French boys choir comes to Columbia

Wednesday, July 9, 2008 | 4:36 p.m. CDT; updated 5:22 a.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 22, 2008

COLUMBIA — The French Boys Choir, also known as Maitrise des Hauts de France, has been touring the United States every year since 1990. They’ve performed at the White House and at St. Peter’s basilica in Rome. They will make their debut performance in Columbia when they perform a free concert at 7:30 p.m. Friday in Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 1115 Locust St.

The choir consists of about 20 boys from the ages of 9 to 14 and also includes 6 young men. The young men come from schools, universities and colleges in and near Lille, a city in northern France.

If you go

What: French Boys Choir When: Friday, July 11, 7:30 p.m. Where: Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 1115 Locust Street Admission: Free and open to the public

Sacred Heart member Christiane Quinn said they choose the city they want to visit and send letters to the different parishes to make arrangements.

“We received an inquiry from them about nine months ago,” said Ellyn Forbes, the director of liturgy at the church. “I went to one of the commissions in our church to see if this was something we wanted to do. We went ahead from there.”

The choir will arrive in Columbia about 3 p.m. Friday. Forbes said the boys will all stay with host families who are members of the church. Quinn said their stay in the city will be brief.

Because the concert is free, Quinn said the boys will sell programs and CDs to help cover their traveling expenses.

For more information about the choir and to listen to excerpts from their two CDs, visit

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