Atlanta Boy Choir

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The Atlanta Boy Choir in concert at the St. Nicholas Church in Novy Knin (Czech Republic) NovyKnin-2009-06-25-AtlantaBoyChoir.JPG
The Atlanta Boy Choir in concert at the St. Nicholas Church in Nový Knín (Czech Republic)

The Atlanta Boy Choir is a renowned choral group for boys and men in Atlanta, Georgia. The choir, as it is known today, was founded in 1959 by Maestro Fletcher Wolfe. The choir is an ambassador internationally, performing across North America and Europe in many of the most renowned concert halls and cathedrals in the world.


The choir sung for Pope John Paul II at the Vatican City five times. In 2006, the choir returned to Italy where it performed for Pope Benedict XVI in the Sistine Chapel of St. Peter's Basilica. In 1966, the choir marked its Carnegie Hall debut. In 1989, the choir won a Grammy Award for its performance and recording of Britten’s [War Requiem] with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. The choir has been featured on television, radio, and participated in solos and backups on various recordings such as The Power & The Majesty: Essential Choral Classics (1995) with conductor Robert Shaw and Classics for All Seasons (1994) with various composers/conductors. In 2009, the choir sang at Vienna's Musikverein during the International Haydn Festival commemorating the 200th anniversary of the death of Austrian composer, Joseph Haydn. In 2016, the choir was featured and sang in Marvel's Captain America: Civil War

Pope John Paul II 264th Pope of the Catholic Church, saint

Pope Saint John Paul II was head of the Catholic Church and sovereign of the Vatican City State from 1978 to 2005.

Pope Benedict XVI 265th pope of the Catholic Church

Pope Benedict XVI is a retired prelate of the Catholic Church who served as head of the Church and sovereign of the Vatican City State from 2005 until his resignation in 2013. Benedict's election as pope occurred in the 2005 papal conclave that followed the death of Pope John Paul II. Benedict chose to be known by the title "pope emeritus" upon his resignation.

Sistine Chapel Chapel in the Apostolic Palace

The Sistine Chapel is a chapel in the Apostolic Palace, the official residence of the pope, in Vatican City. Originally known as the Cappella Magna, the chapel takes its name from Pope Sixtus IV, who restored it between 1477 and 1480. Since that time, the chapel has served as a place of both religious and functionary papal activity. Today, it is the site of the papal conclave, the process by which a new pope is selected. The fame of the Sistine Chapel lies mainly in the frescos that decorate the interior, most particularly the Sistine Chapel ceiling and The Last Judgment by Michelangelo.

Other notable places where the choir has performed include St. Peter's Basilica in Rome, the White House in Washington, DC, St. Paul's Cathedral in London, Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, the Kennedy Center in Washington DC, the Great Hall of the Philharmonic in St. Petersburg, and Westminster Abbey in London.

St. Peters Basilica Italian Renaissance church in Vatican City

The Papal Basilica of St. Peter in the Vatican, or simply St. Peter's Basilica, is an Italian Renaissance church in Vatican City, the papal enclave within the city of Rome.

Rome Capital of Italy

Rome is the capital city and a special comune of Italy. Rome also serves as the capital of the Lazio region. With 2,872,800 residents in 1,285 km2 (496.1 sq mi), it is also the country's most populated comune. It is the fourth most populous city in the European Union by population within city limits. It is the centre of the Metropolitan City of Rome, which has a population of 4,355,725 residents, thus making it the most populous metropolitan city in Italy. Rome is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, within Lazio (Latium), along the shores of the Tiber. The Vatican City is an independent country inside the city boundaries of Rome, the only existing example of a country within a city: for this reason Rome has been often defined as capital of two states.

White House Official residence and workplace of the President of the United States

The White House is the official residence and workplace of the president of the United States. It is located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW in Washington, D.C. and has been the residence of every U.S. president since John Adams in 1800. The term "White House" is often used as a metonym for the president and his advisers.


In 1946, the Atlanta Boy Choir was founded as part of the music program for the Atlanta City School System in 1946. That early boy choir gave annual concerts locally and was composed of boys with unchanged voices. In 1953, another boy choir, known as the Atlanta Boy Choir was founded by George Crawford. That choir met at a local church. When Mr. Crawford relocated to Alabama, parents of the members of that early choir formed a new choir and chose Fletcher Wolfe as the founding director. That choir was legally incorporated as the Atlanta Boy Choir, Inc., in November 1959.

The Atlanta Boy Choir performed in St. Paul's Cathedral in 1969 Atlanta Boy Choir perform in St Paul's Cathedral.png
The Atlanta Boy Choir performed in St. Paul's Cathedral in 1969

Fletcher Wolfe continued to conduct the choir until the fall of 2001 when he retired and David White was hired to replace him. Maestro White continued the choir's collaborations with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and other area arts organizations and led the choir on tours of Russia and Austria. However, controversy arose between the conductor and the board of directors who felt that White was obligating the choir financially without board approval. The board agreed to raise $50,000 but only managed to raise $10,000 and was forced to take out a loan on the choirs Ponce De Leon Avenue mansion. In the summer of 2009, the board of directors dismissed Mr. White. [1] Fletcher Wolfe was then asked by the Board of Directors to return and lead the Atlanta Boy Choir once again.


In more than 50 years, the Atlanta Boy Choir established a reputation for being one of the world's finest boy choirs and was become known for its diversity of members and broad repertoire which includes choral masterworks of early composers such as Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina and Claudio Monteverdi, and the contemporary masterworks of such composers as Benjamin Britten and Krzysztof Penderecki. The choir has collaborated numerous times with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, and with conductors Robert Shaw and Yoel Levi.

Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina Italian Renaissance composer

Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina was an Italian Renaissance composer of sacred music and the best-known 16th-century representative of the Roman School of musical composition. He had a lasting influence on the development of church music, and his work is considered as the culmination of Renaissance polyphony.

Claudio Monteverdi 16th and 17th-century Italian composer

Claudio Giovanni Antonio Monteverdi was an Italian composer, string player and choirmaster. A composer of both secular and sacred music, and a pioneer in the development of opera, he is considered a crucial transitional figure between the Renaissance and the Baroque periods of music history.

Benjamin Britten English composer, conductor, and pianist

Edward Benjamin Britten, Baron Britten was an English composer, conductor and pianist. He was a central figure of 20th-century British classical music, with a range of works including opera, other vocal music, orchestral and chamber pieces. His best-known works include the opera Peter Grimes (1945), the War Requiem (1962) and the orchestral showpiece The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra (1945).

Performances and concert tours

According to the Boy Choir & Soloist Directory, the choir notably appeared before presidents, popes, foreign dignitaries, crowned heads of state, and U.S. soldiers. in 1961, the choir performed at the Palacio de Bellas Artes with the National Symphony Orchestra (Mexico) preceding the visit of newly elected U.S. President, John F. Kennedy. In 2004, the Atlanta Boy Choir toured Greece as part of the 2004 Cultural Olympiad before the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens. the choir has also visited England, Scotland, Wales, France, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Austria, Belgium, Spain, Morocco, Hungary, Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, Finland, Russia, Portugal, Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, Canada, and Mexico.

Palacio de Bellas Artes cultural centre in Musico City

The Palacio de Bellas Artes is a prominent cultural center in Mexico City. It has hosted some of the most notable events in music, dance, theatre, opera and literature and has held important exhibitions of painting, sculpture and photography. Consequently, the Palacio de Bellas Artes has been called the "Cathedral of Art in Mexico". The building is located on the western side of the historic center of Mexico City next to the Alameda Central park.

National Symphony Orchestra (Mexico) classical music and symphony orchestra

The National Symphony Orchestra is the most important symphony orchestra in Mexico. With its origins traced back as 1881, it is the second-oldest symphony orchestra in the American continent along with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. The orchestra does not have a permanent venue but performs regularly in the Grand Hall of the Palace of Fine Arts in Mexico City.

John F. Kennedy 35th president of the United States

John Fitzgerald Kennedy, often referred to by initials JFK and Jack, was an American politician who served as the 35th president of the United States from January 1961 until his assassination in November 1963. Kennedy served at the height of the Cold War, and the majority of his work as president dealt with managing relations with the Soviet Union and Cuba. A Democrat, Kennedy represented Massachusetts in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate prior to becoming president.


In 1989, the choir won a Grammy Award for its performance and recording of Britten’s [War Requiem] with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. The choir has been featured on television, radio, and participated in solos and backups on various recordings such as The Power & The Majesty: Essential Choral Classics (1995) with conductor Robert Shaw and Classics for All Seasons (1994) with various composers/conductors.

Recent years: 2009-Current

Fletcher Wolfe returned as conductor of the Atlanta Boy Choir, and the boy choir and the men's choir completed a concert tour of Italy. They performed Sunday Mass at St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican City and gave performances at the Basilica of St. Francis in Assisi and Siena Cathedral in Siena. In 2011, the choir took a tour to Alaska. In 2012, the boy choir toured to Russia where it performed at the Great Hall of the Philharmonic and the Winter Palace. During the summer of 2013, the choir took a tour of Nova Scotia in Canada. The Choir was invited to concertize in Poland and The Czech Republic in 2014. In 2016, the choir was featured and sang in Marvel's Captain America: Civil War In 2018, the choir sold their property on Ponce de Leon Ave in Atlanta and are currently relocating to new facilities.

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<i>War Requiem</i> Composition by Benjamin Britten

The War Requiem, Op. 66, is a large-scale setting of the Requiem composed by Benjamin Britten mostly in 1961 and completed in January 1962. The War Requiem was performed for the consecration of the new Coventry Cathedral, which was built after the original fourteenth-century structure was destroyed in a World War II bombing raid. The traditional Latin texts are interspersed, in telling juxtaposition, with extra-liturgical poems by Wilfred Owen, written during World War I.

Atlanta Symphony Orchestra

The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra (ASO) is an American orchestra based in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. Robert Spano has been its music director since 2001. The ASO's main concert venue is Atlanta Symphony Hall in the Woodruff Arts Center.

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Robert Shaw (conductor) American conductor

Robert Lawson Shaw was an American conductor most famous for his work with his namesake Chorale, with the Cleveland Orchestra and Chorus, and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus. He was known for drawing public attention to choral music through his wide ranging influences and mentoring of younger conductors, the high standard of his recordings, his support for racial integration in his choruses, and his support for modern music, winning many awards throughout his career.

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Cardiff Metropolitan Cathedral Church in Cardiff, Wales

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  1. Archived copy, archived from the original on 2009-08-14, retrieved 2009-08-24CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)