AAFSW members and guests, members of the diplomatic community, and State Department employees enjoyed a special musical treat on May 8: a performance of the famous Boni Pueri Czech Boys Choir at the State Department’s Dean Acheson Auditorium.
The concert began in darkness, with the boys processing in wearing golden robes and carrying small lights, singing Giulio Caccini’s reverent “Ave Maria.” Once the lights were turned back on, many other beautiful classical pieces by Central European composers like Antonín Dvořák followed.
After a short break the boys returned to the stage in less formal attire – slacks, shirts, and ties – and began a lively, crowd-pleasing Hollywood medley, which included choreographed steps. Numbers included “My Heart Will Go On,” “The Pink Panther,” “Skyfall,” and “Star Wars.” This medley was followed by Czech and Slovak folk songs, as well as “Škoda lásky,” familiar to Americans as the “Beer Barrel Polka.” The concert ended with a rousing rendition of a traditional American favorite, “When the Saints Go Marching In.” The musical accompaniment, performed by the boys’ talented pianist, Robert Fuchs, was top-notch.
Before the performance, Program Chair Sheila Switzer arranged to have the boys and their adult companions take a special tour of the State Department’s 8th floor reception rooms with veteran tour guide Chuck. The boys and adults were excited to see the beautiful and historically significant artifacts featured on the tour.
We thank Ambassador Hynek Kmoníček, his wife Indira Gumarova, and the Boni Pueri conductor, Pavel Horák, for bringing this wonderful choir to the State Department. We also wish to thank the Foreign Affairs Recreation Association and State of the Arts Cultural Series for providing the piano.
AAFSW Office Manager