Courtesy photoYoung singers are invited to Ragazzi’s SingFest! this weekend in Redwood City.

Courtesy photoYoung singers are invited to Ragazzi’s SingFest! this weekend in Redwood City.

Ragazzi Boys Choir recruits at day camp

On Saturday, the Bay Area’s most prominent boys’ choir, Ragazzi Boys Chorus, hosts a casual, free group singalong.

SingFest! is a half-day singing camp for any willing boy between ages 7 and 10 who wants to sing.

The group’s artistic director, Joyce Keil, invites youngsters of all experience levels to join in the festivities. Both children who are testing the waters and budding, gung-ho future choristers are welcome.

The day kicks off with vocal warm-ups and exercises, games and group songs in which the boys will sing with other children — a comforting experience for new performers.

SingFest! strives for inclusivity, using music that is easy for beginners. The camp provides an opportunity to not only sing, but also experience the rehearsal and performance process in an informal, no-stress setting.

“It has been my experience that young people respond passionately to powerful music,” Keil says. “For boys who join Ragazzi, musicianship and choral training provide life lessons in leadership, teamwork, excellence and perseverance, and a deep appreciation of the power and beauty of music that transcends cultural differences.”

The day culminates in a casual performance for parents at 12:45 p.m., and any students who want to audition for the choir can do so that day, either in groups or individually.

According to Keil, in previous years about 50 percent of SingFest! participants have joined the choir. Currently, its members include more than 170 singers from 86 schools in the Bay Area.

The choir, formed in 1987 and in its 27th season, has appeared in Australia, Canada, England, Japan, New Zealand and Russia. Closer to home, it has performed the National Anthem at the occasional baseball game and accompanied the San Francisco Symphony.

IF YOU GO

SingFest!

Where: St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, 178 Clinton St., Redwood City

When: 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday

Tickets: Free; pre-registration required at ragazzi.org

Contact: (650) 342-8785, www.ragazzi.orgartsClassical Music & OperaJoyce KeilRagazzi Boys Chorus

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