Here is an FAQ to help answer questions about the audition process for the choir.
Q. How much music training must my son have had in order to qualify?
A. None. In fact, we often prefer to train a boy from scratch. He must love music and want to learn. If he joins, we will teach him all he needs to know about vocal technique, music theory and performance skills.
Q. What should we bring to the audition?
A. A copy of your son’s latest report card, a small hardcopy photograph, and three letters of recommendation from someone other than a family member.
Q. What should we do to prepare for the audition?
A. On the day of the audition, please avoid outdoor sports so that your son’s voice will be in the best possible condition. He will be asked to sing any song of his choosing. “My Country ‘tis of Thee” is a frequent choice, but any song will be fine (other than hip-hop or rock). Most of the audition is a matter of his reciting back dictated patterns to test his inherent abilities.
Q. If he is accepted, what happens next?
A. Your son will enter a probationary period of six weeks. At the end of that time, he determines whether or not he wishes to continue, and writes a requisite Letter of Intention in his own handwriting. If his progress has been satisfactory, he will be placed in the choir upon recommendation of the music staff.
Q. How much is tuition?
A. Once your son is accepted into the program, tuition is $125 per month, or $500 for the Fall semester, and $625 for the Spring semester. A discounted fee of $1,000 for the school year is an option. Uniform expenses are in addition to the tuition.
Q. What is the time commitment?
A. The (non-touring) concert choir will meet twice a week from 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays in Fort Worth. We will also gather on one Saturday a month for an afternoon’s worth of activities, including a picnic or dinner to which parents and families are welcome.
Q. What about conflicts with other activities (soccer, etc.)?
A. While it is possible to attend other youth activities around the concert choir’s schedule, given the extraordinary opportunity that your son may be selected for the tour choir, you will have to prioritize those choices. Faithful attendance at rehearsals is of primary importance in the music staff’s choices for the tour choir, which will have additional rehearsals scheduled.
Q. What are the benefits of joining the Boys Choir?
A. A successful choir experience will provide your son with a personal sense of security and pride in his place in society. His growing body is developed through training in posture, breathing and movement skills for staged productions. Sports are also a part of the summer training program. His mind and social skills are sharpened through intense concentration, teamwork and self-discipline. His soul is strengthened through service and accomplishment. A choirboy may be special, but he is all boy!
Q. What are the academic requirements?
A. Boys are expected to have above-average grades. If a boy has average grades now, we would expect them to improve as he progresses through the choir year.
Q. What about discipline? How is so much accomplished?
A. Choir rehearsals are not permissive, but highly organized. The workload is far too great to allow for irresponsible or disruptive behavior. Rules are clearly stated and fairly enforced. Our experience is that boys who have committed to the program will enthusiastically join with others in a cheerful, purposeful application of time.
Q. What about transportation?
A. Carpools are likely to be formed from the beginning of each year. Each carpool is self-formed and operated. The choir office will assist whenever possible.
Q. What about summer activities?
A. An intensive week-long training program is scheduled July 6-11 this summer at a cost of $300, with a performance on July 12. The week will be especially important, as tour choir selections will be made based on individual performance demonstrated for the music staff.
Meet the Choir Staff
The boys’ choir is under the direction of Gary McGrath, Executive Director and Producer. Artistic Director Dr. Alan Buratto is assisted by Boys’ Choir Director Douglas Neslund, M.M., and Tour Choir Director Steve Stevens. These gentlemen are highly experienced in the Boychoir art form, are industry celebrated and specifically skilled in teaching and mentoring boys aged 8 to 12, as well as older boys who are negotiating the change of voice.
Auditions are by appointment at the choir office or other designated place. For more information or to schedule an audition, please contact Executive Director Gary McGrath at email@example.com or by telephone at (818) 312-8546.