The St. Andrew’s Choristers consists of boys and girls ages eight to sixteen who love to sing. They are responsible for providing the music for the 10:30 am service two to three times a month from September through May as well as various other services scheduled during the choir season.
The boys and girls enjoy being a part of a well thought-out program of music instruction. Our goal is for the choristers to experience the interpretation and performance of music as a spiritually powerful and joyful means of expression. To that end, we encourage a high level of musical independence and insight through careful teaching and rehearsing. Each rehearsal includes training in basic sight-reading, proper signing technique, and many other musical skills. With the help of the Choirmaster, frequent opportunities will be allowed for each chorister to measure personal advancement through the levels of the Chorister Training Program of the RSCM.
The choristers are taught in small groups according to their age and vocal experience. Each group works toward the completion of a test card which involves the learning of specific musical skills as well as memorization of parts of the Episcopal service. After the completion of each of the test cards, they are promoted into the next level in a small ceremony in the Sunday service. In the beginning levels, much of the emphasis is on the acquiring of musical skills and vocal expertise. In a relatively short time, the younger choristers are able to develop a fine singing voice and the ability to sight-read music - resulting in thinking musicians. In the upper levels, more detailed attention is given to rehearsing the music they will be singing on Sunday morning as well as other special services.
It is our belief that being a part of the chorister program is also about practising responsibility and commitment. We stress the importance of displaying a superior attitude and excellent manners during all rehearsals and on Sundays as well as maintaining an excellent attendance record. In addition, each chorister must take responsibility for the proper care of his or her own hymnal, music folder and vestments. Attendance, attitude, team-work and cooperation are the key elements in determining success, satisfaction, and enjoyment in the choir.
The St. Andrew’s Chorister training program for boys and girls embodies the essence of the Royal School of Church Music philosophy developing:
- teamwork and communication skills;
- self-discipline, focus and concentration
- self-esteem and spiritual growth
These attributes will benefit the young singers throughout their lives.