The Chorister Training Program
The Chorister Training Program at SsAM provides a wonderful opportunity for children in grades 3 through High School to develop their musical, vocal and leadership skills within the context of an Anglican style choral program. It is an excellent opportunity for children who enjoy singing in school choir or who play piano or an instrument to develop their musicianship and advance through a graded curriculum program based on the “Voice for Life” program from the Royal School of Church Music (RSCM.)
Junior Choristers (younger singers) rehearse weekly on Thursdays (6:00 -7:00 p.m.) and focus on acquiring basic music knowledge as well as how to use their voice in a healthy way. They begin participating in portions of the church service, often the opening of the service until the procession to Children’s Chapel. Eventually, they participate in psalms and anthems in collaboration with one of the other SsAM Choirs. Once the children gain experience and confidence, they are given their white surplice and begin participating in the full service.
Once a singer receives their white surplice (WHITE LEVEL) and begin singing for the full service, they are considered “Vested” Choristers. Their rehearsal is on Thursday evenings from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. and they sing for a full service once or twice a month depending on their level of maturity and musical skill. Vested Choristers in the WHITE LEVEL and above are working toward a stronger ability to read music, control of their voice, and ability to learn music quickly. Their repertoire includes Choral music from a wide range of styles, Anglican Chant settings of Psalms, Hymns and Service Music. In addition to regular rehearsals, the choristers work with the Music Director and mentors to develop their vocal and musical skills and to advance through the four levels of the “Voice for Life” program. As choristers progress, they are given an RSCM medallion with different colored ribbons to indicate their level of musical achievement and commitment to the choir. The LIGHT BLUE level indicates that they have good aural and vocal skills, understand the basics of reading music, and can participate as a member of the choir for the duration of a liturgy. The DARK BLUE level indicates that they have a developed a stronger music reading ability, have better command of their voice, and show leadership skills within the choir. When choristers have developed a more advanced level of musicianship, they are awarded the RED level. On rare occasions, choristers will advance to the YELLOW level which indicates they have developed their singing to a professional level. Once choristers reach the WHITE level, they are given a small stipend for their work as a SsAM Chorister. As they progress to higher levels, their stipend increases.
Membership in all of the SsAM choirs is open to children from the parish as well as from the community. Choristers do not need to be Episcopalian or a member of the parish to participate. Interested singers or their parents should contact David Christopher, Director of Music through the church office.