St. Paul’s Chorister Program

Choristers

Do You Like To

– Sing the world’s greatest music in a magnificent church? – Make new friends? – Take trips to interesting places like Boston, New York, and England? – Spend a week singing at a camp on a beautiful lake? – Learn to be a better singer and musician? – Join a fantastic community of kids grades 2-12?

If your answer is YES to these questions, then the St. Paul’s Chorister Program is the place for you!

Who we are

The St. Paul’s Chorister program offers a sound musical education to children from the greater Norwalk community. The Choir is open to all aspiring musicians in grades 2 through 12. The Choir is committed to musical excellence, self-discipline, and social development. Choristers rehearse at least twice weekly, and sing most Sundays at the Holy Eucharist at St. Paul’s on the Green, an Episcopal church in Norwalk, CT. The Choristers sing music of great composers such as Palestrina, Bach, Handel, Mendelssohn, Brahms, Bruckner, and Britten. The Chorister program offers a musical education that includes music theory, music history, and vocal training. While all choristers and their families are welcome to participate fully in the life of St. Paul’s Church, membership is not required, nor do you have to be Episcopalian.

Requirements

Auditions are held on a rolling basis and require no preparation. Prior musical experience is not necessary for admission to the choir, though applicants in sixth grade or beyond should have some prior musical training (piano, school choir, etc.). Each child (along with a parent or guardian) meets with the Director for a brief personal interview followed by a short musical aptitude and ear test. The most important requirement for entrance to the choir is an unwavering commitment of time: steadfast attendance at services and rehearsals.

Rehearsal Schedule

Choristers rehearse at least twice weekly.  Brand new Choristers and new musicians are expected to attend the Music Training time on Fridays from 5:30-6:30 as one of their rehearsals.

Wednesdays from 6-7 PM.

Thursdays from 4-5 and 6-7 PM, with structured activity time between rehearsals.

Fridays 4-5 PM, with Music Training for new Choristers from 5:30-6:30.

The choir sings most Sundays (early September through early June) at the 11 AM service at St. Paul’s. There is a 10 AM rehearsal for the 11 AM service. Approximately once per month, the Choristers sing at a 5 PM Evensong service instead of the morning service. There is a 3:30 PM rehearsal prior to Evensong.

Choir Camp

Choristers attend a week of Choir Camp in Ivoryton, CT. This beautiful, fully accredited camp is located in a lush wooded area with a lake right nearby. In addition to rehearsing and preparing for the fall season of singing, Choristers enjoy swimming, hiking, cliff-jumping, a giant waterslide, campfires and lots of good food! Seabury’s Artistic Director runs the week alongside several parent volunteers and the qualified, trained counselors who staff the camp. The camp is usually held the second week of August. Contact the Director for specific dates and eligibility.

Trips and Special Concerts

The Choristers and Changed Voice Boys perform across the Northeast each season.  The 2016-17 year featured trips to New York City and Boston, MA for an overnight stay, as well as a performance with the Norwalk Symphony Orchestra.  This year’s season includes performances with the Choirs of West Hartford, CT, and a Choir Festival in Worcester, MA, sung jointly with the Choir of St. Paul’s, Fairfield, CT.

Cost

Although there is no regular tuition cost to participating in the Chorister program, a program fee is assessed annually to help defray the cost of travel. To help offset the program fee, we ask families to participate in fund-raising events throughout the year. The Chorister program is designed to be available to any child who is willing, alongside their family, to make the commitment of time, participation, and steadfast attendance. Scholarships are available for all trips.

The Music Director

Jacob-Street-150x150After serving as Organ Scholar at St. Paul’s on the Green from September 2014 to July 2015, Jacob “Jake” Street was named Interim Artistic Director for Seabury Academy.  He also serves as the Interim Director of Music at St. Paul’s on the Green. Jake has previously worked at Trinity Church in Copley Square in Boston and at Pilgrim Congregational UCC in Cleveland.  He holds degrees from College of the Holy Cross and Oberlin Conservatory, and spent a year in Lübeck, Germany as a Fulbright scholar, studying on the many historic instruments there.  Currently, Jake is pursuing a Master’s in Organ from Yale University, to be completed in the spring of 2016.  Jake is a prizewinner in multiple international organ competitions, and is the Artistic Director of les soûls d’amour, ensemble-in-residence at Seabury Academy.  When not playing the organ or keeping choristers in line, Jake keeps busy as an active music critic and runner.

For more information or to schedule an audition, please contact Artistic Director Jake Street at 203-847-2806, ext. 14, or email him here.