Beliefnet
The Deacon's Bench

It happened so quietly, nobody noticed. But the New York Times has the obituary:

For more than three decades, they sang Mozart in Latin, Bach in German, and Cole Porter and Stevie Wonder in English, from Alice Tully Hall in New York to Royal Albert Hall in London.

Uniforms used by the Boys Choir of Harlem have been stored in the damp basement of the Metropolitan Community United Methodist Church in Harlem, the choir’s last home.

For the audiences that marveled at the Boys Choir of Harlem, it was an additional wonder that the young performers with world-class voices had emerged from some of the most difficult neighborhoods of New York. December was always a busy month, as the choir toured the country’s premier concert halls and appeared on television Christmas specials.

But this year, the boys are nowhere to be found. Last week, Terrance Wright, a 39-year-old choir alumnus, picked up a microphone in front of the altar of Metropolitan Community United Methodist Church in Harlem, the choir’s last home, and delivered news that surprised few people but saddened many.

“Tell the people. Let it be known,” Mr. Wright said, glistening and exhausted after leading a Christmas concert by former singers in the choir. “There is no Boys and Girls Choir of Harlem.”

Read on to find out what happened, and why.

Meantime, in memoriam, a classic performance, below.