“We rose to applaud this spectacular performance of a truly timeless masterpiece”
South Coast Today
12 February 2013
(Haydn The Creation)


Real men sing!
The Providence Singers Young Men’s Choral Festival

When did men stop singing in barbershops?

Ask almost any chorus director: “What’s your biggest recruitment challenge?” The almost automatic answer: “Finding enough men who sing, especially tenors.”

That should not be. Choral singing is a wonderfully accessible medium for amateur voices. Plug in at any level; a world of discovery and enrichment opens almost immediately.

Every year since the 2008-09 season, the Providence Singers has organized a day-long choral festival for young men. Led by outstanding choral clinicians — Harvard’s director of choral activities, a Grammy Award-winning conductor — and mentors from college choruses, the group learns good vocal technique, works its way through well-chosen music, and presents a concert at day’s end. There’s plenty of camaraderie, T-shirts, extra-large pizzas, and plain old fun along the way. Choral educators from middle schools and high schools are welcome to join us for professional development opportunities.

The Providence Singers joins with Rhode Island College to present the annual Young Men’s Choral Festival, with mentors and volunteers from Bishop Hendricken High School and Warwick Veterans Memorial High School.

YMCF for 2016

Reed SpencerReed Spencer is the 2016 YMCF clinician. Spencer conducts the Young Men’s Chorus of the Boston Children’s Chorus and has a lot of experience working with high school singers. He’s also a lyric baritone who has performed in productions of Mozart (Count Almaviva in The Marriage of Figaro, Papageno in The Magic Flute) as well as Gilbert and Sullivan (Major General Stanley in Pirates of Penzance). He’s also a doctoral candidate in conducting at Boston University.

The festival ends — how else? — with a 7 p.m. concert, free and open to the public. The Rhode Island College Men’s Chorus will perform, and YMCF participants will present the results of their day’s work:

  • Cindy — A setting of the American folk song “Git along home, Cindy, Cindy” by Alice Parker (Listen)
  • Loch Lomond — Jonathan Quick’s arrangement of the Scottish folk song “O ye’ll take the high road and I’ll take the low road” (Listen)
  • Kpanlongo — A west African dance song set by Derek Bermel, with percussion and movement (Listen)
  • The Drummer and the Cook — A sea shanty arranged by Robert Shaw. Very quick and very clever. (Listen)

How to join us for the day

  • The date and time to put on your calendar: Friday, January 29, 2016, from 1 to 8 p.m.
  • The location: Rhode Island College, Nazarian Center for the Arts/Sapinsley Hall (directions)
  • How to register for the YMCF: Download the flyer/registration form, fill it out, and send it in. We can also handle walk-ons on a space-available basis on January 29, but it’s better (and cheaper) to register in advance.
  • You have questions? Call Collette Royer in the Providence Singers office at 401-751-5700.