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Boys Choir of Tallahassee Summer Program

This week 110 young men kicked off a new season of singing with the Boys Choir of Tallahassee. Reporter Leonard Horton takes us "behind the voices" and shows us how singing as helped many young men overcome difficult challenges.

Fifteen-year-old Ean McQuay recently lost his father to diabetes and says the Boys Choir helped him to cope and move on.

Ean says, "When my dad died it was real hard for me to stay focused on what I was doing."

Ean sees director Earl Lee as sort of a second father, describing him as cool one minute, but in your face the next.

Ean adds, "He's just trying to tell you stuff to motivate you to do what's right. He knows everyone's limits and he knows that we can achieve very high things."

This year the Boys Choir celebrates its 10 year anniversary along with a 100 percent high school graduation rate, a good example for 15-year-old Sheldon Atkins who used to have serious problems in school.

Sheldon says, "I started acting up and didn't do right. I wouldn't listen to the teachers, I would curse them out and leave; just things to make other people feel bad."

For many of its members the choir is home, a place where some of them turned when there was no where else to go.

Zachary Woods says, "I was going through a lot of things at home and Mr. Lee told my aunts that he would take me in because he didn't want me to get out of the choir. That demonstrated a lot of love."

Lee, who's now traveled with the choir around the world, says he wouldn't trade his job for the world.

Earl Lee says, "I believe, more than a job, it's a calling, and no matter what I try to do, what else I try to do, this is my calling from God!"

Earl Lee says the choir's first performances of the year are on August 4, one in Daytona and another in Tampa, Florida.


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