The Choristers are the flagship choral ensemble of the Choir School. They sing the highest part in the Choir of St. Paul’s and have a very busy concert and travel schedule. Boys are Choristers from the day they are ‘invested’ (usually at the end of the 5th grade) until their voices begins to change, at which time they join the Schola Cantorum. This rare combination of emotional, intellectual and vocal maturity in the Choristers allows this group to perform more challenging repertoire, accept public and private engagements, make recordings and serve as the “public face” of music-making at St. Paul Church both at home and farther afield. The Choristers sing each week at 12:10 on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays (and 5:15 Vespers), Fridays and Sundays at 11:00.
The Pre-Choristers are boys who have just entered the Choir School after having applied for the Chorister group. These boys have not yet been ‘invested’ into the Chorister gruop. During the time as Pre-Choristers, both the school and parents are evaluating that the Chorister group is the best place for the boys before officially welcoming them as Choristers at the Investiture ceremony. The Pre-Choristers sing some parts each day at Mass, and sing on their own on some Friday mornings at the 8:00 Mass.
The Chorus Program is a less intensive musical program but with many extra academic enrichment offerings. Chorus members sing regularly throughout the week in leading responses and hymnody at the Masses, while singing their own Mass on first Fridays at 12.10. Chorus Members are also eligible to become Altar Servers, Readers at Mass and undertake many additional leadership opportunities. The Chorus pupils are not required to take part in extra rehearsals and events during the school week, so they can focus more on other activities. Participation in competitive sports outside of SPCS is also more possible for the Chorus program students. There are many benefits to this program, and once the choristers’ voices change they enjoy those benefits as well.
Members of the Chorus will also receive academic enrichment that will develop key skills for boys’ high school applications and their possible careers. Assignments and projects from these courses will serve as useful portfolio builders for these students when entering area high schools. Just as the Chorister program develops a robust musical skill set, the Chorus program’s academic enrichment offerings are designed to provide students with alternative skill sets. Each year, two enrichment programs will be offered (Fall and Spring), and may include public speaking and media production.