For over 70 years, thousands of Albuquerque boys have temporarily put aside their baseball mitts, basketballs, books, kites–now video games–to channel their considerable energies into making music and magic. Following in the footsteps of the famous boy choirs of Europe and America, the Choir has provided that rare quality of sound valued through the centuries.
Chester T. French founded the Choir in 1937, making it one of the oldest arts organizations in the state. The first Director was George Geake, one of the foremost boy choir directors in the nation at that time. He trained the Choir for 16 years, until his retirement. The Choir was reorganized in 1962 under the direction of Harry Hook, who with his wife Jeane, served ably for 25 years. John Clark, Director of Choral Activities at the University of New Mexico, served as Musical Director from 1987-1992, starting the first training choir and raising the level of professionalism.
Composer Michael Mauldin served as Musical Director from 1992-1999, during which time a third choir and a rigorous musicianship program were added. During his tenure, the Choir made three compact disc recordings, took its first international tour, and was invited to participate in AmericaFest.mmauldin
Mr. Ed Torrez directed the choir from 1999-2013 and took the Choir to WorldFest, formerly AmericaFest in 2000, 2002 and 2005, as well as an international tour to Australia in 2003. Mr. Torrez also added the Young Men’s Choir Cantamos to the organization. The Albuquerque Boy Choir recorded its fourth CD “Legacy of Song” – which is still available in limited quantities.
Now in their 79th year, the Albuquerque Boy Choir has begun a new chapter while continuing to instill musical excellence and character in its members. With an updated look, including new dress uniforms a new logo,and a new website, the choir is changing with the times. Still, boys and young men in the choir continue the tradition of excellence as the organization reaches new heights and strives to uphold the values that have made ABC the premier boy choir of the Southwest United States.
Through the years, the Choir has performed with the Albuquerque Girl Choir, Albuquerque Philharmonic Orchestra, American Boy Choir, Australia Boy Choir, Chicago Children’s Choir, Colorado Springs Children’s Chorale, De Profundis, Hawaii Youth Opera Chorus, New Mexico Ballet, New Mexico Symphony Orchestra, New Mexico Symphony Chorus, Opera Southwest, Phoenix Boy Choir, Santa Fe Opera, Sangre de Cristo Chorale, Tucson Arizona Boys Chorus, NewMexichords, and Quintessence. Former Choir members now perform thoughout the nation in civic/symphony choruses, opera and light-opera groups, church and professional choirs and as instrumentalists and dancers.
The Choir has sung on TV and radio–including live, nationwide radio broadcasts in the early days of NBC radio–from the depths of Carlsbad Caverns and the cliffs overlooking the Grand Canyon. In June of 1995, they sang for (and met) President Bill Clinton during services at Foundry Methodist Church in Washington, DC. The choirs have performed in a number of cities in New Mexico and in Colorado Springs, Dallas, Denver, Hawaii, Los Angeles, Washington DC, San Antonio, San Diego, San Francisco and Seattle. The Concert Choir won “best of show” awards in two categories at the Greater Southwest Music Festival in Amarillo, Texas. The Concert Choir took its first international trip in June 1998, a 6-night tour to Bristol and London, England followed by the second international tour to Australia in June 2003.