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Musical talent heads for fest

A talented musician who sings with Bel Canto and attends Swallows Charter Academy will take part in the International Boys and Men’s Choral Festival in Arizona next month.

Sumner Grey is “extremely talented, musically,” said Chris Reed, director of Bel Canto, the children’s honor choir in Pueblo West. “This is an exceptional opportunity for people to participate in rehearsals and concerts with world-renowned conductors.”

Reed nominated Grey for the choir and he was accepted. The choirs will be directed by Hirvo Surva, the Estonian National Opera Boys’ Choir director, and Julian Ackerly, the National Boychoir director and also Repertoire and Standards Chair for the American Choral Director’s Association.

Grey has perfect pitch and can tell – just by listening – what key a piece of music is in. He is also a whiz about composers, their music and lives, and writes his own pieces for the piano.

The opportunity to participate in the International Boys and Men’s Choral Festival is one Reed and Grey’s family thought would be perfect for him.

“I told (Sumner’s mother) that he had the quality of voice as well as the knowledge to handle what they were looking for, and what a quality experience this would be for him,” Reed said.

Grey is looking forward to the experience.

“I think it’ll be good to get to be with people who have such a really good gift of music,” said Grey, who will be a seventh grader. “This is really worldwide. I think this is a really good opportunity and I’m really excited.”

The festival has performances in both Flagstaff and Tucson, with the majority of the one-week festival taking place in Flagstaff.

“I want to hear more voices than mine,” Grey said. “I want to hear what the whole world has to offer.”

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