Calgary Boys’ Choir sharing stage with Boychoir at CIFF

The Calgary International Film Festival is showing Boychoir, and is inviting the Conservatory's Calgary Boys' Choir to perform. Image: CIFF
The Calgary International Film Festival is showing Boychoir, and is inviting the Conservatory’s Calgary Boys’ Choir to perform. Image: CIFF

The Calgary International Film Festival is adding a real bonus feature: a pop-up performance from the Calgary Boys’ Choir.

Calgary Boys' Choir at Carnaby Street on tour.
Calgary Boys’ Choir at Carnaby Street on tour.

Performing live at the Wednesday, Sept. 24  screening of Boychoir (starring Dustin Hoffman and Kathy Bates) audiences will enjoy a live concert from the Conservatory’s senior Calgary Boys’ Choir at Eau Claire Market and again just before the movie begins.

The added bonus of the live performance is all about bringing extras to the festival audience.

“Watching an incredible film like Boychoir would be a memorable experience on its own, but when it’s paired with the magic of the Calgary Boys’ Choir, performing live, it becomes truly unforgettable,” said Mark Hopkins, CIFF’s experiential programming co-ordinator.

“Involving the Calgary Boys’ Choir was one instance where everything came together wonderfully. With a film called Boychoir, it seemed only natural to get the boys’ choir involved,” he said.

The choir will perform twice before the 6:45 p.m. showing of the film —  first, a pop-up concert in Eau Claire Market, then a brief performance in the theatre before the film starts.

The film will help share what the Conservatory and singers already know: choirs are a rewarding and worthwhile activity for everyone.

“The Calgary Boys’ Choir is excited to be associated with this wonderful new movie about singing boys,” said Calgary Boys’ Choir artistic director Paul Grindlay. “We love to sing and share our music with others, and it’s affirming to see Hollywood choose this story to make a film.”

Boychoir is a story about an orphaned 11-year-old boy sent to the American Boychoir boarding school. Angry and acting out, the boy catches the attention of choirmaster (Dustin Hoffman) who sees the boy’s (Garrett Waering) immense talent and potential and encourages him. The film’s director, Francoise Girard, who also directed The Red Violin, tackles the theme of music as a social force in a new setting.

“Having an amazing actor like Dustin Hoffman involved will undoubtedly enhance the film’s appeal and effect,” said Grindlay. “Of course, I hope that this movie introduces the unique beauty of boys’ voices to many and increases popular awareness and interest in what we do, because we think it’s valuable and important. For those of us involved in choirs and orchestras, music provides the soundtrack to our lives. It’s a rewarding discipline that challenges us constantly, a path we travel with our closest friends which takes us abroad and brings us home again. It is a divine creation which is essentially simple and yet fascinatingly complex. It stirs and inspires, calms and comforts, helps us to define ourselves and allows us to tell our stories.”

Sherri Zickefoose, Sept. 22, 2014

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