American Boychoir to Star in Independent Feature Film “Boychoir,” with Dustin Hoffman
The world-renowned American Boychoir, based in Princeton, New Jersey, will be the feature of the movie “Boychoir,” starring Academy Award®-winner Dustin Hoffman and directed by François Girard, of the Academy Award®-winning film “The Red Violin." Girard said of the American Boychoir, “These boys’ voices soar with this rare, unearthly ability for only a few years of their young lives, then their voices transform, a gift seemingly lost,” Girard told Variety. “But what they experience in that brief time shapes them forever.” “Boychoir” also stars Academy Award®-winning actress Kathy Bates and actor Kevin McHale (Artie from "Glee"). Serving as Music Director for the film is Fernando Malvar-Ruíz, Litton-Lodal Music Director of the American Boychoir, and starring as one of the lead boys in the film is one of the American Boychoir’s own choristers, Dante Soriano. “Boychoir,” to be released in late fall 2014, demonstrates that there is brilliance in everyone if only you dare to dream.
Hoffman, Girard and McHale have all visited the American Boychoir campus to meet and work with the boy choristers and staff in preparation of the film. Shooting and principal photography begin in March in Connecticut and New York. The film is produced by Informant Media’s Judy Cairo (“Crazy Heart”) and Carol Baum (“The Good Girl”). Screenwriter Ben Ripley (“Source Code”) is from Lawrenceville, NJ, one town over from Princeton, NJ. The movie has already been sold in 35 international territories, after it was unveiled at the American Film Market last fall.
“Boychoir” tells the story of Stet, a troubled and angry 11-year-old boy from a small Texas town, who enrolls in the American Boychoir School following the death of his single mother. Finding himself lost in the boychoir tradition, the music and the structure of the school, Stet embarks on a battle of wills with a demanding choirmaster who recognizes a unique talent in this young boy and pushes this exceptional student to discover his creative heart and soul in music. Mr. Hoffman plays the role of the choir's Music Director, Ms. Bates, the Headmistress of the school.
The American Boychoir has long been recognized as one of the finest musical ensembles in the country. Under the leadership of Fernando Malvar-Ruíz, Litton-Lodal Music Director, it has dazzled audiences with its unique blend of musical sophistication, spirited presentation, and ensemble virtuosity. The Boychoir performs regularly with world-class orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic, The Philadelphia Orchestra, and the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and is often featured with such illustrious conductors as James Levine, Charles Dutoit, and Alan Gilbert. The American Boychoir is frequently invited to join internationally-renowned artists on stage, and the list of collaborators reflects the extraordinary range of the ensemble: from great classical artists such as Jessye Norman and Frederica von Stade to jazz legend Wynton Marsalis and pop icons Beyoncé and Sir Paul McCartney. The choir's young soloists are also in high demand and have joined forces with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, The Cleveland Orchestra, and Spoleto Festival USA, to name a few. As an icon of American musical excellence, the Boychoir has been invited to sing for every sitting U.S. President since John F. Kennedy. Touring frequently at home and abroad as preeminent ambassadors, the American Boychoir spreads messages of beauty and hope through outstanding musical achievement.
Boys in fourth through eighth grades, reflecting the ethnic, religious and cultural diversity of the United States, come from across the country and around the world to pursue a rigorous musical and academic curriculum at the American Boychoir School in Princeton, New Jersey. While keeping up with their academic demands, the boys balance schoolwork with an intense national and international touring schedule. In addition to the almost 100 solo concerts, the 2013-2014 season includes a 16-day tour to Korea, a performance of Britten’s War Requiem with the Boston Symphony Orchestra marking the 50th anniversary of the American premiere which the Boychoir (then the Columbus Boychoir) performed, holiday concerts in Princeton with the world-renowned Canadian Brass, a performance of Mahler’s Third Symphony with Princeton University’s own Orchestra and Glee Club, under the direction of Michael Pratt and has recently accepted the invitation to perform at a jazz festival celebrating the 70th anniversary of D-Day this May in France. The legacy of the American Boychoir is preserved through an extensive recording catalog, which boasts over 45 commercial recordings and the launch of its own label, Albemarle Records.
Financial support for the American Boychoir is made possible through income from tuition, concert audiences and governmental assistance, but like most arts organizations, half our income comes through the generosity of individuals. For more information on supporting our music please visit www.americanboychoir.org.