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Golden Gate Boys Choir at Swiss Echoes concert

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Golden Gate Boys Choir at Swiss Echoes concert

The Golden Gate Boys Choir, with artistic director and choir founder Steve Meyer at right, will be performing in Ripon on Saturday, Oct. 23, at St. Patrick's Church at the 5 p.m. Mass, followed by ...

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POSTED October 14, 2010 2:08 a.m.
RIPON – The Golden Gate Boys Choir, a nationally recognized and world-renowned singing group directed by Steven Meyer, will be making a special appearance in Ripon on Saturday, Oct. 23.

First, the group will sing at the 5 p.m. Mass at St. Patrick’s Church on East Highway 120. Then from the church, the singers will make the quick drive to the San Joaquin Valley Swiss Hall at East Main Street and Manley Road in Ripon where they will take the center stage as the special entertainment of the evening during the annual fall concert and dance of the SJV Swiss Echoes starting at 7:30 p.m.

Presale tickets for the combined concert, dance and dinner are $20 each with that price effective until Oct. 19. Presale tickets for the concert and dance only are $8 each; it will be $10 at the door. Doors will open at 5:30 p.m.

The Golden Gate Boys Choir artistic director and ringmaster director did not simply pick the Swiss Echoes out of a hat for this special performance in the almond capital of the world.

“His grandfather founded our Swiss Club in 1947, so that’s our connection to them,” explained Ken Hafer, a longtime member of the group.

John Meyer, the director’s grandfather, and his wife have since moved to Washington state, Hafer said. But the Meyers have not completely cut off their cultural umbilical cord from the long-running Swiss group in Ripon through their grandson. Their October 23 appearance is actually the third time they will have made the trip over the Altamont for a special appearance in Ripon, Hafer said.

“We had them in 2006,” Hafer said, with their inaugural performance for the Swiss Echoes taking place eight years before that.

Meyer has been the director of the Golden Gate Boys Choir since it was founded in 1988. According to the group’s web site, Meyer was a founder of the Boys Choir and Bellringers. In addition to directing the performance group, he also directs the internationally acclaimed Ringmasters of San Francisco Bay. He is the music director and organist at St. Vincent de Paul Catholic School and Church in San Francisco as well, said Hafer, and the director of music at All Saints School in Hayward.

The Golden Gate Boys Choir has performed at the United Nations in New York, at the White House, and at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C, and has made appearances at the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris and at the Swiss Bunderhaus in Bern, Switzerland. In December, the Boys Choir will take part in the Rome Congress of the International Catholic Boys Choir Federation called Pueri Cantores, and on Jan. 1, 2011 they will join 5,000 other boys and sing at the Papal Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica. From there, they will go on to several singing exchange concerts for a week with Italian groups in   Perugia, Assisi and Lucca.

After the Mass at St. Patrick’s and after their performance at the Swiss Echoes concert and dinner-dance, the Golden Gate Boys Choir will be selling copies of their CDs with the proceeds going to help defray expenses for these upcoming trips, Hafer said.
“That’s one of the reasons they are coming at this time. They will be selling their CDs outside of the church and at the Swiss Club,” he said.

There will be 15 to 20 boys coming to the Ripon performance, Hafer said.

The Swiss Echoes singers, who will be performing in their traditional Swiss attire, will sing songs and yodels from their homeland, Switzerland. Directing them will be Agnes Litfin Olmsted with Mary Monroe providing the piano accompaniment. Both are from Stockton. The Ed Inderbitzin Orchestra will provide the music for the dance after the concert.

The SJV Swiss Club will serve a delicious wurst (sausage) dinner prior to the concert from 6 to 7 p.m. There will be limited seating available and dinner tickets will be presold only.

For more information about the concert or where to get tickets, call any of the following: Barbara Masterson at (209) 667-1087, Karen Brink at (209) 599-5906, Heidi Betschart at (209) 531-2577, and Marie  Schallberger at (209) 369-2546.

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