Singing angels: Georgia Boy Choir hosts its Spring Soirée Fundraiser


On March 23, approximately 85 young boys will take the stage at Mason Fine Art to sing before a crowd of Georgia Boy Choir benefactors and supporters.

It’s the choir’s Spring Soirée Fundraiser, and David White, Artistic Director and Conductor for the Georgia Boy Choir, said the fundraiser is crucial to the health of the nonprofit choir.

“(The Spring Soirée Fundraiser) will really help us secure the future of the choir and help us fulfill our mission of providing ordinary boys with extraordinary opportunity,” White said.

The choir, established in 2009, is based out of Atlanta and is supposed to not only help develop young boys’ singing chops but also build positive character.

“We recognize that we have these young boys at what is truly the most impressionable time of their lives,” White said. “In addition to teaching them music, we have a strong emphasis on personal development and character development.”

On Thursday night at 7 p.m., the boys won’t be the only people in the limelight. For the second year, an adult member tied to the choir will be brought on stage to receive an award and recognition.

“A couple of years ago, it occurred to us that (we should) develop an award (to) give out to an adult member of the community who embodies all of these characters we strive to inculcate in our members — someone who is a paragon of character, leadership and excellence,” White said.

And just like that, the award found its name: the paragon award. This year, it’ll be awarded to DeKalb businessman Tom Stokes, the parent of a former boy choir member and an active supporter.

“I’ve known Tom now for several years, and he is just really the embodiment, I think, of humble leadership,” White said. “Everything he does, he does with extreme excellence, grace and good humor.”

Epitomizing White’s description of him, Stokes said he was grateful to receive the award, but he seemed to humbly shy away from putting the focus on himself.

“I know that it’s given with a lot of heartfelt appreciation, and I’m very appreciative,” Stokes said, “but honestly, I don’t really like the attention and the fuss (laughs).”

Stokes says he and his son, Thomas, were involved in the choir roughly six years ago when they were given a brochure for the choir by a church member at Chamblee First United Methodist Church where they attended.

After attending a seminar speech given by White, it seems the Stokes family found the extracurricular activity for their son that they were searching for.

“Mr. White gave a little talk and talked about what the choir was about,” Stokes said. “My wife was just mesmerized by it, and we left there … and I remember on the car ride home (she) was going on and on about (how) this is perfect and exactly what we need for our son.”

After a quick audition, Thomas was a member of the choir. White said that while the audition process may seem intimidating or harsh to some, it’s really not that demanding or tough. He added that most young boys who audition make the choir.

“The audition process is actually fairly simple,” White said. “We ask a boy to sing a song for us, but it doesn’t have to be a complicated song. Many boys sing ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star’ or even ‘Happy Birthday’ — just something so we can hear what his voice sounds like.”

The Spring Soirée Fundraiser isn’t the only big event the choir does all year. One of the year’s highlights includes an annual summer trip out of the country. This year’s trip will be a 16-day journey to Scotland and Ireland. (White added that many of the boys look forward to searching for the Loche Ness monster while in Scotland.)

Stokes chaperoned many of these trips while his son was involved in the choir, but one trip specifically stood out to him.

“The Scandinavia trip was extra special since my wife is a native of Helsinki, Finland,” Stokes said. “My son’s grandmother was able to attend several of the concerts … so that was extra meaningful.”

White said that trips like this aren’t possible without the Spring Soirée Fundraiser, and community support is vital for the choir’s success and growth. Tickets to the event cost $100, and it includes hors d’oeuvres, drinks and a silent auction.

White, whose boy choir career spans over two decades, said that the raw talent on display from the boys continually surprises him.

“What amazes me is with proper focus, training and encouragement, they can become great artists who are capable of phenomenal achievements, both personally and vocally, while (not losing) that boyhood innocence and joy of life.”

EVENT PREVIEW

Spring Soirée Fundraiser

March 23. 7 p.m. $100. Mason Fine Art, 415 Plasters Ave. Atlanta. 404-402-4083, www.GeorgiaBoyChoir.org



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Living

Sisters Shelby Lynne and Allison Moorer mark a musical milestone
Sisters Shelby Lynne and Allison Moorer mark a musical milestone

“Not Dark Yet” (Thirty Tigers/Silver Cross Records), the first duo album from sisters Shelby Lynne and Allison Moorer, is a powerful musical milestone in the long and winding careers of the Alabama-raised and Nashville-tested singer-songwriters. Produced by kindred spirit Teddy Thompson, the singer-songwriter son of seminal British folk-rock...
Georgia Women of Achievement seeks nominations
Georgia Women of Achievement seeks nominations

Georgia Women of Achievement board of selection is seeking nominations for next year’s induction into its hall of fame. Founded in 1992, the organization honors women who have contributed to Georgia’s history. To be nominated, a woman must be clearly identified with Georgia and have made exceptional or enduring contributions in her field...
5 ways to stop killing your back with bad posture at work
5 ways to stop killing your back with bad posture at work

"Sit up straight!" may sound like nagging straight out of the 1950s, but it's spot on advice for the 21st century workplace. Constant shifting around to get comfortable at your work computer, and hunched over a smart phone at home, wreaks havoc on your back, neck and shoulders. Regular computer users perform 50,000 to 200,000 keystrokes each...
Famous Norman Rockwell study drawing of umpires fetches $1.68M at auction
Famous Norman Rockwell study drawing of umpires fetches $1.68M at auction

An original study drawing of a famous illustration by Norman Rockwell sold for $1.68 million Sunday night in Heritage Auctions’ Platinum Night Sports auction. The 1948 study, or preliminary work, for “Tough Call,” which was used as the April 23, 1949, cover of The Saturday Evening Post, belonged to the family of John “Beans&rdquo...
More HGTV ‘Flip or Flop Atlanta’ coming your way
More HGTV ‘Flip or Flop Atlanta’ coming your way

Ken and Anita Corsini named their company after the red barn their first offices were in. CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com This was posted on Monday, August 21, 2017 by RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog HGTV has rewarded “Flip or Flop Atlanta” a quick second season renewal. Why? The first five episodes...
More Stories