Saint Paul’s Choir School (SPCS) is private Catholic school for boys in the 4th through 8th grades located in Harvard Square, Cambridge, MA. The school was founded in 1963 by Dr. Theodore Marier as is part of Saint Paul’s Parish which is led by Father William Kelly, Pastor, who is an alumnus of SPCS. It is the only all-boys Catholic Choir School in the United States.
Dedicated to providing rigorous academic training and an extensive and unique education in music and liturgy, Saint Paul’s Choir School accepts musically talented and academically qualified boys ages nine through fourteen for full-time study in grades four through eight. Students commute from several communities in the greater Boston area.
The area’s best secondary schools aggressively recruit Saint Paul’s Choir School students. Many SPCS graduates have attended Roxbury Latin School, St. Sebastian’s School, Boston College High School, Xaverian Brothers High School, and Catholic Memorial. Students have also recently attended Belmont Hill School, Beaver Country Day School, Boston University Academy, Middlesex School, Deerfield Academy, Noble and Greenough, Boston Latin School, Milton Academy, Arlington Catholic and Phillips Andover Academy.
Almost every year, several eighth graders are named “Scholar of the School” at Boston College High School, an honor conferred only on those scoring in the top five percent of all candidates taking the entrance examination. In the past, Choir School students have also won “Ignatian Scholarships,” four-year, full tuition scholarships at Boston College High.
The famous choir of boys and men is at the heart of the Choir School. Through singing daily liturgical music, the boys learn how to read music fluently, and how to sing skillfully and confidently. They learn about where the music has come from historically, and how it was made. They sing music ranging from Gregorian chant (which is a key feature in any sung Mass) to contemporary commissions for the choir.
A demanding and thorough music theory course is taught using the internationally acclaimed materials of the ABRSM. Each boy takes individual piano lessons, also using the ABRSM syllabus, which is very good at drawing together the various elements of the music program. As the boys continue through the school and their voices change, a ‘Choral Studies’ course teaches the boys about Conducting, Composition, and choir training. The study of the organ is also available to qualified students.
Uniquely integrated with music study, the school’s diverse academic offerings aspire to give each student a strong foundation in basic skills and to provide multiple opportunities for enrichment. The positive influence of the study of music on other academic areas is clearly evident. Classes are small and motivation is high among both students and teachers, making for a lively, energetic and creative classroom environment.
School for Boys
As a school for boys, we intentionally structure the day for the ways boys learn best. The entire educational experience helps boys grow into young men of integrity, empathy, service, resilience and confidence. We share an appreciation for the intensity and complexity of boyhood and we celebrate and value everything it means to be a boy. We seek to form good men. We understand that boys develop and learn in different ways. Without the social pressures of a coed environment, students in an all-boys school also can explore the full range of their personalities and potential. Avoiding stereotypes, they discover they have many roles to play as a scholar, musician, athlete, artist, athlete, and friend.