Boys voices are cracking sooner and choirs are scrambling
Parents lament their sons’ too-quick march to adolescence. It means phone calls from pesky girls, despair over acne and a heightened interest in what to wear.
But few think about the ramifications for boys’ choirs.
According to an April 7 story in The Washington Post, boys are younger than they used to be when their voices begin to change.
Indeed, in Johann Sebastian Bach’s time as director of the St. Thomas Boys Choir in Germany (1723-1750), their voices changed between age 17 and 18.
Now, the average age for the voice drop is 13.
That pure, sweet sound of a boys choir doesn’t allow for voices that have matured.
To cope with the problem, some choirs are recruiting and training younger boys. But while the voices are fine, the younger children lack maturity and experience that enhance performances.
Lest anyone think the dilemma of choirs as they deal with early-onset maturity is inconsequential compared to drivers permits and girlfriends, try to imagine a world without the angelic sound of trebles’ voices filling a room.
Male adolescents will outgrow acne and angst, but those incredible voices change forever.