Music – Choristers

About the Choristers

End of Term Celebration

The Cathedral Choristers consists of two ensembles of auditioned treble voices that rehearse weekly under the direction of Dr. Robin Bier, with the assistance of Nathan Odhner. Modeled after the English cathedral choir tradition, the Choristers program provides young singers with the opportunity to develop all aspects of their musicianship, and to nurture a love for music through singing that will serve them throughout their lives.

Through regular rehearsals, ear training games, group voice lessons, and performances for Church services and special projects, the Choristers learn healthy vocal technique, develop their ear and music reading ability, and build their ensemble skills and choral discipline.  The ensemble is diverse, with singers ranging in age from 1st to 8th grade; the youngest incoming choristers learn from the more experienced singers, and the older choristers lead by example. The Choristers perform as an independent ensemble, often in two and even three-part harmony, and they also sing with the Adult cathedral and Festival choirs on occasion, a unique opportunity for these young musicians to experience being a part of a full choir and to take part in challenging and complex music.

Dr. Bier in rehearsal.

Director of Choristers Dr. Robin Bier believes that learning to sing well is an invaluable skill for all budding musicians, and that being part of an excellent children’s choir is an experience that will continue to serve the participant for the rest of their life, whether or not they choose to pursue a career in music.

Who can audition?

Girls and boys with un-changed voices in grades 1-8 are welcome to audition.  No prior choral or musical training is required. All grades are welcomed in the Beginners ensemble, and grades 4-8 are eligible for the Advanced ensemble.  Successful auditionees demonstrate a good ear, the potential for a clear, strong voice, positive attitude, and the ability to focus and to learn quickly, and most importantly, the desire to sing!

Auditions are held in September, and additional auditions may take place in January if there are any spaces available mid-year.  To learn more and register for an audition, please complete the form linked at the top of this page.

What is the time commitment?

Singing at the Church School Easter service.

The Choristers are in session October through December and February through early May.  The Advanced ensemble rehearses and performs for approximately 12 weeks each term; the Beginners ensemble has a shorter season of approximately 9 weeks each term.

Rehearsals take place on Thursday afternoons at the cathedral.

3:15-4:15 Beginners
4:30-6:00 Advanced

Each term the Choristers sing once for each of the four different Sunday morning services offered by the Bryn Athyn Church, and are featured at Thanksgiving, and with the Adult choir at the Choral Vespers services before Christmas and on Good Friday.  The Beginners perform 1-3 times per term; the Advanced ensemble performs 5-6 times per term.

Warming up for a showcase performance.

2019-2020 Schedule

FALL

Sept 9-12  Auditions and Vocal Interviews
Thursday Oct 3  First Rehearsal, both groups
Sunday Oct 20  Performance: Informal Service (Advanced)
Sunday Oct 27  Performance: Young Children’s Service (Beginners)
Sunday Nov 10  Performance: Cathedral Family Service (Advanced)
Wednesday Nov 27 Dress Rehearsal: Thanksgiving (Both groups)
Thursday Nov 28  Performance: Thanksgiving – (Both groups)*
Saturday Dec 7  Dress Rehearsal: Advent Vespers (Advanced)
Sunday Dec 8  Performance: Advent Vespers – (Advanced)
Sunday Dec 22  Cathedral Adult Service – (Advanced)
*This is the final event of the term for the Beginners ensemble

SPRING

Thursday Feb 6 First rehearsal (Advanced

Thursday Feb 27 First rehearsal (Beginners)
Thursday May 7 End-of-Year Concert
A complete list of spring 2020 dress rehearsals and performances will be posted soon.

With the Festival Choir and orchestra at Christmas.

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