The Boys' Choir of Tallahassee
Film may feature the Boys' Choir
By Jennifer Jefferson
DEMOCRAT STAFF WRITER
The Boys' Choir of Tallahassee is adding more milestones to top its success, including starting a brother choir, making new music and possibly going Hollywood.
Daniel Ostroff, the producer of "Dogtown and Z-Boys" and "The Missing," is discussing documenting the 10-year history of the choir in a feature film to be called "No Excuses," the choir's motto, and a book that teaches communities how to form similar groups.
"Audiences are interested in true stories to learn how people overcome odds and save the world," Ostroff said.
The choir, which incorporates faith into the organization, is also putting together a new CD, "Just Jesus." It will debut next month.
"There is real hero work going on here," Ostroff said. The choir emphasizes "not what's wrong, but what can be done to make the world right."
"Look at these men," said Benjamin Crump, chairman of the board of directors for the choir. About two dozen members of the choir were in a rehearsal room on Gaines Street after school Wednesday studying.
"When you find something that works, we want to share it."
When the Ministerial Alliance in Mitchell County, Georgia, recently asked if the director, Earle Lee, could start a choir in Pelham, Ga., Lee agreed. There will be a brother choir in Georgia starting Jan. 17. About 25 boys have signed up.
"We intend to help young people see the value of faith in all parts of their life," said Kim Grueser, pastor of the First Baptist Church in Pelham.
President of the choir Tobias Bryant, 16, is a music lover. He sings and plays the drums, saxophone, piano, tuba, trumpet and baritone, he said.
Bryant has gotten two of his friends to join to the choir within the last couple of weeks. He says he doesn't have a sales pitch, but his busy schedule spawns curiosity. That's what got Manuel Menendez, 16, to join.
"There are not a lot of things to do in Tallahassee," Menendez said. "You got to find something to do to stay out of trouble." Wednesday was 17-year-old Carlos Thompson's first day back. He joined the choir before, he said, but he wasn't mature enough to continue. Then jealousy kicked in. "They were doing things every day, and I didn't have anything to do," he said. Recruiting for the choir is a way for Bryant to keep his Chiles High friends close. He knows what the choir has done for him. "My grades were pretty bad," said Bryant, who joined five years ago. He now has a 3.9 grade point average, he said.
The choir has 110 members, but Lee wouldn't mind more. He hopes to one day have a Boys' Choir Academy of the Performing Arts. The ultimate goal: "We are going to save lives," Crump said.