The Friends of the Public Garden is partnering with Boston Children’s Chorus for “We Sing: Boston” – a series of free, outdoor singing events taking place over five weekends from Saturday, July 17, through Sunday, Aug. 15, at outdoor public spaces in neighborhoods in and around Boston, including in Chelsea, Roxbury, Dorchester, Chinatown, and Mattapan, and culminating in a city-wide singing event in September on the Boston Common.
The series includes “We Sing: Chelsea” on Saturdays, July 17 and Aug. 7, from 2 to 3:30 p.m., at Clark Avenue Middle School, 8 Clark Ave., Chelsea; “We Sing: Roxbury” on Sundays, July 18 and Sunday, Aug. 1, from 2 to 3:30 p.m., at Clifford Playground, 160 Norfolk Ave., Boston; “We Sing: Chinatown” on Saturdays, July 24 and Aug. 15, from 2 to 3:30 p.m., at Chin Park on The Greenway Surface Road and Beach Street, Boston; “We Sing: Dorchester” on Sundays, July 25 and Aug. 8, from 2 to 3:30 p.m., at Town Field 1565 Dorchester Ave., Dorchester; and “We Sing: Mattapan” on Saturday, July 31, from 2 to 3:30 p.m., at Hunt-Almont Park, 40 Almont St., Boston, on Saturday, Aug. 14, from 2 to 3:30 p.m., at Harambee Park, 930 Blue Hill Ave., Mattapan.
The details of the September event on the Common are still being finalized, but will be announced shortly, said Andrés Holder, executive director of the nonprofit Boston Children’s Chorus. “Essentially, we want to invite everyone who has participated in all the singing events and say, ‘let’s gather one more time before the fall to sing on the Common,’” he said.
The events, which will comply with local COVID safety guidelines, will also include games and prizes, including a raffle for gift cards from Black- and brown-owned businesses in the neighborhoods where they will be taking place.
Holder is quick to point out, however, these will be interactive “singing events” where the event facilitators and the audience will learn and sing the music compositions together, as opposed to traditional concert experiences.
As for the impetus for these events, Holder, who joined BCC last summer, said, “It was a happy accident, really. Boston Children’s Chorus, throughout the pandemic, had to change how we deliver our programming. Since we couldn’t sing indoors, we perfected the art of the outdoor rehearsal, and in doing that, at least for me, it was a really transformative experience, hearing children singing with masks outdoors. We thought, ‘why is this just for BCC, and why can’t we share it with the whole city?’”
Soon afterwards, Holder was talking with Liz Vizza, president of the Friends of the Public Garden, and mentioned to her the BCC’s plans to bring their singing events to the city. Vizza immediately embraced the idea, said Holder, and offered for the Friends to partner with BCC to stage these events.
The Friends has since helped BCC connect not only at the city-level through its extensive experience in working in Boston’s public parks, said Holder, but they also helped BCC “deeply with community connections.”
And for the Friends, they are pleased to partner on these events that offer a new and creative way to enliven parks in and around Boston.
“We are so thrilled to be partnering with the BCC for this summer series ‘We Sing: Boston,’” said Vizza. “We love that these free outdoor singing events are using music to bring joy to diverse communities throughout Boston. And since these wonderful events will be held in local parks throughout the City, they will help lift up the parks as well.”
“We Sing: Boston” is receiving additional support from the Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture and the Boston Parks and Recreation Department.
“We’re really blessed to be able to be in so many neighborhoods in the city,” said Holder. “It’s really a blessing and a privilege to be able to offer this, and we hope that the community as a hole embraces the joy of collective music-making through children.”
To volunteer or register for the singing events, or for more information, visit https://www.bostonchildrenschorus.org/our-programs/we-sing/.