by Janice Limbaugh
For the first time in its 40 year history, WKTV will televise the Grand Rapids Choir of Men and Boys Lessons and Carols for Christmas concert on Saturday, December 21 at 7 p.m. The performance was pre-recorded at St. Andrew’s Cathedral in Grand Rapids on Friday, December 13.
“We are so proud to present this esteemed choir’s performance in our holiday programming,” says Tom Norton, general manager of the station and director of the recording. “It’s the first year we’ve gone into the cathedral and set up four cameras to capture their performance live. The caliber of their singing is simply renowned, so we’re very excited to be able to share this with our viewers.”
The station relied on a team of volunteers to set up lights, run cables from the live truck, and operate cameras, including an 18 foot camera jib operated by Rich Parker. “I love this work,” says Parker. “I’m glad to be getting this experience but this is my first time running the jib and I am just a little nervous. But it will be a beautiful production.”
The Grand Rapids Choir of Men and Boys (GRCMB) is comprised of 60 members, ages seven to 81. According to the choir’s director, Scott Bosscher, 11 of the boys sing with their fathers in choir. One boy signs with his father and grandfather. “Over the years, it’s become a generational thing. It’s quite wonderful,” says Bosscher who has been directing the choir 15 out of its 24 years of existence.
“We’re thrilled WKTV is doing this for us,” adds Bosscher. “We’ve never had a televised special of this magnitude before.”
The choir performs English Cathedral music and considers to be a gift to the community and to the choristers who sing it. The philosophy of the GRCMB is for the truth of the music to be drawn into the depth’s of one’s being as opposed to singing as an expression of what is within the individual. The core mission of the choir is to “learn the way of melody, harmony and rhythm” to allow “grace and beauty to draw the fragmented soul into God’s presence.”
Janet VanDusen of Byron Center says her 6th grade son Ryan “just loves it.” He’s been signing with the group for three years now.
“Even after two hours of practice he continues to sing around the house. It’s amazing,” she says. “He likes sports and has other interests, but this speaks to God’s magnificence.”