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Boarding schools with superb advanced choirs/choruses?

CaliMexCaliMex 1831 replies34 threads Senior Member
I know that most boarding schools have choirs or choruses, but which ones are known for their strong choir/chorus programs?

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Replies to: Boarding schools with superb advanced choirs/choruses?

  • AppleNotFarAppleNotFar 1035 replies11 threads Senior Member
    Maybe NMH?
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  • GoatMamaGoatMama 1251 replies11 threads Senior Member
    SPS has a great choir program, but I don't really know how it compares to other schools' programs.
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  • doschicosdoschicos 21570 replies226 threads Senior Member
    I'll second SPS.
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  • SevenDadSevenDad 4286 replies136 threads Senior Member
    edited November 2016
    SAS has the Choral Scholar program/group. It's a smaller school, so the group is smaller, but to my ear, very strong for a high school ensemble.

    https://www.standrews-de.org/arts/choral-music-and-voice

    If student was truly interested in voice (pre-professional)...maybe something like Idyllwild Arts?
    edited November 2016
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  • MA2012MA2012 1236 replies1 threads Senior Member
    I know nothing about music and high school (well, at that level). Are there any competitions/audition festivals to see which schools routinely send kids/groups?
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  • twinsmamatwinsmama 1658 replies54 threads Senior Member
    I usually laud Mercersburg, but this is an area where it falls short.
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  • CaliMexCaliMex 1831 replies34 threads Senior Member
    I think I was literally typing you a personal message while you wrote the above, @twinsmama! Has your daughter seen or heard other schools' choruses?
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  • twinsmamatwinsmama 1658 replies54 threads Senior Member
    I sent you a PM...for others, it is really that Mercersburg's choral program is nothing special, and my daughter came from a much higher level program in 9th grade. However, there is a new choral director this year, so things may change.
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  • twinsmamatwinsmama 1658 replies54 threads Senior Member
    From what I just heard in the Christmas service, it seems the new choir director is making a huge difference. And isn't it kind of sad that my first thought was to go to CC and post about it? :-)
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  • PeriwinklePeriwinkle 3403 replies105 threads Senior Member
    Most boarding schools allow/encourage students to take private voice lessons. As the student body turns over a quarter of the students each year, I would not judge a school by any particular year. As far as I know, the boarding schools that aren't dedicated to the arts don't recruit for vocal talent. And anyways, for many boys, their voice in 8th grade will not be their voice in 12th grade.

    I recommend you look for a choral director whose style you like, as well as good voice teachers. Things to consider would be: what sort of music does the chorus perform? (Secular, Sacred, Romantic, Baroque, Modern, Jazz, etc.) Can I live with that sort of music? How many choruses are there? Are there other vocal performance opportunities, such as A Cappella groups? Are those groups student-led, or under the direction of the music department? Does the school put on a musical each year? Does the chorus travel?

    I would personally prefer a school which encourages growth in musical students, rather than students who are perfect the day they arrive. As far as I know, there aren't any competitive choral festivals in the private school world; our state does hold state competitions for vocal and instrumental performers.

    Another question to ask: do any students from the school choose to enter conservatory upon graduation? Are any graduates participating in A Cappella groups or choirs at their colleges?

    We were happy with St. Mark's School's choir. You can find a description of their current program, as well as recent samples of student performances, here: https://www.stmarksschool.org/academics/academics-programs/arts/music. St. Mark's holds a two-day choral festival in the winter, the Wick Choral Festival. Groups from other schools and colleges are invited; it's a different sampling of outside schools each year.

    Schools with music programs will often post samples of student performances on their websites. If you are near enough to schools to visit, I recommend attending concerts, if this is a make-or-break feature for your family. The concerts are usually free, and open to all.
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  • KMRBd1KMRBd1 1 replies0 threads New Member
    Choate has an excellent choral and vocal music program. There's a chamber chorus and a festival chorus and several a cappella groups. The festival chorus travels to perform and I believe they go abroad every other year. Plus, if your student is a serious musician, he or she can try out for the Arts Concentration program, which enables the student to skip sports two out of three trimesters in order to have more practice time, and also requires some music theory and music history class work. There is an arts con program specifically for voice. Just as importantly, the arts are taken seriously at Choate and there is a warm community of artsy students so you don't have to be an athlete to fit in there.
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  • levartlevart 16 replies1 threads New Member
    I don't have a good answer here, but suggest you consider whether there are community resources, like a state honors chorus program or adult program in the community as an addition or alternative to the school program (and whether the school will support transportation to that alternative). The size of many schools and the fact that they don't recruit in this area may make it difficult to find a school that otherwise fits that can meet the needs of an advanced musician.
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  • HelloGuyHelloGuy 81 replies7 threads Junior Member
    Andover has a traveling Choir at multiple levels and have travelled to China, Spain, California, DC in the past couple of years.
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  • chemmchimneychemmchimney 787 replies1 threads Member
    NMH has multiple singing groups and the choir travels including, I believe, abroad. There is a long history of choral singing at the school. The most recent Christmas Vespers program is available on-line. I would ask to meet with the appropriate faculty person at each school when you interview (if it isn't too late), or email them for more info.
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