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Singing their song

At 9 years-old, Rosemount residents Matthew Bumgarner and Kaleb Wick have had considerable time in front of an audience. As members of the elite Metropolitan Boys Choir, the two perform regularly to big and small audiences all over the Twin Cities and elsewhere.

The Metropolitan Boys Choir consists of young men between the ages of 5 and 18 from the 12-county metro area. The choir was founded in 1971 by Bea Hasselmann, who still leads the choir, according to the the organization's web site.

More than 200 young men participate in the seven choirs that make up the Metropolitan Boys Choir. Both Bumgarner and Wick belong to the Viking Choir.

To earn a place on a choir, the boys audition and go through a personal interview each year. Bumgarner has performed with the boys choir for two years and Wick has for three years.

As members of the Viking Choir, Wick said, they practice for two hours every Saturday. While it takes away from some prime cartoon watching, both boys said they enjoy being on the choir.

"I love to sing and perform," Wick said confidently.

The choirs perform at various venues including senior centers, churches and concert halls throughout the Twin Cities. Bumgarner said they also travel to other cities and states to perform, which he is keen on.

"I like the the trips," he said with a shy smile.

The choir performs a variety of musical selections including choral classics, folk songs, patriotic songs and more. Wick said some of the songs are even in foreign languages such as French or Spanish. Although some of the songs are difficult, Wick said he loves learning them nonetheless.

Although both boys said they like being on the choir, their reasons differed. Wick said he delights in performing while Bumgarner said he enjoys going on the trips and practicing.

In addition to being part of the boys choir, both boys also play musical instruments. Bumgarner plays the piano and said he is looking forward to joining the school band in the fifth grade. Wick plays the clarinet.

Both boys attend Shannon Park Elementary School. Wick is a third grader and Bumgarner is a forth grader. Both boys said their favorite subject is science.

Along with their musical interests, the two enjoy other pastimes as well. In his spare time Wick rides his bike and when it get warm enough he will go swimming. Bumgarner said he plays baseball, basketball and soccer.

The Metropolitan Boys Choir will have its 36th Spring Benefit Concert at 3 p.m. May 20 at Ted Mann Concert Hall. The boys choir will be accompanied by the Great Northern Union Men's Choir. For more information call 612-624-2345.