Op-Ed: How I Learn Through Music

Photo+illustration+by+Nico+Jaffer+%2723.

Photo illustration by Nico Jaffer ’23.

Nico Jaffer

With over 500 singers and a total of 13 choirs over five different locations, Boston Children’s Chorus (BCC) has been an important part of Boston for the past 17 years.

On Monday, January 20, BCC had its most influential concert of the year, the MLK concert. 

The MLK concert has been of major importance at BCC for nearly all of its existence. The concert is performed at Symphony Hall, and the repertoire that is sung at the concert pertains to the historical significance of Dr. Martin Luther King Junior.

In addition to the concert being very important due to its historical value, the longtime director of the two major choirs, Anthony Trecek-King, planned to retire from BCC after the concert, ending his 13 year career at BCC.

In my second year in this singing program, I was placed in a choir called JME, or Junior Men’s Ensemble, which is the second-highest men’s choir. The JME choir places second to the older brother version of this choir, YME, or Young Men’s Ensemble.

By using various songs and messages, BCC is able to connect with their audiences during performances on a deeper level. This is done by addressing current topics such as recent school shootings, LGBTQ+ rights, and most recently, gender equality. 

I practice with my choir for two hours every Monday from 5-7 p.m. 

However, on the weekend of the concert, I had to practice for a total of 11 hours, with 4 hours of practice on Sunday, and 4 hours of rehearsal on Monday before the concert began.

With a total of 19 songs, the concert had a run time of about 3 hours. It was performed at Symphony Hall, and over 2,300 people attended. I sang 6 out of the 19 songs, which included well-known pieces such as “Amazing Grace” and “This Little Light of Mine”.

The reason that BCC has so many singers and choirs is largely due to the fact that every singer that auditions is accepted and placed in a choir based on their voice range and musical prowess. Thus, the vast amount of singers in the organization. 

Many people only see BCC as a series of choirs that perform in various events and concerts throughout the year. In a sense, it is.

However, over the two years that I have been performing and rehearsing with BCC, I have learned that the true concept of BCC is more than meets the eye. 

By using various songs and messages, BCC is able to connect with their audiences during performances on a deeper level. This is done by addressing current topics such as recent school shootings, LGBTQ+ rights, and most recently, gender equality. 

Every other year, the highest level choirs, Premier Choir and YME, take an international trip over the summer to sing in a foreign nation. 

This past summer, my brother, who is in YME, went with his choir on a 10-day trip to Australia to sing at the Sydney Opera house. They also participated in various acts of community service.

Hopefully, I will be accepted into YME next year so I can spend a total of three years in it. This will allow me to go on two trips, one in 10th grade and one in 12th grade. If I do end up getting into YME next year, I will be able to spend a year with my brother in this choir and also go on a trip with him.

Even though I have only been in the BCC community for 2 years, I have learned a lot about different cultures throughout the world. Through our different songs and discussions, I am constantly discovering new things about different places in the world.

The next major concert that BCC has is on Saturday, April 18, when they will be performing at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.