Welcome to the Cathedral Choir School of Metropolitan Detroit
The Cathedral Choir School of Metropolitan Detroit is committed to providing the finest musical education in the context of the religious and liturgical life of the Episcopal Cathedral Church of St. Paul, and to nurture the best examples of citizenship. The Choir School is a community that, while focused on music, is a systematic, long-term investment in young people. Children emerge from this experience with a deep love of fine arts, enhanced self-confidence, and an ability to work collaboratively. In a time when the fine arts are not a high priority in most schools, the Cathedral continues to be fully committed to providing children with an opportunity for musical growth. The program is tuition-free.
The Choir School is affiliated with the Royal School of Church Music in America, an organization started in England early in the 20th century, which adheres to the principle that children are capable of learning to sing the finest in choral music from all composers, of all periods, and in a variety of languages. The RSCM model is used by many of the finest choral establishments and conductors in the USA and abroad. This curriculum is structured as a system of goals. Setting and attaining achievable goals is intended to encourage a chorister to develop his or her musical ability to the highest level. Parents will find that this system encourages self-discipline and goal setting.
Choristers in each level of the curriculum are presented with a test book, and a list of skills which he or she is expected to acquire from group rehearsals, individual work, sung services, and concerts. Our choristers are not merely taught how to sing. Rather, they gain a solid basic music education through the art of choral music. Each level of the curriculum includes focus on:
- Music Theory Skills
- Ear Training
- Vocal Technique
- Music Notation Reading
Boys and Girls must elect or more of the following sectional rehearsals:
Wednesdays-6:15-7:45 p.m. (This is a make-up day only.)
In addition, all boys and girls must be present for the Thursday rehearsal with the full choir from 6:15-7:45 p.m.
The boy and girl choristers generally sing the choral service in the Cathedral twice monthly. A typical Sunday morning consists of:
9:30 a.m. - Warm-up and Rehearsal
10:30 a.m. - Service
Noon - Dismissal
* Occasionally the boys and/or girls have a lunch and rehearsal together following a service.
About once a month, either or both of the choirs are involved in a Sunday afternoon choral evensong.
2:30 p.m. - Warm-up and Rehearsal
4:00 p.m. - Evensong service
Concerts and Choir Tours
The Cathedral choirs perform in a few local concerts each season, both at the Cathedral and other churches or performance venues. Each June, the choirs make a tour, singing concerts and services in churches around the country. Past trips have included performances in Washington, DC, Toronto, and Chicago. You can read about recent choir trips HERE
Each summer, the choristers have a four-day camp in August. New choristers beginning in the fall are highly encouraged to attend. The camp experience enables new choristers to meet the returning singers, and for all to get to know one another.
The choristers begin working on music for the upcoming program year, spend time with the Choir School faculty, and begin setting time with the Choir School faculty, and begin setting the tone for the music education that continues in the fall.
Most of our choristers count Choir Camp as the highlight of their summer!
The Choir School Commitment
The growth and development of each chorister is realized by a commitment to excellence that is shared by Cathedral and the Choir School’s participating families. Success in the Choir School program depends on the commitment of the child and the parents.
- Encourage the choristers
- Cooperate with one another
- Support the faculty
- Arrange carpools
- Aid in recruitment efforts
- Attend Choir School Parent Meetings
Piano study and music scholarship program
All choristers who show commitment to the program are eligible for free piano study as part of their musical curriculum. These lessons are taught by one of the choir school faculty members.
Although there are no fees involved in our program, the Cathedral does offer scholarship assistance for choristers in the program who are also engaged in private study (by an outside teacher) of an instrument other than the piano. Once a chorister has been in the program for five months, he or she is eligible to apply for this renewable scholarship assistance. Scholarships are announced each February.
Boys and Girls who wish to be considered candidates for the choir go through an informal audition process to gain admittance. This is nothing to worry about. We assume that your child has not had previous musical training. The try-out is merely a method by which we gauge a child’s potential for success in the program. It involves a few pitch matching exercises as well as other ear exercises. We want the child to feel as comfortable about the process as possible.
When you have had a chance to review this information and you have decided to have you son or daughter try out, simply call the Cathedral Music Office to set up an appointment. There are no mass auditions. Our Music Staff likes to take each and every audition individually.
The choir program here at the Cathedral is a unique musical opportunity for children. We hope you will consider becoming a part of it.