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Now registering for Princeton Boychoir, Princeton Girlchoir, Poco Voce Choir for 1st & 2nd Graders, and Individual Voice Lessons! Click here to see our plans to sing in-person this season.

Sing for Joy! Concert Program

There Has to Be a Song

There are too many dark nights
Too many troublesome days,
Too many wearisome miles,
There has to be a song.

There has to be a song,
To make our burdens bearable.
There has to be a song,
To make our hopes believable.

To transform our triumphs into praise,
There has to be a song.

Somewhere down deep in a forgotten corner of each man’s heart,
To release the chains of past defeat,
There has to be a song.

Like a cool, clear drink of water,
Like the gentle warmth of sunshine,
Like the tender love of a child,
There has to be a song.

Make New Friends

Make new friends, but keep the old.
One is silver, and the other is gold.

The Water is Wide

The water is wide, I cannot get o’er,
and neither have I wings to fly;
Give me a boat that can carry two,
and both shall row, my love and I.

I leaned my back up against an oak;
I thought it was a trusty tree,
but first it swayed and then it broke,
and so my false love did unto me.

Oh love is handsome and love is fine,
and love’s a jewel when it is new,
but love grows old and waxes cold,
and fades away like morning dew.

Climbin’ Up the Mountain

Climbin’ up the mountain children,
didn’t come here for to stay.
If I never more see you again,
goin’ to meet you at the judgement day!

Moses went down into Egypt land,
he told ol’ Pharoah
that the good Lord sittin’
on His heav’nly throne said,
“Let my people go” good Lord,
“Let my people go.”

Climbin’, climbin’, climbin’, climbin’

Climbin’ up the mountain children,
didn’t come here for to stay.
If I never more see you again,
goin’ to meet you at the judgement day!

Daniel in the den of lions,
he did begin to pray
and the angel of the Lord
locked the lion’s jaw.
That sure was a mighty good day,
good Lord, sure was a mighty day!

Climbin’ higher, higher, higher
Climbin’ up the mountain children,
didn’t come here for to stay
If I never more see you again,
goin’ to meet you at the judgement day!

Children in the furnace,
they did begin to pray,
and the angel of the Lord
put the fire out!
That sure was a mighty good day,
good Lord, sure was a mighty day!

Climbin’ higher, higher, higher
Climbin’ up the mountain children,
didn’t come here for to stay.
If I never more see you again,
goin’ to meet you at the judgement day!

Climbin’ up the mountain,
Climbin’ up the mountain,
will be a mighty good day!

Sing for Joy!

Sing for Joy!
Sing out in a joyful song.
Sing joy and praise for evermore.

Joy! Joy! Sing out a joyful song.
Joy! Joy! Joy! Sing for joy!
Sing out in a joyful song.
Sing joy and praise for evermore. 

I Hear America Singing

I hear America singing of its greatness.
I hear America singing strong.
I hear America singing of its beauty. 
I hear America singing today. 

Oh, walk together children. Don’t you get weary. 
Walk together children. Don’t you get weary.
Talk together children. Don’t you get weary.
There’s a great camp meeting in the Promised Land.

Sing together children. Don’t you get weary.
Shout together children. Don’t you get weary.
There’s a great camp meeting in the Promised Land.

America’s singing, America’s singing.
We’re going to sing of truth and love. 

Walk together hand in hand together in peace.
We’re going to sing and never tire.
There’s a great camp meeting and America’s singing!
Great camp meeting in the Promised Land!

How Can I Keep from Singing?

Soloists: Liam McWha, Asher Silverman, Michael Chorba

My life flows on in endless song, 
How can I keep from singing?
No storm can shake my inmost calm, 
How can I keep from singing?

What, though the tempest around me roars, 
I know the truth it liveth.
What, though the darkness around me close,
songs in the night it giveth.

I hear the real though far off hymn,
that hails a new creation.
It sounds an echo in my soul,
above earth’s lamentation. 

Oh to the rock, to the rock I’m clinging.
Oh to the rock, how can I stop singing?
Oh to the rock, I’m clinging to the rock now.
Oh to the rock, hear me singing!

My life flows on in endless song,
How can I keep from singing?
No storm can shake my inmost calm,
How can I keep from singing?

Trail of Tears

Historical Context by composer Barron Brothers

The Choctaw (my ancestors) were one of the Five Civilized Tribes who agreed to adopt European values in exchange for living peacefully with the white man. But with the Indian Removal Act of 1830, these tribes were removed from their native land in the Mississippi Valley for cotton growth, resulting in the undersupplied, uncoordinated, and morbid nightmare called the Trail of Tears. This piece seeks to commemorate that from the perspective of the Native Americans who walked the Trail of Tears. As unorthodox as this perspective is, it is necessary because of how American history overlooks and underreacts to this tragedy. The English lyrics are taken from a Choctaw sun prayer, as the sun represents hope in Choctaw mythology. This contrasts with the “Iyo-he” war chant that appears later in the piece. When you sing this piece, think about all of the contradictions that piece has – home and afar; English and Choctaw; anger, hope, and fear – and bring those out! Perhaps then we can take the first steps to truly understand the Trail of Tears.  

Text
The track of the sun across the sky leaves its shining, eternal message.
Illuminating, strengthening, warming all of us who are here.
It shows us we are not alone. We are yet alive! We shall not die!
And this fire, our fire shall not die. 

The Storm is Passing Over

Have courage my soul and let us journey on.
Though the night is dark and I am far from home.
Thanks be to God the morning light appears. 

The storm is passing over. Halleluiah.

The Impossible Dream

To dream the impossible dream,
to fight the unbeatable foe,
To bear with unbearable sorrow,
to run where the brave dare not go.

To right the unrightable wrong,
to love pure and chaste from a far,
To try when your arms are too weary,
to reach the unreachable star!

This is my quest to follow that star,
no matter how hopeless, no matter how far,
to fight for the right without question or pause,
to be willing to march into hell for a heavenly cause. 

And I know if I’ll only be true to this glorious quest
that my heart will lie peaceful and calm
when I’m laid to my rest. 

And the world will be better for this;
that one man, scorned and covered with scars,
still strove with his last ounce of courage
to reach the unreachable stars!

Connected

I am you are me. That’s what I said,
I am you are me. Don’t you see? 

It seems like I’m over here and you’re over there
but there is something between us that’s greater than air.
See through the confusion, it not hard to do,
it’s just an illusion this me and you. 
I am you, you are me.
It’s a fact subatomic’ly

I am a part of you, you are a part of me
and so together, we are one body.
I am inside your head, you are inside my heart.
We fit together perfect from the start!

Seize the Day!

Open the gates and seize the day.
Don’t be afraid and don’t delay.
Nothing can break us.
No one can make us give our rights away.
Arise and seize the day. 

Now is the time to seize the day.
Send out the call and join the fray.
Wrong’s will be righted if we’re united.
Let us seize the day. 

Friend of the friendless seize the day.
Raise up the torch and light the way.
Proud and defiant we’ll slay the giant.
Let us seize the day. 

Neighbor to neighbor, father to son.
One for all and all for one. 

Open the gates and seize the day.
Don’t be afraid and don’t delay.
Nothing can break us.
No one can make us give our rights away.     

Neighbor to neighbor father to son.
One for all and all for one. 

Princeton Boychoir develops boys into confident young men of character, through inspired training in singing, music education, and leadership, who share their musical excellence within the community and beyond.

Launched in Fall 2017, PBC has become the premier extracurricular vocal program for boys in the region. PBC is composed of boys from third through twelfth grade, who are placed by audition in one of our three ensembles: Apprentice Choir, Treble Choir, and the Young Men’s Ensemble. Singers are placed by ability, matching each boy with the choir that best suits his vocal, artistic, and musicianship level. In addition to striving for musical excellence, choristers in Princeton Boychoir grow in maturity, self-discipline, focus, and leadership.

Although the Boychoir grew from its sister organization, Princeton Girlchoir, and the two choirs share many traits, there is a unique spirit when “boys’ night” starts every Thursday. Led by Fred Meads, former Director of Vocal Studies at the American Boychoir School and nine-year veteran with Princeton Girlchoir, each chorister in Princeton Boychoir strives to be an outstanding musician while developing a sense of poise and self-confidence through education and performance, challenging him to tap into the best part of who he is and what he can accomplish.

Now in its fifth anniversary season, the boychoir has already performed numerous concerts in the Princeton area and beyond. They have sung at the Baltimore Boychoir Festival, International Boy’s and Men’s Choral Festival in Arizona and will travel to Europe in 2022. Princeton Boychoir is part of Westrick Music Academy, home to choirs, music classes and summer camps for musicians from kindergarten through High School.

Lynnel Joy Jenkins is Artistic Director of Westrick Music Academy and Choral Teacher at Timberlane Middle School of the Hopewell Valley Regional School District. At Westrick Music Academy, Dr. Jenkins conducts advanced groups, Princeton Girlchoir Ensemble and Concert Choir. She is a choral educator of international stature, having lectured and conducted choral festivals or music programs in Switzerland, China, Hong Kong, Iceland, and South Africa. Nationally, she has conducted honor choruses for one national, four regional, and several state conferences for American Choral Directors Association, two national conferences for OAKE, and numerous All-State choruses. Jenkins has earned degrees from Westminster Choir College (B.M.), Temple University (M.M.), and University of Arizona (D.M.A.), and at the first two institutions was awarded the Elaine Brown Conducting Award.

Fred Meads (PBC Music Director, WMA Education Director, Treble Choir and Young Men’s Ensemble) has been director of choirs in public and private schools, churches and at the collegiate level for the past twenty-five years. He currently serves as Director of Children and Youth Choirs at Marble Collegiate Church in New York City. Most recently he was Director of Vocal Studies at the American Boychoir School and served as Artistic Director of the Fort Wayne Children’s Choir in Fort Wayne, IN before moving to New Jersey. He has conducted honor and all-state choirs in Wyoming, Georgia, Indiana, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Virginia, Nebraska, Ohio and Oklahoma. In 2017 and 2011, he conducted the OAKE National Children’s Honor Choirs. In 2014, he served as guest conductor for the Northwest ACDA Children’s Honor Choir.

Internationally, he traveled to Hong Kong to present choral workshops for music educators. Fred has presented workshops for IMEA, ACDA, OAKE and Westminster Choir College. Each summer he teaches in the Kodaly program at Westminster Choir College. Fred received his Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education from Ithaca College, NY and the Master of Music degree in Choral Conducting from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He completed his Kodály training at Capital University in Columbus, OH.

François Suhr (Associate Director, Apprentice Choir) is the choral and general music teacher at Monmouth Junction and Constable Elementary Schools of the South Brunswick School District. During the summer, he acts as the professor of musicianship classes for the Kodály certification and Masters degree program at the American Kodály Institute at Loyola University Maryland. It is from this institution that François earned his Kodály certification and Master of Education in Kodály Music Education. He also holds a Bachelor’s of Music in Music Education from Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University

In addition to teaching, François works as a pianist and music director for many different community theatres throughout the state of New Jersey most recently completing projects at the Villager’s Theatre, Kelsey Theatre and with Phoenix Productions.

Tyler Weakland (Assistant to the PBC Music Director) Praised for his verve and adroit collaborative piano playing by the Charleston City Paper, Tyler Weakland is a vocal coach, conductor, composer, and pianist. He accompanies voice students at Mannes School of Music of the New School in New York City. He received his Bachelor of Music degree in Sacred Music with concentrations in piano and voice from Westminster Choir College, where he studied with Steve Pilkington, J.J. Penna, Ingrid Clarfield, and Kathy Price. An experienced choral accompanist, Mr. Weakland has worked extensively with the choirs of Westminster Choir College, performing at Carnegie Hall, David Geffen Hall at Lincoln Center, and the Kimmel Center. He’s worked closely with James Jordan, Joe Miller, Amanda Quist, Charles Bruffy, Weston Noble, Dalton Baldwin, Benita Valente, Sharon Sweet, and Laquita Mitchell. Recent conducting and orchestrating credits include a Disney TV pilot for Hulu, and his compositions and arrangements have been heard across the country, specifically his new art songs. Mr. Weakland has conducted choirs in Vienna, and Oxford as part of the Choral Music Institute where he studied the boychoir tradition in churches of the United Kingdom. While a member of the renowned Westminster Choir, Mr. Weakland enjoyed several residencies at the Spoleto Festival USA and was a member of the Spoleto Festival Orchestra. In addition to working with the Princeton Boychoir, he currently serves as the Handbell and Children’s Choir Director at Christ Church United Methodist on 60th and Park Avenue in NYC.

Princeton Boychoir and Westrick Music Academy wishes to thank the following individuals and organizations for making today’s concert possible:

  • New Jersey State Council on the Arts
  • Discover Jersey Arts
  • Princeton Area Community Foundation
  • Adath Israel Congregation: Rabbi Benjamin Adler, Hazzan Arthur Katlin, Amanda Arena
  • Robert Bullington, Front Row Seat Productions, LLC
Board of Directors

Michael Wasden, President
Archana Pradhan, MD, MPH, President-Elect
Mark J. Badros, Treasurer
Daniela M. Phayme, Secretary
Tasneem Hajara
Xiaobing Li
Frederick A. Pettit, Esq.
Eeraj J. Qaisar
Laura Fenster Rothschild, PsyD
Raegan M. Ruiz
Carolyn Sauer
Joan A. Valcin
Jason Vodicka, DMA
Lynnel Joy Jenkins, DMA, Ex Officio
Hilary K. Butler, Ex Officio

Advisory Board

S. Tina Biswas
Carol Burden
Jordan M. Corn
Patricia Cornet
Barbara Burke DiCostanzo
James M. Jordan
Peter F. Kelly, Esq., Legal Advisor
Beth Nichols
Janet H. Perkins
Alice Teti
Jan A. Westrick

Princeton Boychoir Staff

Lynnel Joy Jenkins, DMA, Artistic Director
Hilary K. Butler, Executive Director
Fred Meads, Music & Education Director
François Suhr, Associate Director
Tyler Weakland, Assistant to the PBC Music Director
Rachel DiBlasio, Operations Manager
Blanca Gonzalez, Office Manager
Leigh Huber, Conducting Fellow
Akash Bhowmick, Apprentice Choir Intern
Peter Eaton, Apprentice Choir Intern
Connor Bowden, Treble Choir Intern
Yiming Huang, Treble Choir Intern

Please consider making a tax-deductible gift to help keep Princeton Boychoir singing.

Click here to learn more or make a donation today!

JOIN US THIS FALL!

Now registering for Princeton Boychoir, Princeton Girlchoir, Poco Voce Choir for 1st & 2nd Graders, and Individual Voice Lessons! Click here to see our plans to sing in-person this season.

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