We Rise Again in the faces of our children

Appleton Mayor Tim Hanna declared last Saturday Appleton Boychoir Day and we celebrated that official proclamation by attending a perfect display of beautiful music, international friendship and enviable posture.

Through welled up eyes, I searched the faces of a gorgeous combined Appleton Boychoir that included brand new members, alumni and mastersingers as they sang We Rise Again. The choice not only offered the singers an opportunity to demonstrate how powerful a combined choir can sound, it also lyrically traced the history of that admirable organization.

“We rise again in the faces of our children. We rise again in the voices of our song…”

Through four decades the Boychoir has taught young men how to sing and to find their voice, how to knot a tie and to command respect, how to stand up straight and to find comfort on a stage, how to harmonize and to be a friend, how to rise again in the voices of their song.

In honor of its 40th anniversary, the Boychoir hosted an elegant concert that included a world premiere performance of Morning Sea (complete with a surprise appearance by Greek composer Lina Tonia), and an alumni choir from around the world.

These lessons transcend the stage, of course, and boychoir members have gone on to become doctors, lawyers, television producers, directors, Grammy nominated artists and, in at least one case, a professional basketball player.

They also have traveled to all corners of the globe as pitch perfect American ambassadors fluent in the universal language of joy.

Congratulations to the Appleton Boychoir and thanks for all you’ve brought to our community and the world beyond.

I love this picture of Boychoir Director Dr. Kevin Meidl and the Salm family, which includes Ben, a current member of the Mastersingers and Appleton Boychoir alumnus, and Sean and Rudy, who are current boychoir members. (Courtesy of Allison Salm)
I also love this picture of Boychoir alumnus Cory Chisel (note the red ribboned medallion around his neck) and the Salm brothers. Rudy and Sean sang an absolutely beautiful duet called “Rain Come Down” during the concert. I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before Levi joins the choir as well. Lucky us! (Courtesy Allison Salm)
My friend Catherine McKenzie took some professional pictures of the concert and graciously shared them with me.
This is Mayor Hanna making his official proclamation with Boychoir founders Austin Boncher and Jim Heiks, and current executive director Hilary Armstrong.
I love to watch how these sweet boys learn to sing with discipline and joy.
Their ties have changed a little over the years, but their posture has not. There are no slouches here.
A well-deserved standing ovation.

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