Friday, April 4, 2014

Student Feature Friday: Boston Children's Chorus Member Ateha Bailly

All across the country runners are in the process of training and conditioning in preparation for the 118th running of the Boston Marathon. For all of us in the Commonwealth, the marathon is a treasured event; however, this year the marathon will not only represent the tireless will of the runners and competitors, but also the strength, resilience, and unity of our community. The past 354 days have demonstrated what it means to be "Boston Strong".

In this Friday's post I'm proud to share the talents and accomplishments of a young man who contributed to the healing of our communities and whose great vocal talents are a source of pride for our school. Ateha Bailly is a junior at Nipmuc and a member of the Boston Children's Chorus. One year ago when the nation turned its eyes and hearts to President Obama and our local leaders at a memorial service to commemorate the marathon tragedy, Ateha was part of the chorus that performed at the event. In just a few weeks he will once again be part of the chorus when it performs at a ceremony to mark the one year anniversary of the tragedy.

In pursuing his love of music Ateha has traveled to different countries, experienced a variety of cultures, developed his vocal abilities, and entertained audiences from the stage at Nipmuc to the world stage.

I had the chance to ask Ateha a few questions about his experience with the Boston Children's Chorus and his interest in music.

When did you get involved with the Boston Children's Chorus?
I began singing when I joined the Boston Children's Chorus in 2007.

Tell me about the experience of singing with the chorus.
Singing in the Boston Children's Chorus has given me experiences far beyond music.  These experiences exposed me to all types of art, including dance, theatre, and acting.  By performing with professional dancers and actors, I have had the chance to be taught and coached by experts in the arts as well as celebrities.  The chorus has even provided speaking coaches to help singers with public speaking and solos for performances at corporate events. While moving through various levels of the chorus, I have met young people that I would not typically have met from different parts of Greater Boston, Massachusetts, the country, and even the world. 

How often do you rehearse with the group? 
I rehearse with the group twice a week, every Wednesday and Thursday in Boston from 5-7pm (with additional rehearsals as needed for special performances).

What are some of your most memorable experiences from being part of the Boston Children's Chorus?
My most memorable experiences of the Boston Children's Chorus are participating in two international tours. I had the opportunity to go to the United Kingdom (Scotland and England) in 2011 and Vietnam and Cambodia in 2013.  During each tour, I stayed in the homes of local families and learned about the culture of the area.

Can you tell me about the event that you will be singing at to commemorate the marathon?
On April 15th, I will sing at the one-year commemoration of the Boston Marathon bombings.  Last year I sang with the Chorus at the interfaith memorial service held at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Boston.  This year, the memorial service and Chorus performance will be held at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston at noon. 
Do you have plans to continue with music after high school?

Yes, I hope to continue with music well beyond my high school years.

Congratulations Ateha on your amazing experiences and talent. 

Included below is a video clip of the emotional performance from the Boston Children's Chorus at the interfaith memorial service from last April. Ateha can be clearly seen at 1:14 on the upper left of the chorus. 
(Please note that the video may not display on mobile devices or in emails. Please click the title of the blog post to view the video.)

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