Some Personal Thoughts from William R. Adams, Founder and Artistic Director
“Of course I like boys … it’s just the individual ones that get to me!” Reportedly so said Mark Twain about one of our nation’s greatest assets – our boys! We take a more proactive approach in our thinking, “making a difference … one boy at a time.” For you see, this organization from its very beginning has been about, because of and for each individual boy … as a unique, gifted child first, then as a collective chorister in our choirs. It has been my privilege over the years to watch each one of our singers grow from a small, unsure choirboy into a confident, mature young man. And no matter what chosen field they end up pursuing … that assurance and confidence never leaves them.
Today, we live in a world dominated by technology – cell phones, digital cameras, palm pilots and the internet – all purportedly provide us with great advantages. Yet, despite the technology enveloping us, I’m reminded and comforted that singing in our choir hasn’t changed much over the years. Week after week, boys come together where there is order and safety. They are at liberty to use their God-given talents and abilities to collectively create music of great substance, worth and beauty, despite the frenzied, chaotic pace of the world outside. They’re not afraid to express their emotions through singing.
Many things have changed since 1982 when the choir was founded … presidents have come and gone and those dear to use have been born or taken away too soon. And yet – the boys keep coming to audition … they have been the one constant in our ever-changing world and environment. Their interest and enthusiasm to make this a better place for all of us to live are what keeps our program alive. It is for them we have worked so hard for and are so proud of! Since our inception, almost 6,000 boys have passed through our ranks!
Now, as one of the largest boychoir programs in the world, boys of all ages, sizes, faiths and desires continue to have a safe place to come and share in a group experience that engages their hearts as well as their minds.
I believe Father Edward J. Flanagan, who founded Father Flanagan’s Boy’s Home on December 10, 1917 sums it up best, our feelings about all this: “There are really no bad boys … there are only bad environments, bad training, bad thinking and bad examples. Our young boys are our nation’s greatest wealth … and no boy wants to be bad – give them a chance with positive examples and they will give a good account of themselves.” We couldn’t agree more!