International Tours & Festivals
Every two to three summers, the Concert Chorus and Graduate Chorale tour internationally in the capacity to which they have been named by San Francisco mayors since the 1960s as “Singing Ambassadors to the World.” Tours often last several weeks.
The SFBC’s Artistic Director and Board of Directors decide when and where the Chorus will tour. Tours cultivate national and international exposure for the San Francisco Boys Chorus, hone choristers’ performance skills, and expose singers and staff to a world rich in diverse cultures, languages, people, and places.
SFBC rehearses in Glinka Capella, St Petersburg, Russia
Generally on alternate summers to the International Tour, the Intermediate Chorus travel domestically – often as part of a festival or choral workshop with peer organizations. Domestic tours offer a cultural exchange between youngsters from across the U.S. domestic tours help Intermediates prepare for the rigors of an international tour.
Brief Touring History
The Chorus’s talent has also been internationally acclaimed during its many national and international tours. In 1975 the Chorus made its premier appearance in Romania and has since performed in Alaska, Australia, Israel, England, Scotland, Wales, Russia and the Far East.
The year 1998 marked the SFBC’s fiftieth anniversary and featured celebrations which included the Chorus’s debut concert at New York’s Carnegie Hall and a summer concert tour to England in which it performed at the Chichester Cathedral Festival, St. George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle, the Henley Arts Festival and the City of Birmingham Choral Festival.
In the summer of 2000, the Chorus took a forty-member contingent on its “European Tour 2000,” visiting and performing athigh profile venues, including St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice, Seckau Monastery in Austria, Matthias Cathedral in Budapest, Vienna’s St. Augustiner Kirche and St. Nicolas Church in Prague.
The year 2002 saw the Chorus touring again in Europe with performances in the Vatican in St. Peter's Basilica, Rome and in France in Notre Dame Cathedral and the Church of La Madeleine in Paris and in Chartres Cathedral.
A hugely succesful tour to Asia in 2005 featured performances in St. John's Cathedral, Hong Kong, Shanghai Concert Hallin China and two concerts in Tokyo, Japan. The Chorus was featured in the Aichi Exposition Choral Festival in Nagoya, Japan.
The 2008 tour to France featured performances in historic churches in the South of France as well as in Marseille Cathedral and Monaco Cathedral.
The SFBC was the featured chorus at the historic Presidential Inauguration in Washington DC in January 2009. The most recent Concert Chorus tour to Copenhagen, St. Petersburg and Helsinki featured performances in Catherine the Great Theatre at the Hermitage Museum, and a performance to an audience of 1,000 at the Glinka Capella, while the Intermediate Chorus travelled to Vancouver to sing in the Coastal Sound International Choral Festival.
A successful tour to Costa Rica took place in 2013 while 2015 saw a very exciting concert tour to Sydney and Canberra in Australia.