To replace the concert originally scheduled for April 13 featuring the American Boychoir, Congregational Concerts will present a Children’s Choir Festival on Saturday, April 14, at 4 p.m. in the First Church Nave. Envisioned and organized by First Church Jubilate Choir director Dr. Sandra Mathias, the Children’s Choir Festival will gather nearly 100 treble voices from around the Central Ohio region to work with renowned choral master Fernando Malvar-Ruiz, formerly music director of the American Boychoir, and the newly-appointed artistic director of the Los Angeles Children’s Chorus. He will assume the reins in Los Angeles in August 2018. Malvar-Ruiz is internationally recognized as a leading expert in the training of the boy soprano voice. He is widely sought after as a guest conductor, lecturer and choral clinician. Born in Equatorial Guinea, Spain, he graduated from the Royal Conservatory of Madrid in both piano performance and music theory, and received a Master in Music degree in choral conducting from the Ohio State University. Additionally he holds a certificate in Kodály training from the Kodály Institute in Kecskemét, Hungary where he was also awarded the prestigious Sharolta Kodály scholarship. Fernando Malvar-Ruiz served as the Artistic Director and guest conductor for the World Youth and Children’s Choir Festival held in Hong Kong in 2005. He has conducted honor choirs at the American Choral Directors Association national and regional conventions and at the Organization of American Kodály Educators national conventions. For eleven consecutive summers he was the instructor for the masters programme in Kodály at Capital University in the USA, and from 2007 to 2012 he served on the faculty at the International Summer Academy of Choral Conducting and Music Pedagogy in Las Palmas in Spain.
The concert, the culminating event of a weekend choral festival, is free and open to the public.