Kantorei — The Singing Boys of Rockford names new music director

Staff Report

Kantorei — The Singing Boys of Rockford has announced the appointment of John Patrick Rakes to the post of music director, effective at the start of the 2014-2015 season. Rakes replaces Joel Ross, who retired after 26 years as music director of Kantorei.

I am honored and thrilled to be joining Kantorei,” Rakes said. “The choir has an incredible history and sense of tradition that are matched equally by the choraliers who exhibit maturity, sensitivity, discipline and remarkable talent. I truly am excited and look forward to leading the choir.”

In his new role, Rakes will serve as the full-time music director for the senior choir and also lead various concerts on the Kantorei performance schedule, including education, community outreach and community concerts. He will also coordinate and direct “The Real Men Sing” workshops. Rakes intends to concentrate some of his efforts in the Rockford region recruiting new boys and expanding the choir.

Kantorei is recognized as one of the country’s best boys’ choirs and is celebrating its 50th year as “singing ambassadors.” Acclaimed for performances, the boys have delighted audiences in the community, the nation and around the world. The choir recently returned from a successful Caribbean summer concert tour.

It is wonderful that we were able to hire such a quality choral conductor,” said Dr. Joseph Ross, president of the Kantorei Board. “His unique combination of experience as a choral director, combined with his talent, and personality will be a delight. He is an excellent addition to the Kantorei family.”

Rakes holds a bachelor’s degree in music education from Wheaton College and a master’s in music education from Northern Illinois University, and is completing his doctorate in musical arts in choral conduction and pedagogy at the University of Iowa. His doctoral thesis is a critical edition of Missa Gratiarum in C, Antonio Caldara.

Kantorei is a nonprofit, nonsectarian organization that serves boys ages 6-18 in the northern Illinois area. Services are offered without regard to race, color, national origin, creed or socio-economic status. For more information, call (815) 963-2544 or visit www.kantorei.com.

From the July 23-29, 2014, issue

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