The Choir Parents' Handbook

leaping of the voice which has so often proved embarrassing to young males.

In almost every case in which I have observed a choir boy in the change period who had been trained completely in head voice technique, it has been found necessary that he cease singing upon the beginning of the change period unless it was possible to extend the head-voice into the chest-voice area. Likewise, I have observed those who have sung only with chest-type voices during the pre-adolescent stage of vocal development who have been unable to maintain any degree of flexibility whatsoever. The use of the chest voice alone has a tendency to constrict the muscles of the larynx. In these cases, the boy seems suddenly quite helpless.

The theory has long held from Victorian times that once the change of the voice appeared it was time for the boy to stop singing and to rest his voice for approximately two years. Contrary to this supposition, proof substantiates that it is entirely possible and proper that a boy sing from boyhood into manhood.

During two hundred years of polyphonic art, there was no thought that an experienced voice, a trained mind, and a disciplined body should be cast aside and allowed to cease its musical function. It was a known fact that the greatest resources of the changed voice only begin to appear at pubescence.

Singing through the vocal change for approximately a year gives a secure feeling in the the use of this new voice to the choirboy. To have the boy understand his own voice during the changing period is one of the chief objectives of the director. Then, and then only, will the boy sing intelligently and properly with his new voice of Manhood.

 

 

Chapter Nine

THE CHOIRBOY ON TOUR

On numerous occasions during the course of the history of the Texas Boys' Choir, members of the organization have been privileged to participate in major concert tours which have carried them from Sun Valley, Idaho, to New York City and on some special summer trips as far south as Mexico City.

It is always a difficult task to choose boys from among the members of the Concert Group to be participants in the touring Choir. There are three premises which we hold as points of consideration in the following order:

 

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