At camp this summer, the boys learned a lot of music. We asked the older boys to write about their experience as campers and as long-time members of the chorus. Ragazzi boys have embraced the joy of learning to work hard and create great music, working as a team to bring joy, laughter and tears to our audiences. Here in their own words is what Ragazzi means to these boys.
“To me, Ragazzi is so much more than just a boychoir. It is a family of people that share an amazing talent and bond through the music and friendship we create, growing together as a loving community. When I first joined Ragazzi, my plan was to sit down, introduce myself, and calmly observe the demeanor of the boys, and decide whether I wanted to stay. That plan backfired almost instantly. I was accepted by the group in an incredibly compassionate manner, and I immediately felt secure and at home with other children who shared my deep love for music, and the Ragazzi community has taught me to preserve and respect that love forever.” —A Concert Group member
“Ragazzi has always been a sanctuary. A place where I can go to be free and pursue my love of music. Through Ragazzi, I have had many once-in-a-lifetime opportunities such as performing in South Africa and at Carnegie Hall, that will always be special to me. I have made many new friends and I can count on my peers to always be there for me. Every Monday and Wednesday when I walk into rehearsal I leave my worries at the door and always come out in a better mood than I came in with. The music that comes from a group of such dedicated boys is so amazing when every single boy puts in top effort. I can always count on my peers to put in that effort, and make the music special. Through Ragazzi, I can feel proud of my identity and know that I will always have a group and people I can rely on to be my friends and to be able to make beautiful music with. That’s why Ragazzi Boys Chorus will always have a special place in my heart.” —Jack Pine, Concert Group
“I was in fourth grade when I first joined Ragazzi. Auditioning was not my decision, in fact I wanted nothing to do with this thing that would eat up my free time and bore me. Little did I know that over the next few years, I would perform a live music movie, go to a Western Division ACDA Conference, record a CD, the list goes ON with the wonderful organization that is the Ragazzi Boys Chorus. I could not think of a better way to spend my Monday and Wednesday evenings.” —Jimmy Carlson, Concert Group
“In a choir, one would expect to find a small amount of basic choral attributes: 1) Music, 2) Kids that can sing, 3) Amazing Directors, 4) The passion. Ragazzi Boys Chorus has all of it. Every single one. Yes, we have the music and all the boys can sing. The skill of the Directors is evident when comparing the voice of a chorister before and after joining the choir. And the passion. Not one chorister doesn’t have the love, the want, and the heart to produce beautiful music as Ragazzi does. Ragazzi truly is a place where we can share our love of song. Our methods of creating music come from the motivation, efficiency and diligence of both Director and chorister. The choir as a whole can be counted on for amazing sound. I have made many close friends at Ragazzi with a love of singing. Whether on tour, in performance or even at rehearsal, we support not only the music but each other. Singing is a group effort, and everyone here is ready to contribute. I’m glad I’ve joined this talented group of young men to create the musical songs we sing.” —Wyatt Waters, Concert Group
—Joyce Keil, founder of Ragazzi