Members of the soprano section of the Germantown Friends School Choir rehearse for their March 21 concert and upcoming Costa Rican tour.

Members of the soprano section of the Germantown Friends School Choir rehearse for their March 21 concert and upcoming Costa Rican tour.

The Germantown Friends School Choir will launch its spring concert tour to Costa Rica with a performance at Christ Church, Second and Market Streets, in Old City, Philadelphia, on Friday, March 21, at 7:30 p.m. The concert is free and open to the public.

The concert program will feature Maurice Durufle’s Requiem, newly re-scored for choir and string orchestra. It will also include Eric William Barnum’s Afternoon on a Hill, folksongs from Bosnia, Ireland, Haiti and Costa Rica, and contemporary Gospel selections.

The Germantown Friends School Choir is an ensemble of 45 students selected by audition from grades 10-12. Directed by Stephen Kushner, the choir performs frequently throughout the year, often collaborating with many of Philadelphia’s leading professional musicians. Recently, the group has performed with the Singing City Choir, with members of the Philadelphia Pops Orchestra, and with the Yale Glee Club, whose music director, Jeffrey Douma, praised them for singing “with an impressive sense of ensemble, beautiful voices and an obvious joy in what they do.” The Choir has also sung the Philadelphia premiere of “somewhere I have never travelled, gladly beyond” by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Jennifer Higdon.

The GFS Choir has a long tradition of traveling nationally and internationally, including concert tours to China, England, Scotland, France, Scandinavia, Canada, Poland, Russia, Romania, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Puerto Rico. In 2008, the Choir toured the southern United States, culminating in an extended stay in New Orleans where, in addition to their concert, the students volunteered with Habitat for Humanity, helping to rebuild homes that were destroyed in hurricane Katrina. This will be the Choir’s first tour to Costa Rica.

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