Cathedral Choir School

Musical Curricula

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Safe Environment

The Cathedral of the Immaculate
Conception is committed to providing a
safe environment for all persons involved
in any ministry, especially children.  All adults participating in the Cathedral’s
Music Program are required to complete Virtus Safe Environment training, offered through the Diocese of Albany.  For more information, visit:

Musical Curricula
The Training Choir K-3 (“Troubadours”)

The music education offered in the Training Choir (grades K-3) provides the foundation for a lifetime of music and prepares students for advanced music studies offered in the Boys’ and Girls’ Choirs.  A variety of music education methods are utilized to help our youngest choristers develop healthy vocal production, natural singing voice, sense of steady beat, musical hearing (or “audiation”) and basic music theory knowledge.

What does this look like in rehearsals?
1. Lots of singing; singing games, making sounds/vocalizes, singing folk songs, singing sacred music of the Cathedral, singing tonal patterns (a few notes), singing solfege (do-re-mi, etc.).
2. Lots of movement: Movements to a steady beat, flowing movements, movements to singing games (i.e. walking in a circle), solfege hand signs (signs for do-re-mi, etc.), standing, sitting, walking.

In addition, we also practice choral and Cathedral etiquette (i.e. how to walk, stand, and sing while in the Cathedral during services) and share a brief snack.

The Boys’ and Girls’ Choir (Grades 4-8)

Children in the Boys’ and Girls’ Choirs (Grades 4-8) learn music in an intergenerational environment, prepare music for worship, and master their skills with the highly regarded secular workbook series A Young Singers Journey.  The series is divided into graded workbooks, through which students may progress at their own pace.  Each level represents successive individual achievements in vocal skills and musicianship (music theory and sightsinging).  Color-coded ribbons are awarded to choristers in the Choir School upon successful completion of a workbook and the earning of points (described later).  Ribbons are awarded at Mass and worn over the choir vestments.

Adults in the Cathedral Choir may participate in the A Young Singers Journey Chorister Training Program through independent study with the Cathedral Director of Music.

Applied Instrumental Instruction (Piano, Organ, and/or Violin)

The Cathedral Choir School is pleased to provide keyboard instruction (piano or organ), as well as violin and viola, to choristers and parishioners.  Studio size may be limited, and preference will be given to choristers in the Cathedral Choir School.  For more information, please contact Ms. Benninger.

Cathedral affiliation with the Royal School of Church Music in America

Founded in England in 1927 by Sir Sydney Nicholson, the Royal School of Church Music remains dedicated to the highest standards of music in the church.  It has grown to become an international and ecumenical organization with more than 11,000 affiliates in North America, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, and throughout Europe.