The Choir Parents' Handbook



from an article, by George Bragg, published
in the Etude magazine,
April, 1953.

We began the Texas Boys' Choir (originally the Denton Civic Boy Choir) in March, 1946, as an opportunity for the musically interested boys (ages 8-15) in the city of Denton, Texas. The idea of a boy choir, though new to the people of the town, caught on like wild fire with both the parents and the boys; the parents being grateful for an educational and recreational project aside from the boys' routine public school work, and the boys happy in a work which challenged them at every turn.

Life for these novices in the Texas Boys' Choir became a challenge to their personal abilities and advancements, for they suddenly found themselves in a strange world of stranger criteria, surrounded by a confusion of sound which seemed at first to the child mind overwhelming.

Presto! Legato! Pianissimo! Forte! Sounds of mah, koo, bo, and bay; the beat of 1-2-3-4 resounding over the constancy of sounds, and the sounds increasing before dying away to such a degree that it seemed silence was part of something. Before the novice stood the director who spoke a language with his hands and made ever varied expressions of face, which one moment discouraged and the next complimented the singer in magnified degree.

These 37 boys two weeks before had lived in a world of the usual. Suddenly they found themselves part of musical history-in-the-making, building toward a goal yet unseen by their young eyes, and striving for that understanding not yet grasped by their inquiring minds.

Half a dozen Saturday Kiddie Matinees had been missed because of rehearsals, and still the cloud of mystery veiled the idea of the importance of a boy choir and music, for yet no visible progress could be seen. Then, in a nearby town, another boy choir was to appear, and all the Denton boys went as a group to listen to their first concert. Suddenly, the idea was seen,



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