Established by San Francisco Opera founder and conductor Gaetano Merola, San Francisco Boys Chorus continues to provide music education, vocal training and performance experience to Bay Area boys from all cultural, ethnic and economic backgrounds. The Chorus honored longtime supporters Louise and Paul Renne and alumnus Captain Scott Loucks Johnston at its annual gala on March 7, 2015. Some 250 guests attended the event at the St. Regis Hotel in San Francisco and helped raise over $110,000 for tuition and camp assistance. The evening’s artistic program featured 50 boys selected from the top San Francisco Boys Chorus performing groups, the Lee Waterman Trio and dancing to Class Act.
The Rennes support for San Francisco Boys Chorus spans over two decades, and made it possible for the boys to sing at the 2009 Presidential Inauguration for Barack Obama. Paul Renne, in addition to his work as an accomplished and respected attorney, has a long record of involvement with young people and education. His community leadership positions include president of the San Francisco Boys and Girls Club and chairman of the boards of the Hamlin School, University High School and San Francisco Girls Chorus.
San Francisco Boys Chorus
50 members of San Francisco Boys Chorus with Ian Robertson, Artistic Director
Captain Scott Loucks Johnston
Gaetano Merola, San Francisco Opera founder and first general director
The original 29-member San Francisco Opera Boys Chorus with music educator Madi Bacon, in 1948
As San Francisco’s first female City Attorney, Louise Renne successfully sued the tobacco industry in 1996, winning a $12 billion settlement that led to a $500 million windfall for the City. The money helped to revitalize Laguna Honda Hospital and Rehabilitation Center. Renne currently serves as chair of the Laguna Honda Foundation and as an advocate for children at Allies United for Children.
Captain Scott Loucks Johnston lectures around the world on treatment of combat-related PTSD, building resilience in marines and sailors, and transitional interventions for returning warriors. Johnston was a member of the San Francisco Boys Chorus for three years in the early 1970s.
In 1948, Gaetano Merola tapped music educator Madi Bacon to train 29 young male singers and begin what is now the Grammy Award-winning San Francisco Boys Chorus.
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