Five boys and men’s choirs, including two from Tucson, are descending on Arizona for the eight-day International Boys and Men’s Choral Festival.
It’s the fourth event organized by the Tucson-based International Boys and Men’s Choral Festival in coordination with the American Choral Directors Association. Julian Ackerley, who runs the Tucson Arizona Boys Chorus, heads up the festival, which replaced the now-defunct Alliance For Arts and Understanding’s AmericaFest and World Festival of Singing for Boys and Men.
“The whole purpose of this is to bring boys and men singers together from around the world,” Ackerley said, noting that participants in past years came from as far away as Estonia, England and Canada.
This year’s participants include a boys chorus from Hong Kong and choirs from Ann Arbor, Michigan, and Princeton, New Jersey. Ackerley’s boys chorus and his Tucson Arizona Young Men’s Ensemble, comprised of high school and college-age singers, rounds out the lineup of about 80 vocalists.
And all of them will share the Crowder Hall stage on Sunday, July 14, for one of two concerts being held during the festival. The other one is on the Northern Arizona University campus in Flagstaff, which is where most of the festival events will be held.
Ackerley organized the first International Boys and Men’s Choral Festival in Arizona in 2011. Events also were held in 2014 and 2017. The 10th-anniversary festival will be in 2021, he said.
In addition to the concerts, the festival includes day trips to the Grand Canyon, Sedona, Tucson’s Desert Museum and the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix.