Joyce Keil has recently announced her intention to step down from Ragazzi at the end of the 2019-2020 academic year. At that time, Joyce will have concluded 33 years as Founder and Artistic Director.
On behalf of the Board of Directors, I can only begin to express the gratitude we all have to Joyce for what Ragazzi has meant to the thousands of choristers and their families over the three decades. As all of you within the Ragazzi community already know, Ragazzi has not just been a great place for our sons to learn singing and music; it has also been a wonderful, safe and happy environment for our boys to develop confidence, experience teamwork, and enjoy the rewards of commitment and perseverance. They learn to become independent and self-sufficient while valuing the bonds of deep friendships. Ragazzi doesn’t just develop singers; it develops poised, confident young men, and graduates them into their adult lives with a wide array of skills upon which to build their careers, families and social relationships.
Over the last three decades, Joyce has led with purpose and fortitude, with an unwavering commitment to Ragazzi’s vision and values. Ragazzi, today, is a model for boy’s choruses, recognized nationally and internationally for its leadership and excellence. Thanks to her stewardship, Joyce will leave behind a vibrant and dedicated community of choristers, teachers and families, well-positioned for future success. The Ragazzi Board is dedicated to continuing that legacy as we expand the reach and impact of Joyce’s original mission: to encourage and teach boys the manifold benefits of singing and music in their early lives.
The Ragazzi Board has been preparing for this moment for several years. With Joyce’s full blessing, we have chosen Kent Jue as her successor as Artistic Director. For the academic year 2020, Joyce will retain Director responsibilities for Choral Group and Choral Scholars. Kent will take over artistic and management duties for the remaining choruses and faculty members. This arrangement will allow Kent and Joyce to have another full year of transition to ensure continuity and the greatest probability of success in continuing Ragazzi’s legacy.
The Board also believes the most enduring way to celebrate Joyce’s impact is to establish a Joyce Baumgartner Keil Scholarship. Joyce’s wish for this scholarship is to provide financial assistance to deserving choristers with demonstrated need. We invite you to support this deserving and appropriate effort.
This is an emotional and important moment in Ragazzi’s history. Please join me in expressing our appreciation for Joyce’s profound accomplishments, and also wishing her the best in her future endeavors, which will undoubtedly continue to impact and inspire the music community.
Alan Hu, Board President