Grant of $8K awarded for Czech Republic Boys Choir

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BETHEL — The Davis Family Foundation of Yarmouth has awarded a grant of $8,000 to the Mahoosuc Arts Council as fiscal sponsor of an arts consortium including the Arts Institute of Western Maine and the Kingfield Pops to support the visit of the world renowned Bonifantes Boys Choir to western Maine from Feb. 24 to 28.

Bonifantes, an extraordinary choir of 32 boys, ages 10-18, from Pardubice, Czech Republic, will be touring the United States and Canada from Feb. 21 through March 21. They will perform in numerous cities including Montreal, Boston, Hartford, New York, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Chicago, St. Louis and Minneapolis.

While in Maine for five nights, they will give public concerts at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 25, at Telstar High School in Bethel, and at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 28, at Nordica Auditorium at UMF, and will be appearing in schools in Bethel, Farmington, Kingfield and Strong.

For this five-day regional visit in these western Maine communities, the group will be hosted by the Wilson Lake Inn in Wilton, the University of Maine in Farmington, Gould Academy in Bethel, Old South Church, the Homestead Bakery and Restaurant, Titcomb Mountain, and the Narrow Gauge Cinema. Choir members will also spend two nights with families in Farmington.

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This extraordinary opportunity for international cultural enrichment is a collaborative project of the Arts Institute of Western Maine, the Mahoosuc Arts Council, and Kingfield Pops to bring a world-class musical group to the Maine Mountain Region for an extended stay of performances, school programs, and experiencing hospitality in the communities of Farmington, Wilton, Bethel, Kingfield and Strong.

The foundation for this visit is the musical friendship between Bruce McInnes, director of the UMF-Community Chorus and the Old South Church Choir, and Jan Misek, the director of the Bonifantes Boys Choir growing out of the meeting of the Bonifantes and Bruce McInnes’ Mastersingers USA in a festival in Barcelona in 2005.

Bonifantes had a successful tour of the U.S. and Canada in 2006, and in planning a return visit this year, decided to add western Maine to their tour for an extended stay. This will be a wonderful opportunity for Farmington to welcome this group of charismatic, and highly trained young boys and give them a memorable introduction to the community warmth and spectacular natural setting of Maine.

The Arts Institute, Mahoosuc Arts Council, and Kingfield Pops wish to express their gratitude to the Davis Family Foundation for so generously supporting this collaborative community arts enrichment effort.

For more information on Bonifantes, visit www.bonifantes.cz. For information on this upcoming series, visit www.artsinstitute.org or www.mahoosucarts.org.

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