North Star Boys Choir earns medals at World Choir Games in Cincinnati


North Star Boys Choir members were photographed in Cincinnati in an old barbershop owned by an Italian immigrant after a local TV crew getting film for the World Choir Games spotted them in their barbershop uniforms. (Photo provided by North Star Boys Choir)


by Bruce Strand, Arts editor

The North Star Boys Choir, a first-year group from the northwest metro area, earned recognition at the World Choir Games held July 4-14 in Cincinnati.

The NSBC received a bronze medal in the Barbershop category, where the other groups were all adults, and a silver medal in the Children’s Choir category.

Numerous gold, silver and bronze medals are awarded at the WCG, based on the level the judges feel the choirs have achieved, said NSBC artistic director Francis Stockwell.

“Our boys competed against 150-member male and female choruses who have won medals and sing professionally,” noted Stockwell.  “The boys held their own  against those groups and we are proud.”

The WCG includes Championship and Open divisions, the former for choirs who have achieved past success and the latter for newer entrants.

The NSBC, which broke away from Land of Lakes Choirboys last year, was placed in Championship division, said Stockwell, because the LOLCB’s Viking Choir nabbed two medals in Austria in 2008 with Stockwell directing.

The choir left June  28 for several concerts  on the east coast before  arriving in Cincinnati.  They had a homecoming concert July 18 at Life in Christ Lutheran Church in Albertville.

In the Barbershop category, they sang “When the Saints Go Marching In,” “Harmonize the World,” “59th Street Bridge Song,” and “I Believe in Music.”

In the Children’s Category, they sang “Oh Shenandoah, Prayer of the Children,” “Duo Seraphim,” and “Ein Jäger längs dem Weiher ging” (German folksong).

North Star is “a parent-founded group that strives to preserve the European style of music while maintaining Minnesota pride,” said Katie Alfveby of Elk River, whose son is a member.

Its members are mostly from the District 728 area (Elk River, Rogers, Zimmerman) along with Maple  Grove, Coon Rapids and Plymouth. They rehearse at Immanuel United Methodist Church on the  Corcoran/Maple Grove line.

Craig “Andy” Anderson, their executive director, was founding director of the Elk River-based LOLCB. Stockwell, educated in Europe, previously worked with Vienna Boys Choir.

The group jumped at the chance to enter the WCG held in the USA this year rather than  Europe as in the past. The LOLCB did not enter.

(To hear the boys sing, log into YouTube and search for North Star Boys Choir.)


Boys in the Grand Touring Choir

Joel Alfveby, Keanan Allen, Kolton Ascheman, Evan Christianson, Johnathan Clearman, Marc Duran,  John Paul Hudson, Jarod Kafka, Connor Kortemeier, Lain Kortemeier, Liam Kortemeier, John McClay,  Joshua Mickelson, David Myres, Phillip Prokopenko, Aaron Rossow, Jonah Schmitz, Austin Scott,  Ming Sin, Yee Sin, Alec Staricka, Charlie Sylvester, Jacob Trask, Vincent VanHatten, Misha  Vorostsev, Connor Withrow