Saint Michael Choristers
Following the 2017-2018 year of choristers rehearsing at specific times for Advent, Christmas, and Easter services, alongside concerts with the Men & Boys Choir of Magdalen College, Oxford (UK) and the Girl Choristers of Washington National Cathedral Choir, in fall of 2018, we are excited to begin our new chorister program's first year! Modeled after the English cathedral and collegiate tradition of training children to sing at the highest level, our chorister program currently comprises of boys and girls in grades 3 to 8. It includes not only choir rehearsals but also a comprehensive training program based on the Royal School of Church Music (RSCM). We are also fortunate to draw upon the extraordinary heritage at St. Michael of the previous Boys Choir, Girls Choir, and prepatory choirs. Choristers now rehearse weekly, have regular make up rehearsals offered, and sing for the Sunday 9:00 Holy Eucharist. Much in the English cathedral and collegiate tradition, choristers sing at this service alongside our staff singers who are present to aid congregational singing and provide voices for the lower choral parts (alto, tenor, bass). In this style, the choristers themselves sing the soprano (highest) part and at a level commensurate with the professional singers on the other parts.
Called "ribbon training" because choristers ultimately earn medals to wear liturgically over their cassock and surplice to indicate their level of achievement, our RSCM-based curriculum has been custom made in house by our music staff to not only provide choristers with vocal and musical education taking them from the basics of reading music through freshman college-level music theory, but also training and accomplishment in leadership, responsibility, and faith formation. A hallmark of the manner of chorister training we use, choristers typically experience not only a social environment of new friends, but also greater ability to focus, higher self-confidence, and more advanced critical thinking skills enabling them to further excel academically, socially, and personally.
As our music program continues to grow, we anticipate choir opportunities specifically for high schoolers and a new prepatory choir for children in Kindergarten through second grade.