'Made in America'
Next week, the Ragazzi Boys Chorus will present a choral concert revisiting the roots of American music, performing a variety of pieces that have contributed to the flavor of the American sound.
The program includes South African freedom songs, classic hits by musicians such as the Del Vikings and Nat King Cole, and original music by American composers Z. Randall Stroope, Cristi Miller and others. The group will also perform a small selection of Cuban music to mark its upcoming Cuban tour in June.
In Italian, "ragazzi" means "guys" and also refers to children's voices in opera. The Ragazzi Boys Chorus is an organization of more than 150 singers coming together from 26 Bay Area communities. The group is noted for its contribution to the Grammy-winning recording of Stravinsky's "Persephone" with the San Francisco Symphony.
"Made in America" will take place on Saturday, March 26, at 5 p.m. at First Congregational Church, 1985 Louis Road in Palo Alto. Prices are $25 reserved, $15 general, $12 seniors, $10 students. Go to ragazzi.org or call 650-342-8785 for tickets.
High school students' thoughts on peace and today's peacemakers are chronicled in art, at an exhibition now at Castilleja School's Anita Seipp Gallery.
The young artists come from several Peninsula schools, including Castilleja and Palo Alto and Gunn high schools. The show was inspired by the traveling project "The Missing Peace Exhibition: Artists Consider the Dalai Lama," and one of its works is expected to go with the exhibition to a museum in Texas, said Deborah Trilling, director of the Seipp Gallery.
The Castilleja show is up through April 1 at 1310 Bryant St. in Palo Alto, open weekdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information, go to castilleja.org/seippgallery.
'Out in the Silence'
As part of a grassroots effort to raise awareness about the difficulties many gay teens face, the documentary film "Out in the Silence" will be shown on March 23 at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Palo Alto.
Made by Wilson and Dean Hamer, the Emmy Award-winning film follows a popular small-town Pennsylvania 16-year-old who is attacked after he comes out — and the boy's mother turns to Wilson for help. Wilson and Hamer's same-sex wedding announcement had run in the newspaper.
The film documents the teen's ensuing struggles with school authorities, and follows a lesbian couple who try to restore an old theater but face anti-gay attacks.
California screenings of the film are being organized by young Gay-Straight Alliance leaders, along with parents and church and community officials. The Palo Alto screening begins at 7:30 p.m. at 505 E. Charleston Road, followed by a question-and-answer period with the filmmakers and community members. Call 650-494-0541 or go to outinthesilence.com.
Journalist and author Richard Preston was set to speak at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts last year, but a ski injury made him cancel. Now he's back on the schedule.
This time, Preston is set to speak at the center at 500 Castro St. on April 4 at 8 p.m. The event is part of the Peninsula Open Space Trust's Wallace Stegner Lecture Series.
Preston is known for his "Dark Biology" series of books that include "The Hot Zone" and "The Cobra Event," but on April 4 he's expected to focus on the heights of the tree world, speaking on his book "The Wild Trees." In researching it, he studied the techniques of "super-tall tree climbing" in the verdant redwood canopies of California.
Tickets to Preston's talk are $22. For more information, call 650-903-6000 or go to openspacetrust.org.