Music: Hard-Working Angels

At Manhattan's Town Hall one night last week, Conductor Eduardo Caso called his chorus into a backstage huddle. The big New York critics were out front, he said. "They can make us or break us. It's do or die."

The chorus, 28 well-scrubbed boys (9 to 15) from Tucson, Ariz., nodded solemnly, got into their costumes: choral robes in three shades of blue, covering western denims and cowboy boots beneath. Onstage, they froze their eyes on their austere boss and began singing. They piped sweetly, if a little uncertainly, through such concert showpieces as Stradella's Pieta Signore, Bach's Suscepit Israel and...

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