Based in Oakland, the Pacific Boychoir Academy was founded in 1998 and today comprises about 120 boys and young men in five choirs, aged 5-18. In its short history, the Pacific Boychoir has become known as one of the top boys choirs in the world, known for its rich sound, musicianship, phrasing, and talented soloists. The Los Angeles Times described the Pacific Boychoir quality of sound and musicianship as “astonishing.”
With the addition of a day school in 2004, the PBA has become the only choir school on America’s West Coast. The choir school integrates a full academic curriculum with daily musical instruction for boys in grades 4-8. The choir school students learn sightreading, music theory and repertoire, as well as Math, English, History, Science, Art, PE, and Languages. The choir school has one of the lowest student:teacher ratios for independent schools in the Bay Area, and is a member of the East Bay Independent Schools Association (EBISA).
The PBA has appeared frequently with the San Francisco Symphony, performing under the direction of Michael Tilson Thomas, Kurt Masur, Robert Spano, David Robertson, James Conlon, Charles Dutoit, Herbert Blomstedt, and Vance George, performing Britten’s War Requiem, Orff’s Carmina Burana, Wagner’s Kinderkatechismus zu Kosels Geburtstag, Mahler’s Eighth Symphony, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Britten’s Spring Symphony, and Berlioz’s Damnation of Faust. The PBA recorded Mahler’s Third Symphony with the SFS, awarded the Grammy for Best Classical Album in February 2004.
The PBA has sung with the Berkeley Symphony, the UC Davis Orchestra, the American Bach Soloists, the Youth Orchestra of the Americas, the National Symphony Orchestra of Brasil, the Moscow Chamber Orchestra, the University of Michigan Men’s Glee Club, the Harvard Men’s Glee Club, the Vienna Boys Choir, the Boni Pueri Czech Boys Choir, Demnark’s Herning Boys Choir, the UC Berkeley Chamber Chorus, the American Boychoir, the San Francisco Girls Chorus, the Marin Children’s Chorus, and the Pacific Collegium.
The Pacific Boychoir has performed at Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco, Dorothy Chandler Pavillion in Los Angeles, the War Memorial Opera House in San Francisco, St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City, Basilica San Marco in Venice, Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, St. Sulpice Church in Paris Teatro Polyteama in Jundiai Brasil, Dvorak Hall in Prague, Jackson Hall at the Mondavi Center in California, Chatres Cathedral, Sala São Paulo, Teatro Municipal in Rio de Janiero, Zellerbach Halll in Berkeley, on Public Radio International (PRI), on Danish National Radio, at Grace Cathedral, at professional sporting events, and also has several self-produced concerts annually. In 2007, the Boychoir presented the first performances of Rachmaninoff’s Vespers by an American boys choir (originally written for a boys choir).
The Pacific Boychoir has toured throughout the USA and to Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Austria, Italy, the Czech Republic, France, Canada, Brasil, and Denmark. The Boychoir’s recordings include Cantate, a recording of Early Music written for boys’ voices, a recording of Christmas music by Benjamin Britten, a recording of two of Bach’s “Lutheran” Masses, and That Promised Land, a collection of American spirituals and gospel songs.