We appreciate you taking the time to read our appeal. We are the Golden Gate Boys Choir and Bellringers, a music school committed to the tradition of boy choir training and bell ringing. We are a non-profit organization that started in 1988 in the Bay Area. This 2023 is one of our biggest years. After the effects of Covid on our membership, practices, performances, and events, we are finally getting back to our stride. We are once again getting invited to perform at different venues and events such as confirmations, special masses, cultural celebrations, and more recently to perform our National Anthem at a major league baseball game. The highlight of our 35th anniversary, this year, is to sing for Pope Francis at the 44th International Congress of the Pueri Cantores in Rome, Italy, in December. This is an incredible opportunity for our boys to showcase their talent and represent our community on an international stage. Unfortunately, travel expenses are a major obstacle. We are asking for your help in making this trip possible. We are raising funds for luggage fees to bring our bells and other equipment with us to Rome. Estimated cost is about $4,000 (we have some very big bells).

Some might say our best years were in the 90’s when we produced our first CD album Ringmasters of San Francisco Bay Volume 1. Others might say it was the 2000’s when we participated in the International Choirs at the Cologne Cathedral in Germany. Or in the 2010’s when we were featured by the annual Shalom World TV Christmas Canticles to highlight one of their Christmas special. Those were great generations of alumni and the booming years of our program.

2020’s, as all of us know, started with many challenges. As a choir organization, we didn’t fare any better than the rest of the world. We had young men graduating the program, and we lost membership through basic attrition since our activities were stifled by the pandemic. What is a choir without an audience? What is a community without congregation? In a way, we lost our sense of direction. As the world was ever changing, we only had two constants: God, and our music director Mr. Steven J. Meyer.

Mr. Meyer, through his tremendous faith, perseverance, and dedication, rebuilt the choir. He invited younger members to join. He reduced membership tuition. He instituted zoom rehearsals. He asked some of the graduates to help. By June 2021, when Bay Area started opening, we were able to do a Spring concert. None of the new families knew what was going on, but by God’s grace some showed up when requested. It was still not unicorns and rainbows, but the show must go on. And it did. Mr. Meyer took everything in stride. He played the bells when there were gaps in performers. He played the piano and conducted at the same time on occasion. None of the audience knew the ad lib unfolding before us. All the while, Mr. Meyer directed the choir, smiled, and thanked the families and supporters after every performance.

2022 was the beginning of the turnaround. Finally, in-person rehearsals were becoming normal. Boys were starting to know each other and started to build friendships. There were still events Mr. Meyer was hoping and praying enough boys show up, but core families were consistent and saw the value of the choir school. By end of 2022, we were having more families help around the choir and a renewed sense of community was brewing.

At the beginning of 2023, the elephant in the room for the choir was the Pueri Cantores 44th Congress. We were required to get at minimum 40 participating boys. At first count we were at the low 20s of families that committed. Parents were hesitant to commit to Rome because of safety concerns traveling in a foreign country. But even on our best days, we still needed to recruit additional members that meet the age requirement. With prayers, intercessions, and community action, God brought us new families wanting to join our choir. Soon enough, more families changed their mind and committed to travel. In a month’s time, we hit our quota and more. Praise be to God!

The choir is once again brimming with positive energy. Invitations to perform are surprising us left and right. We have our commitments in check, but we are not out of the woods yet. Our next challenge is how to pay for all of this. It is a big expense for the families to pay for the trip. We have put many phases of fundraising to come up with the money to help pay for the travel expenses. Our immediate ask is to help pay for the shipping of our bells and equipment. In bellringing, the smallest bells are called trebles and the largest bells are called tenors. We are bringing 66 bells to Rome (so much for traveling light!) and the expense for the bells is expected to exceed $4,000. These are major components for our performances as bellringing is in our namesake and unique feature.

Your donation will help us cover these expenses and ensure we can give a memorable performance for Pope Francis alongside other choirs. Any amount you can give will surely make a difference. Thank you in advance for your generosity. With your support of the Golden Gate Boys Choir and Bellringers, our best years are still to come! 😊🎶🔔

With many blessings,

Golden Gate Boys Choir and Bellringers, a California non-profit organization under section 501(c)3 of the IRS code. Tax ID#:94-3093661.


Every time a bell rings an angel gets his wings

- It's a Wonderful Life