Jane Money is doubling up on choirs this month

You might say that Dot music-lovers will be doubling their Money this month.

In coming weeks, Melville Park resident Jane Money, founder of the Boston City Singers (BCS), will be leading two free presentations at the Strand -- first in her role as founder and artistic director of the BCS and  then as choir director for the John Paul II Academy Choir as part of the Dorchester/Strand debut of the Boston Classical Orchestra.

On Sun., May 16, at 3 p.m., BCS will welcome the community for a joyful hour of “Singing All Together.” This performance will feature every member of all of the BCS’s nine sub choirs from BCS’s youngest singers to its internationally recognized Concert Chorus.  Founded in 1995 by Artistic Director Jane Money, and based at All Saints Church in Peabody Square, BCS now provides comprehensive music training to 300 young singers in Boston’s inner city and neighboring communities, “uniting children and families from all neighborhoods, ethnic, and socio-economic groups through the power of music.”

The round-the-world program for May 16 includes the traditional English folk song “Dance to your Daddie”; the African American spiritual “Walk in Jerusalem”; “A Peace Prayer” by New Zealand composer David Hamilton; and “Magic Prayer” based on an Inuit poem.

Four days later Money will be leading members of the John Paul II Academy Choir in specially arranged spirituals as part of the Fifth Annual Anne W. Hiatt Youth & Family Concert presented by the Boston Classical Orchestra (BCO). Money auditioned over 300 voices from all five of the JPII campuses and accepted about half of them to form this group, which is actually yet another subset of the BCS.

JPII Academy’s Fine Arts Director, Mary Swanton, will be guiding an amazing 150 young violinists from the various campuses in playing Pachebel’s “Canon in D” along with the BCO. The orchestra will also do excerpts from well-known symphonies by Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, and Tchaikovsky.

This educational performance starts at 9:45 a.m. on Thurs., May 20. It’s designed to introduce children (grades 3 – 8) and their families to the joy of great orchestral music.  After the concert, the audience may participate in the “petting zoo of instruments,” an opportunity to meet professional musicians as well as to experience their instruments up close.  

Money praises her fellow Dorchester residents in these various choirs for “doing amazing things and reaching high levels of achievement in music.” She believes that rehearsing as much as seven hours a week gives members “a new voice and new means of expression” as well as important life skills.

Money points to Ashmont Hill’s Emma Douglass, who joined the BCS when she was in kindergarten and is now a teen mentor for the BCS’s premier ensemble, the Concert Choir, made up of 55 boys and girls ages 12-20.

Douglass reports that “the BCS has been very, very helpful in my college application process. In addition to all the knowledge of music that I’ve acquired, BCS has taught me more about time management and leadership than I learned in school.”

Douglass looks forward to the Concert Choir’s next international trip – to South Africa in July and August of next year. She and fellow Boston City Singers will be participating in the 6th annual Walk for Music and Arts on May 23 in Back Bay/Fens. The walk raises funds to make sure all the Dot kids can afford to go on this life-changing trip.