The Choir Parents' Handbook

completed adolescent toward greater and fuller maturity. We may say as a result of the experience of the last 20 years that the greatest value of Boy Choir is not to be found in his presence on a concert stage with the elite of the organization nor in the singing of a solo on an important occasion, but rather the greatest values will be heard three or four years following the end of his Choir days. The Choir boy will return again and again to his basic teachings. It is for this reason that we hold well our responsibilities in the insistence of standards to be met. The qualities that set apart the Texas Boys' Choir are those reiterated in the beginning-of opportunity, of very high standards both in music and the quality of the individual, as well as discipline.

 

Chapter Four

CHOIR ORGANIZATION

The present organization of the Texas Boys' Choir consists of four musical groups, the Preparatory, the Intermediate, the Second Advanced, and the First Advanced. Each group has a program designated for particular levels of musical attainment.

The Preparatory group, for instance, spends a part of the year in singing, vocal exercises, solfege, and part of the year in kinesthetic exercises which grow primarily out of studies in folk dancing. These give equal opportunity of studying certain countries, customs of the people, and serves to place music on an international basis. A boy remains as a member of the Preparatory Group until such time as he evidences ability, sufficient maturity and musical knowledge to take his place in one of the more advanced groups. This may occur within the space of one semester. It most likely will take place at the end of his first year of work. About two or three times a year members of the Preparatory Choir appear before their parents and friends in what actually amounts to a Choir Recital.

Meanwhile, the Intermediate Group has a program which allows it some participation in public performances. However, most of its activities are confined to a more thorough study of solfege, sight-reading, and vocal techniques. Occasionally, the Intermediate Group is combined with other units of the Boy Choir to prepare collectively major works by the world's greatest composers. Traditionally, the Intermediate Choir spends its year in a searching study of Church music. The Intermediate choirboy is promoted according to his development of technical abilities, vocal tone quality, controlled breathing, as well as the aforementioned sight-reading.

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