Like the parade, Boston City Singers concert will showcase Dot’s different cultures, talents

Chris Harding, Special to the Reporter
May. 28, 2014

Like the Dorchester Day parade at 1 p.m. next Sunday, Boston City Singers’ (BCS) upcoming 19th season finale concert will mirror the diverse cultures and talents of our community with its 6:30 p.m. concert at First Parish Church. The presentation will feature the Dot-based Concert Chorus, Training Chorus, the BCS Orchestra, and the World Rhythm Ensemble. The concert is free, but BCS gratefully accepts free-will donations.

Under the direction of founder and artistic director Jane Money and program directors Josh DeWitte and Kimani Lumsden, this performance by four sub-divisions of BCS will have audience members grooving in the aisles. The singers will showcase some of their favorite repertoires for friends, family, and community members. The World Rhythm Ensemble, celebrating its first full season as a division of BCS, promises to bring down the house under Lumsden’s lively direction and innovative style. Recent hits like the infectious “Happy” by Pharrell Williams, classics like Michael Jackson’s “Heal the World,” and favorites like Lead Belly’s “Bring Me Little Water, Silvy” are just some of the colorful songs audiences can expect from this concert.
The program also includes folk songs from Hebrew, Irish, Jamaican, and Bulgarian traditions.

Money’s musical choices for the Spring Finale reflect the growth of these young singers, highlighting a diversity of genre and language. BCS is also proud of the nine graduating seniors, several of whom have been members for 10 to 12 years. College acceptances this year include Julliard, Berklee College of Music, Bard, and Barnard.

Fairfax Street resident Kathleen Tevnan, who is headed to Berklee, reminisces: “As a 10-year member of the BCS, I have been given many amazing opportunities to grow as a person and as a musician. I’ve toured internationally to South Africa and Argentina, learning about unique genres of music and how music relates to cultures all over the world. I am extremely thankful for the many situations BCS brought my way, including my recent leading role in Benjamin Britten’s “Noyes Fludde” (Noah’s Flood) with the Trinity Choristers.”

During the 2013-2014 season the nonprofit expanded to involve more than 500 children across 16 divisions, toured to the International Choral Festival in Monte Caseros, Argentina, and hosted the award-winning New Zealand Youth Choir and Australian Girls’ Choir. BCS is currently a finalist for the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award from the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities for providing outstanding arts learning opportunities to young people.

“As we look back at our year,” reflects founder and artistic director Jane Money, “we are proud of the way the lives of our singers have been enriched, gaining maturity, self-reliance, compassion, and a deep understanding of the world.”

Money, Board President Charlie Tevnan, Managing Director Melissa Graham, and most of the Boston City Singers performers are Dorchester residents. Local rehearsal locations include All Saints/Ashmont, Mother Caroline Academy, the Mather School, First Parish Church, and Mattapan’s Ellison- Parks Early Elementary.
Founded in 1995 to provide opportunities for Boston’s inner-city youth, BCS is metro Boston’s largest youth chorus program dedicated to training and inspiring the musician, student, and ambassador in singers ages 4-18. Auditions for new singers take place throughout the year and tuition scholarships are available based on need