Birmingham (AL) Boys Choir Director Ken Berg, along with a hearty group of adult counselors, is providing members of the BBC a musical experience of a lifetime.
Thirty-one singers, grades 5-12, comprise the Senior Choristers of the BBC. They are currently on an eight-day tour of Costa Rica, and it is my joy to be able to “shadow” their progress by attending a couple of their concerts and sharing a bit of their free time. In the photo above, the guys had just completed a concert at a middle school, Escuela de La Fortuna, near the base of Arenal Volcano, which is shown in the background of the photo. They gathered at their hotel for a couple of group photos and, while gathered, extemporaneously sang a couple of great anthems.
Here are some of the characteristics of this group:
Highly musical and very well-trained.
Quite well-mannered and socially engaging.
Respectful, energetic, outgoing, self-aware, careful.
These are the rules of engagement of this group, and this is how the guys present themselves. Any “disciplinary issues” (and I use the term loosely, because such issues seldom if ever arise) are generally handled by the older guys in the group.
The BBC is leadership development of the first order. The younger boys admire those older, and the older guys see after their younger musical brothers.
Ken and Susan Berg are passionate about their ministry with the BBC. This is their 35th year in leadership with the 40-year-old organization. Ken speaks in terms of what the experience of singing good music does for the whole young man.
“Sometimes, the guys are not able in their adolescence to fully articulate what their experience has meant to them. For many, it’s not until they have moved beyond the BBC experience that they are able to put it into perspective with their whole lives. As they come back years later, sometimes decades later, they are able to affirm the current members by assuring them that this is something that will make a huge difference for the good in their lives. It’s a joy to give leadership to this organization.”
And it’s also a joy to hear them sing and to stand at a distance and watch them work.