Father and son participate in international choral festival


Jonathan Scurich (right), a participant in the third International Boys and Men’s Choral Festival, enjoyed the Grand Canyon with new-found friends and David Hill, chief conductor of The BBC Singers.


Jonathan Scurich took some time off from rehearsing and performing at the third International Boys and Men’s Choral Festival to visit the Grand Canyon.



Jonathan Scurich, a sixth-grade student at Canfield Village Middle School, participated in the third International Boys and Men’s Choral Festival July 25 through Aug. 1 in Arizona.

Scurich was accompanied by his father, Tom, Hilltop Elementary School music teacher, who also participated in the festival. Boys and men’s choirs, as well as individual male singers from around the world, attended the eight-day festival, highlighted by public performances in Flagstaff and Tucson.

The majority of the festival occurred at Northern Arizona University, in Flagstaff, while the remainder of the event was at the University of Arizona in Tucson.

According to Tom, participants were required to go through an application process to be chosen to participate in the festival.

“The application process included the submission of forms containing the musical training/experience of the singers, and letters of reference from experts in the field of choral music. I believe there were six choirs, as well as several individual singers — like ourselves — totaling about 130,” said Scurich.

Festival participants attended master classes, rehearsed and performed with international conductors, including Englishman David Hill, chief conductor of The BBC Singers, musical director of The London Bach Choir, chief conductor of The Southern Sinfonia, music director of Leeds Philharmonic Society and principal guest conductor of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra.

The participants were also given an opportunity to enjoy various sports and shared activities to foster socialization and worldwide friendships. A trip to the Grand Canyon was also on the schedule.

“It was a fun and new experience, which I enjoyed. I now have friends in Canada and one in particular from Calgary, Alberta, I keep in touch with them through X-Box,” Jonathan said.

In addition to his extensive experience on stage and playing several musical instruments, Jonathan’s interests include tennis, golf, archery and shooting, and swimming.

The objective of the festival was to honor the centuries-old tradition of male singing of all ages and promote artistic opportunities that foster intercultural understanding and camaraderie.

“Such events as these are extraordinary experiences for everyone involved — participants, coaches and audiences. I, myself, continue to remain close to numerous friends throughout the world, personal relationships established through musical tours, some initiated while I was a student,” Scurich said.

The Arizona event was the third in a series of triennial festivals, with the first two taking place in Minneapolis in 2005 and in the Czech Republic in 2008.