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Ragazzi Boys Chorus Streams Concert JOY, AWE, AND WONDER

This concert presents moments of reflection and gratitude set to music and celebrates Ragazzi's collective efforts to innovate and thrive.

Ragazzi Boys Chorus Streams Concert JOY, AWE, AND WONDER

The virtual airways will be filled with the joyful sound of boys' and young men's voices raised in song when Ragazzi Boys Chorus presents the concert Joy, Awe, and Wonder.

Utilizing the groundbreaking Ragazzi Virtual Studio technology that allows Ragazzi singers to perform together from home in real time, this concert presents moments of reflection and gratitude set to music and celebrates Ragazzi's collective efforts to innovate and thrive. Honoring the Silicon Valley boys chorus's tenacity and growth over the last year, Ragazzi choristers will share songs full of joy, awe, and wonder, lifting spirits during these unprecedented times.

Led by Artistic and Executive Director Kent Jue, Joy, Awe, and Wonder will stream at 4pm PDT Sunday, May 2, 2021. A suggested donation of $25 per viewer is encouraged to support the world-renowned Ragazzi Boys Chorus, which has cancelled all of its in-person concerts and tours during the pandemic. For information or to reserve streaming access the public may visit Ragazzi.org or call 650-342-8785.

Featuring Ragazzi's Avanti, Concert Group, Choral Scholars, and Young Men's Ensemble choruses, Joy, Awe, and Wonder will stream performances recorded by members singing together in real-time from home, a feat made possible by Ragazzi Virtual Studio. Among the concert's repertoire is Ross Whitney's ethereal and spellbinding Pentatonic Alleluia, as well as the whimsical Cuckoo! from Benjamin Britten's "Friday Afternoons" with words by Jane Taylor. Joy, Awe, and Wonder will also include Amen from Giovanni Battista Pergolesi's "Stabat Mater," Peter Anglea's joyous Jubilate Deo based on text from Psalm 100, and Ryan Main's contemporary, heart-pounding rendition of Dies Irae. The choristers will sing the dynamic a cappella Akekho Ofana No Jesu, a traditional South African song, arranged by Daniel Jackson. Ragazzi will also perform the melodious and resplendent Locus Iste, composed by Kevin A. Memley, and Stars, composed by Latvian composer Ēriks Ešenvalds with text by Sara Teasdale, a mystical piece about nature's beauty performed with water-filled glasses. The concert will also feature Leon Dubinsky's We Rise Again. Originally written about a 1980s economic crisis in Nova Scotia, this anthem of hope and resilience remains timely in 2020 during the uncertainties of the pandemic.

Pivoting to fully-online rehearsals during the pandemic, Ragazzi's virtual program has fostered both individual vocal development and collaboration-the choristers have rehearsed from home and have performed virtual concerts Beyond the Stars in December 2020 and Destiny and Discovery in March 2021. To enable virtual rehearsals and performances, Ragazzi has employed advanced technology that allows choristers to learn and record their parts. The acclaimed chorus has also implemented a remote rehearsal console called Ragazzi Virtual Studio, which improves audio quality and reduces the latency (delay time) inherent in live video streaming platforms to a point where singers can harmonize in real-time over common internet connections. Pilot tested by Ragazzi choristers, this groundbreaking technology was developed by the JackTrip Foundation, which was launched by Ragazzi parent and software engineer Mike Dickey in collaboration with Chris Chafe and Stanford University's Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics. Using Ragazzi Virtual Studio this Fall, Ragazzi held a virtual rehearsal with more than 80 choristers singing together live from the comfort of home-likely the largest remote real-time choir to date.

Peninsula-based Ragazzi Boys Chorus is one of the San Francisco Bay Area's premiere music and performance organizations for boys. Last year, more than 250 boys from over 100 schools in 30+ Bay Area communities participated in the program. Ragazzi means "boys" in Italian and is the term used in opera to refer to children's voices. Ragazzi has performed with the San Francisco Opera, San Francisco Symphony, Opera San Jose, West Bay Opera, Symphony Silicon Valley, Masterworks Chorale, and the Stanford University Symphonic Chorus among others. The group has toured throughout the United States and internationally. Ragazzi was honored for its contribution to the San Francisco Symphony's triple Grammy Award-winning recording of Stravinsky's Perséphone, and has five CDs available: A Holiday Collection, Canciones de Alabanza, Magnificat: My Spirit Rejoices, Splendors of the Italian Baroque, and I Dream A World.


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