MIAMI – Patrick Dupré Quigley's dad was a civil rights attorney working for a legal aid clinic and his mom ran an adult education program at a housing project. There wasn't really any money to spare for music lessons, but his parents found a way.
They came up with enough money to buy him a piano at a garage sale. When he joined the school choir in fifth grade, his parents didn't have to pay for singing lessons. The only thing he had to buy was a choir robe.
"For a kid who came from a house where money was tight, it was the perfect musical outlet," the founder and artistic director of Seraphic Fire, a Miami-based choral and orchestral group, recently wrote on Facebook about his passion for the choir.
For his 40th birthday, the conductor decided to start a crowd-funding campaign to raise $24,000 to provide full scholarships for 20 students this summer at Aspen. He started the campaign just before the choir's Christmas performances of English carols and Gregorian chants.
For their loyal following, the holiday season isn't the same without the Grammy-nominated vocal ensemble's Jesus Christ the Apple Tree and Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.
The 13 singers have four performances this week:
- Friday from 7:30-9 p.m. at St. Gregory's Episcopal Church at 100 NE Mizner Blvd., in Boca Raton. This performance sold out. For more information or for the wait list, call 305-285-9060.