The Mid-Columbia Mastersingers Boys Choir will make its debut Dec. 12 with the annual Nutcracker ballet, presented by the Mid-Columbia Ballet Company.
The choir will sing a number during the classic holiday ballet’s snow scene. The Mid-Columbia Symphony also returns to provide the live music for ballet.
Mastersingers director Justin Raffa said his choral decided to organize a boy choir in an effort to widen vocal opportunities for youth.
“Our current ensemble is open to boys in grades four through six with an unchanged treble voice,” Raffa said. “We had 24 boys sign up from all four municipalities in the Tri-Cities as well as Benton City.”
The choral group is not holding auditions but will reopen them in the future, Raffa said. More information is available at www.midcolumbiamastersingers.org.
“We are very excited about this new program and hope it will grow leaps and bounds,” Raffa said. “Down the road, we can potentially create different ensemble tiers for older boys, younger boys and perhaps girls. Our priority right now is to help fight the stereotype many boys face in school about being involved in the arts, especially singing. We wanted to start fairly young to get them hooked at an early age.”
The choir, directed by Tri-City teachers JoLyn Glenn and Kurtis McFadden, seemed an appropriate addition to the Nutcracker ballet because of its popularity with children.
The Mid-Columbia Ballet’s guest dancers in the roles of the Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier will be Carli Samuelson and Jonathan Poretta , principal dancers with the Pacific Northwest Ballet based in Seattle.
James Moore was originally going to dance as the Cavalier, but an injury sidelined him and Poretta stepped in this week to replace him.
“We had a last-minute change with our guest artists, which is the first time that’s happened,” said Joel Rogo, co-director of the ballet company.
The Nutcracker follows the story of the young German girl Clara who receives a doll from her uncle on Christmas Eve. Then, as the clock strikes midnight and Clara has fallen asleep near the Christmas tree, strange things begin to happen. Her Nutcracker comes to life and leads her to the land of the Sugar Plum Fairy. They run into the evil Mouse King and his warriors and a fierce battle ensues. But it all ends well and ends with Clara waking from her dream. Or was it a dream?
The ballet is at 7 p.m. Dec. 12-13 with a 2 p.m. matinee Dec. 13-14 in the auditorium at Richland High School. Tickets are $25 for adults and $18 for students and seniors. Kids ages 12 and younger are $13. Tickets are available at The Dance Boutique on Aaron Drive in Richland, or call to reserve tickets at 509-946-5417.