RAGAZZI BOYS CHORUS ANNOUNCES CHANGES IN LEADERSHIP
New General Director takes helm in two-stage plan – beginning August 2018
REDWOOD CITY, CA (26 April 2018) – With acclaimed Ragazzi Boys Chorus marking its 30th anniversary this season, the choir’s board of directors has announced they will take this occasion as an opportunity to map the path forward to the next vibrant and significant 30 years. Like many other successful children's choruses, the board has decided to implement the position of a General Director as a single musical, faculty, and administrative leader. This leadership transition, which will occur in two phases, will result in current Associate Artistic Director and Ragazzi Avanti Chorus Director Kent L. Jue taking on the new position of General Director. As General Director, Jue will take on the duties of both the Executive Director and eventually those of the Artistic Director.
Founded in 1987, Peninsula-based Ragazzi Boys Chorus currently has more than 200 singers from over 100 schools in 30+ Bay Area communities participating in the program. Current Executive Director David Jones began his association with Ragazzi in 1997 as a parent. A member of the board of directors from 1998 until 2010, he served as Treasurer and then as Board President for three years. In 2007 and again in 2010, Jones served as Ragazzi’s Interim Executive Director, finally coming to the understanding that the organization would be best served by a permanent Executive Director intimately acquainted with all its programs. Jones has brought a wealth of music, education, and non-profit experience as a three-time PTA president, Chair of Development for the Friends of the Stanford String Quartet, and later the Ives Quartet, Treasurer of Schola Cantorum, and as Board Secretary of Music in the Schools. Although Jones will retire as the Executive Director this August, he will continue to work on various special projects.
Taking on the role of Executive Director, Jue will work with the Board and current Artistic Director Joyce Keil to develop Ragazzi’s programs, to develop and implement the annual budget, manage office staff, manage grant proposals and reports, oversee facilities, oversee the scholarship program, and to assist Board committees. At the same time, Keil will accelerate her mentoring of Jue, preparing him for phase two of this transition plan, when Jue will assume the role of Artistic Director.
With an open timeline for the second phase of this transition, Keil will continue to lead Ragazzi’s Concert Group and Choral Scholars and Jue will continue to lead the Avanti Group for the time being. At the completion of phase two, Jue will become Artistic Director, setting the artistic vision for Ragazzi Boys Chorus and leading all educational and creative activities.
Currently, Jue conducts Avanti, one of Ragazzi’s upper-level touring choirs, and oversees Ragazzi’s training department, while also serving as the Director of Choral Programs at the San Francisco Friends School. He has prepared his ensembles for performances with organizations including the San Francisco Symphony, Symphony Silicon Valley, the Bay Choral Guild, and the Redwood Symphony. Jue has also conducted youth choruses at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and performed and recorded with the Golden Gate Men’s Chorus and the Gay Men’s Choruses of San Francisco and Boston. With this major leadership transition in the future, Jue will be closing out his last year at San Francisco Friends School and joining Ragazzi Boys Chorus full-time.
Known for building high-level musicianship skills through his engaging style and rapport with students, the Board is confident that Jue is a perfect fit as General Director. His passion for uncovering the full artistic and expressive potential for individual choristers in an ensemble setting - among other fitting qualities - ensures that the future of Ragazzi will continue to flourish and maintain the choir’s well-known reputation of being one of the San Francisco Bay Area’s premier music and performance organizations for boys.
Ragazzi means “boys” in Italian and is the term used in opera to refer to children’s voices. Ragazzi has performed with the San Francisco Opera, San Francisco Symphony, Opera San Jose, West Bay Opera, Lawrence Pech Dance Company, Symphony Silicon Valley, Masterworks Chorale, and the Stanford University Symphonic Chorus. The group has toured throughout the United States and internationally. In 2000, Ragazzi was honored for its contribution to the San Francisco Symphony’s triple Grammy Award-winning recording of Stravinsky’s Perséphone, and has five CDs available: A Holiday Collection, Canciones de Alabanza, Magnificat: My Spirit Rejoices, Splendors of the Italian Baroque, and I Dream A World.
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