Levels of Accomplishment
The Artistic Staff places choristers based on their skill level, vocal development and quality of tone, music reading ability, stage presence and poise, maturity, and tenure in their current choir. They also consider the voice parts needed in individual choirs.
Every boy who is chosen for membership has the potential to advance to the Performing Choirs. However, the rate of development varies with each boy. Our goal is to have the chorister advance to the Performing Choir prior to or when he is in his “Golden Voice”.
There are five choirs in the Raleigh Boychoir:
- Training Choir
- Resident Choir
- Performing Choir
- Millennium Singers
- Young Men’s Ensemble
The different choirs are described below.
- Performing Choir: Mondays 4:30 – 6:30pm and Saturdays 11:00am – 12:15pm
- Training Choir: Tuesdays 4:30 – 6pm
- Resident Choir: Wednesdays 4:30 – 6:15pm
- Millennium Choir: Every other Saturday morning.
- Young Men’s Ensemble: Mondays, 6:00-7:15pm
Boys in the Training Choir learn correct vocal production. This involves good posture and breathing techniques. Boys are taught how to sing in unison, and they begin two-part singing. Boys learn about rhythms, melodies, musical terms, and symbols. Sight singing is an integral part of the Training Choir experience. Attention is also given to the development of proper demeanor for choirboys when they are in public. The Training Choir currently rehearses on Tuesday afternoons.
The Resident Choir is a crucial stepping stone into the Performing Choir. Boys in the Resident Choir build on the foundation of the Training Choir. They explore unison singing in more depth and begin two- and three-part singing. They broaden their understanding of music theory and expand their musical score reading capabilities. Local performance experience is an important component of the Resident Choirboy’s term of study. Performance poise can only be achieved by experience. The Resident Choir performs for private and community functions in the Triangle area during the choir year. The Resident Choir currently rehearses on Wednesday afternoons.
The Performing Choir has greater performance commitments and broader travel opportunities; these experiences prepare boys for the rigors of the concert stage. Choirboys in the Performing Choir continue to build on the musical foundation laid by the Training and Resident Choirs. They learn more advanced music reading skills and strive for performance poise. Additional skills include singing in unison through four-part settings, singing in foreign languages, and performing complex music in a wider breadth of musical genres. The Performing Choir currently rehearses on Monday evenings and every other Saturday morning.
Chosen from the Performing Choir, this group represents the highest level of accomplishment and professionalism. Boys in the Millennium Singers perform locally as well as nationally and internationally. These choristers attain fluent sight reading and independent singing abilities. While maximizing their vocal potential, they maintain energy in their performance which helps them reach a high level of poise and polish at concerts. This ensemble represents the Raleigh Boychoir at various musical and social functions. The Millennium Singers currently rehearse every other Saturday morning.
Young Men’s Ensemble
This ensemble will be a premier standing choir of The Raleigh Boychoir, consisting of RBC members with changed and changing voices and other select young men who may join by audition. Young Men’s Ensemble rehearses on Monday evenings.
Musical Education and Personal Development
In addition to exciting performance opportunities and lasting memories of fun and fellowship, the Raleigh Boychoir provides excellent musical training for every choir member. Choristers develop an appreciation for a wide range of choral literature. They also learn to read and to sight-read or sight-sing music. These skills are beneficial to boys who play instruments or sing in school or church choirs.
Participating in the Raleigh Boychoir also affords choristers the opportunity to develop confidence, poise, character, discipline and leadership abilities. Each chorister devotes numerous hours over weeks, months and years to help sustain the choral tradition of boychoir singing. In return, choristers are rewarded with a rich, unique and unforgettable experience that will remain an integral part of their lives.
Although music education is the primary focus of the Raleigh Boychoir, our choristers gain much more from their experiences.
Character training: Both rehearsals and concerts require high levels of concentration, patience, and determination. The directors select music that is challenging and fun to keep the boys attentive. Formal performances also require the boys to use excellent manners and maintain appropriate attire and presence (i.e., hair combed, clothing neat, voice moderated, actions restrained).
Travel experience: During a performance tour, the choristers have opportunities to visit historic sites, parks, and universities. Often they will meet and even perform with other choirs, especially boychoirs. Tours also provide boys an opportunity to mature and become more independent – all under the careful watch of chaperons and directors.
Meeting new people: Participating in boychoir festivals, performances with the symphony, the master chorale and similar groups give the boys exposure to professional musicians.
Lasting relationships: For some boys, the friends they make through their shared love of music will last a lifetime. We always invite alumni back to rehearse and perform in our major concerts!