The Grammy Award-winning San Francisco Boys Chorus (SFBC) was founded by Gaetano Merola and Madi Bacon in 1948 to provide trained singers for the San Francisco Opera. Today the chorus is led by Artistic Director Ian Robertson who also serves as Chorus Director for the San Francisco Opera. Since his arrival in 1996, he has built SFBC to over 200 singers from 50 Bay Area cities and more than 120 schools at campuses in San Francisco, Oakland, and San Rafael. The San Francisco Boys Chorus tours extensively to Europe, Asia, and the Americas, and has performed at Carnegie Hall in New York, the Grand Teton Music Festival in Wyoming, and in 2009, was honored to sing at the inauguration of President Barack Obama in Washington D.C.
The Chorus has performed in St George's Chapel, Windsor, Ely Cathedral and St Margaret's, Westminster in England; Chartres Cathedral, Notre Dame Cathedral and the Church of La Madeleine (Paris), and Marseilles Cathedral in France; Mathias Church in Budapest, Hungary; St Stephens Church in Prague, Czech Republic; St Stephens in Vienna and Seckau Monastery in Austria; Lucca Cathedral, St Mark's Basilica (Venice) and St. Peter's Basilica (Rome) in Italy; St John's Cathedral (Hong Kong), Shanghai Concert Hall and Tokyo City Hall in Asia; the Glinka Capella, St Petersburg, Russia and Copenhagen Cathedral, Denmark.
The San Francisco Boys Chorus plays an integral role in the San Francisco Bay Area music community. Alongside their annual Spring and Winter concerts, members perform in San Francisco Opera productions, most recently Puccini's Turandot and Bizet's Carmen. Other recent collaborations include Fable & Faith with the Robert Moses' Kin Dance Company in San Francisco and Los Angelesand Deck the Halls with the San Francisco Symphony. The SFBC appears around town singing at Giants games, Oakland Athletics and Raiders games, and the annual City Hall Tree Lighting Ceremony.
For the last five years, PBS station KQED-TV has broadcast SFBC's holiday concert, which was also aired in four other California television markets. In 2011, the Concert Chorus and Graduate Choralel toured internationally in Copenhagen, St. Petersburg and Helsinki, while the Intermediate Chorus travelled to Vancouver to sing in the Coastal Sound International Choral Festival.
SFBC has also released a number of notable recordings over the years. These include: SFBC sings LIVE(2012), Fauré Requiem and Messager (2010), Vivaldi: Gloria and Magnificat (2010), It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year (2009), Moving On (2003), and We're On Our Way (2000).