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Membership in the Choirs of St. Paul's
Membership in our choirs is open to anyone with a willing voice. Prior experience or musical training is not necessary as we provide on-the-job training! Boys start as early as age 7 and may sing as a treble chorister until their voice changes; many boys then join the men's section. Girls also may start at age 7 and sing through their senior year of high school as a soprano/alto. Women who sing soprano or alto are welcomed to join the Women's Choir. The Men of the choir is open to countertenors (male altos), tenors, and basses.
Every prospective chorister is urged to join choir on a trial basis to see if it's a good fit. Early on, the choirmaster may want to hear his/her voice informally to assess vocal agility. We welcome anyone to our community, regardless of church background or affiliation. The ability to read music and the joy of knowing how to make beautiful music is a gift that remains with every child for a lifetime, and it cannot be taken away! We ask only for a commitment to timely and regular attendance.
Community & Service
Our choirs lead our diverse congregation in corporate worship, offer prayers and praise through our music, and reach outside the walls of St. Paul's to share our musical offerings. Participation in these outstanding choirs gives young people rare experiences of cooperation, discipline, responsibility, and community with other young people as well as adults, all while striving for musical excellence. We perform a wide variety of music, from spirituals to motets in Latin, and sometimes we even sing in German or French!
More than singing
Choir is fun and never dull! Choristers travel, making domestic and international tours, go to choir camp, play sports and games, put on annual Madrigal Dinners, go to concerts, and some participate in the church youth group. We are a diverse and closely-knit community of adults and young people who are very welcoming towards and enriched by new singers and families.
Education & Mentoring
We provide "on-the-job training" not only in vocal production, but in ear training, music theory, sight-singing, and Christian understanding. For the young people, this is accomplished prior to rehearsals on Tuesdays and Thursdays through a series of graduated studies spanning four levels. Chorister's achievements are recognized with ribbons they wear at services as well as with a very modest monetary stipend given quarterly. As they progress and gain singing experience, the older choristers act as mentors to the younger singers. Their example and work is as important as the training and example given by their teachers.
Adults also have an opportunity for education. Some of this just happens in the course of rehearsals, but Tuesday evenings from 7:00-8:00 p.m. are set aside to work specifically on vocal production, music theory, ear training, and sight-singing. This hour is an optional component of choir membership, but for those who avail themselves of this additional opportunity, the benefits are numerous, from greatly increased confidence in singing to understanding of the inner workings of the musical language.
Please visit the Our Choirs pages for additional information on each choir and their rehearsal schedule.