaches to traditional choir music. In July, he said, the choristers will return to their “second home” when they begin their 10th summer residency at Skidmore—a mention that drew applause and hoots from the second balcony, where the Skidmore group was ensconced.

     At a private dessert reception after the performance, Boston club members met with Walter Turnbull and several of his singers, whom they congratulated and thanked for a performance many described as “wonderful,” “amazing,” and “totally cool.” The Skidmoreans and the choir members also enjoyed comparing notes about today’s campus. One member of the choir is even applying to enter Skidmore’s Class of 2004 — how’s that for totally cool? —SG


© 2000 Skidmore College